My Newswithviews Column, Dec. 24 (‘Did We See… a Pterodactyl?’)

See the source image

I don’t know about you, but I needed a break from politics. After all, it’s Christmas.

So I wrote about our pterodactyl. I’m sure I’m the only Newswithviews columnist who’s seen a pterodactyl.

Did We See a… Pterodactyl?

Yes, I know, the libs will jump all over it. “See? See? We toldja he was crazy!” But as Lou Costello once said, I saw what I saw when I saw it–and I don’t care what a bunch of leftids think. They believe in much more ridiculous things than the occasional pterodactyl. I prefer not to mention any of them here.

P.S.–Don’t forget out cyber-Christmas party! All are welcome! Bring imaginary snacks and board games and party fixin’s. We’re going to have a blast!

‘Did We See a Pterodactyl?’ (2017)

See the source image

If you make a habit of looking up at the sky, you’ll see some pretty strange things.

Like this.

Did We See a Pterodactyl?

So was it a pterodactyl? Really? In Holmdel Township, New Jersey? How could that possibly be so?

But that’s what it looked like. That’s the only think it looked like.

Mr. Nature: The Mastodon

The Fall of the Carnivorous Mastodon | WIRED

My wife was watching a video about mastodons when I came in from smoking my cigar and doing a crossword puzzle, and it moved me to seek out pictures of this wonderful prehistoric animal.

Jambo! from Mr. Nature. Our safari today takes us nowhere, geographically; but it does take us back in time, to visit with America’s native elephant genus, the mastodon. We are told it was hunted out of existence, by America’s first modern humans, some ten thousand years ago. Take that for what it’s worth: all we know for sure is that there are no more mastodons.

I often wonder–shall we ever see these creatures? They are part of God’s creation, and He has the entire universe at his disposal. In the restoration of all things, will the mastodon be restored, too?

I like to think so.

‘Nother Experiment

Moschops - Wikipedia

It probably doesn’t show at your end, but here at mine, I’m trying to master new techniques that have been imposed on me without my consent. There’s a lot of that going around lately.

If this post is successfully published, you will see a Moschops, from South Africa, and the silhouette of an unidentified woman who is taking it for a walk. You can try to decide which animal was weirder, this or Tanystropheus. The latter enjoys a cameo appearance in Bell Mountain No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. Moschops last appeared, fleetingly, in The Missouri Breaks with Marlon Brando.

If the post is unsuccessful, you’ll probably see nothing at all.

Back to Work, at Last

I haven’t seen this animal in Obann yet–Doedecurus, a giant South American armadillo with a tail club. But I suspect it’s only a matter of time before one or more of them turns up.

Finally! I sat outside and wrote a scene in my new book–which has only just started, and only God knows where the story’s going to take me. Indeed, after I post this, I think I’ll go back and write some more.

Hot tip heard on the radio this morning:

Want to keep your face mask/badge of submission disinfected? Nothing could be easier. Just leave it in your car (I’ve hung mine from the rearview mirror) and let the intense heat that builds up in there kill the germs. Be sure to shut your windows.

And now, back to Obann City for Lord Chutt’s treason trial.

‘A Live Woolly Mammoth’? (2016)

I just can’t make up my mind about the video included in this post. Is it real? But no, it can’t be. There are no more mammoths–not even in Siberia.

A Live Woolly Mammoth?

Siberia’s a big place, though. And we know now (or at least are pretty sure we know) that there were still mammoths living on Wrangel Island while the Egyptians were building the pyramids.

I would like there to be mammoths still. Somewhere.

Battling Beasties

Just in case you were wondering what Entelodonts were like when they got riled up, this video will give you a pretty good idea of it.

The special effects are by Tim Haines, whose work has inspired more than a few scenes in my own Bell Mountain books.

As an added bonus, we’ve thrown in a Baluchitherium.

 

‘Jandra’s Nasty Toothed Bird’ (2016)

See the source image

If you’ve read much of my Bell Mountain series, you’ll know that Jandra is the toddler prophetess through whom God spoke to make Ryons a king. And you’ll know that, wherever she goes, she has a hissing toothed bird that follows her around.

Many readers wished to see that bird. The enclosed video was about the closest thing I could find to it. (And look at this! Mr. Genius has just erased the video accidentally, as he was trying to post it. Well, let me see if I can get it back… Got it!)

Jandra’s Nasty Toothed Bird

Feel free to completely ignore the evolution fairy tale that comes with the video.

Places that Never Were–Or Were They?

See the source image

Charles R. Knight, who died in 1953, became famous in his own lifetime as the world’s most convincing painter of prehistoric life. Among my early memories are trips to the American Museum of Natural History, and looking up at Knight’s great murals, my mind full of wild surmises for which I wasn’t old enough to find words.

I still love Knight’s work, but I’ve learned to appreciate another aspect of it–his background scenery. There are a lot of people who can paint or draw prehistoric animals. I can do that. But only a very few are able to bring us into the world those creatures lived in.

The painting above launched Knight’s career, when it was still the 19th century. The animal is Elotherium. Never mind that. The scenery which Elotherium inhabits–the longer I look at it, the realer it gets!

I could just about swear that Knight’s Elotheriums are in a real place. More than that–a place that I know. I used to play alongside a stream just like that, on Orchard Street, before they paved everything over. I climbed and skidded up and down those steep banks. I waded in that water, although it was too deep to wade all the way across. I was there. I didn’t see any Elotheriums, but I was there. If they’d come out of the woods on the other side, I’d’ve seen them.

And where would that stream take me, if I could follow it up to the top of the painting? What enchanted country would I discover?

What a gift the Lord Our God gave Charles Knight! God made us in His image, and some of us He made creators. We can only revel in it, and give thanks.

I think God knows where these places really are. He made them. Oh, for a glimpse, O Lord!

But who knows what He has in store for us?

Mr. Nature: Mosasaurus

The Komodo dragon of Indonesia is, as Bob and Ray observed, the world’s largest living lizard. Full-grown at ten feet long and 300 pounds, occasionally it eats… people.

Some thousands of years ago, certain monitor lizards in Australia grew to be twice the size of a Komodo dragon. But they were pipsqueaks compared to the Mosasaurus of the Cretaceous Period (or whenever–we don’t want to take such things too seriously).

As you can see in this clip from Jurassic World, the Mosasaur was very, very big–up to thirty or even forty feet long, depending on the species. Mosasaurs are all the rage in dinosaur movies today, and of course their size is exaggerated therein. Closely related to today’s monitor lizards, the Mosasaur was likely the supreme predator of its time. Instead of legs it had flippers, so it had to stay in the water. And no, it was not as big as a New Jersey township.

What hath God wrought? We can only marvel at the scanty remains of these gigantic creatures that are no longer with us. Where they are now, only the God who made them knows. But maybe someday He will tell us.