Sunday, December 23, 2012

Beginning to Look a lot like Xmas

The Idyll-Beast Research Center wishes to thank Mayor Max and his staff for their outstanding work on this year's Greater Idyllwild Tree Lighting Ceremony. We are delighted to have an animal of such vision in our midst. 

The Mayor's office has submitted this evidence from their holiday photo op. This year the Idyll-Beast happened by for a little power lunch and to talk over events of common interest. Christmas with Mayor Max is becoming a veritable carnaval of the animals. After a brief altercation over a particularly engrossing sock...

the creatures tapped out a joint statement of "peace and joy to Beasts of goodwill..."

 and obliged the staff photographer with a smile and a wag...

Friday, December 7, 2012

To "Serve" Man

More evidence of the Idyll-Beast's activity during the Halloween "Great Pumpkin" parade has come to light. It seems the Beast carried the idea of his costume, "Idyll-Beast Esquire, attorney at law" further than we had imagined. The county court has been clogged with confused respondents who believe they have been named in a lawsuit. It seems that during the parade the creature "served" other celebrants with what appears to be a lawsuit alleging "unlawful deliciousness and fraud."The Animal has been changed by his time on the Board of Directors of the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce. As they say, "monkey see, monkey do."

Our legal team has determined that the case is probably frivolous, but to be on the safe side (ex abundanti cautela) "defendants" may bring their "summons" to the Idyll-Beast Research Center. Although not qualified to give legal advice, we know how to spot a hoax.  We reproduce below one of these documents. Click on the image to see a larger view. You may need to click again to magnify the image.

If this is what it seems to be, it would represent a change in the animal's feeding habits. The Idyll-Beast is known to be an opportunistic eater, and our society presents opportunities previously unexplored by the higher animals. Using the courts to harass prey into being eaten would seem a logical step for an omnivore.

The document seems to be missing a "proof of service" and the verification paragraph is suspect, missing a signature as it is. Trick or treat indeed. The tone is somewhat more refined and polite than that of some attorneys, and the prose more natural. Many "Delicious Idyllwilders" will be watching their mail boxes for a "Motion to Compel."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

You've Been Served!

Ah, the crisp days of fall. The date of the Great Pumpkin Parade approaches and once more the Idyll-Beast is selecting a costume. The Beast has outdone himself this time in terms of pure spine-tingling horror. Although some of our staff  (and several Chamber Directors) have expressed misgivings, the animal has begun assembling the ingredients for a Halloween classic: Idyll-Beast Esquire, Attorney at Law.
Concerned Beast watchers have expressed  misgivings and brought to our attention a very real danger: if the outfit is too realistic, villagers mistaking him for an actual member of the bar might harass, disparage or hunt him. Our legal staff has formulated a solution; the back of his jacket will sport the following message:

This is only a costume. The Idyll-Beast is not a real attorney, nor can he give advice on legal matters. Any resemblance to actual attorneys, living or dead, is purely coincidental and no disparagement is intended.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Close encounter of the Bearded kind

Fellow Town Crier Blogger and Beast-watcher Barry Zander (On Top of the World) submits this stunning image. It seems to show two well known bearded Idyllwilders in a moment of solidarity. A careful examination confirms that Mr. Abrams beard has not been retouched. Evidence, including the angle of the lighting, suggests that the photograph was taken during last year's Greater Idyllwild Tree Lighting Ceremony. 
The Idyll-Beast claims to have no recollection of the encounter. "You'd think I'd remember that!" Too much eggnog?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Idy and Heidi(?)

This photo has been making the rounds on face book. Most of you by now recognize the animal on the right, but the creature on the left with the golden braids is not the Swiss miss from the famous children's books. It is noted nature photographer and Idyll-Beast Research Center fellow, Gina Genis. 

Genis is always taking photography to places it's never been before. She is  now bringing her artist's training and scientist's instincts to a new medium: video. And what more moving subject than our mascot, the Idyll-Beast? Her recent high-country expeditions have reportedly amassed material that will forever raise the bar for Beast spotting.  And may forever raise the profile of Idyllwild as a premier destination for cryptozoologists, amateur and professional.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Once Bitten

Citizens ask me every day why the Idyll-Beast is not campaigning in Idyllwild’s Mayoral Contest. Certainly he agrees that raising money for ARF and Living Free is a worthy cause: any dollars he finds, he stuffs in one of those jars.  And his success in the 2011 Chamber of Commerce Board elections would seem to put him in a position to seek higher office.

Although we have heard rumors of a write in campaign on his behalf,  the Idyll-Beast has held firm in his decision not to run. “If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve. If served, I will not be delicious.”  The animal goes on with some advice for the candidates: “The election is fun, lots of snacks and grooming. And photo ops. But after the election it’s a different story. You may be all day in the office and forget to eat. Your hair may begin to fall out in clumps. The press may misquote you or associate you with some scandal or another.”

The Idyll-Beast did offer some reassurance and an offer of cooperation and moral support to the future mayor. “Former Chamber Directors tell me that the memories become fonder with the passing years, and dog or cat years do pass more quickly than Beast years. If you need some one to scratch behind your ears and tell you you’re a “good dog” I’ll be there. And remember to delegate: you don’t need to lift your leg on every fire hydrant in town, that’s what committees are for.”

So it would seem that although even the most introspective and elusive animals may “catch” the political bug, the Idyll-Beast is once bitten, twice shy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Art and Science

Noted wildlife photographer and friend of the Idyll-Beast Gina Genis brought to our attention a beast of a story on the website. Author Tyler Stallings is Artistic Director for the Culver Center of the Arts and Director of the Sweeney Art Gallery at the University of California, Riverside. The man knows about truth and beauty, and while I cannot agree with all his conclusions, I applaud his seriousness of intent and admire his sense of the sublime. The story is here:

The page states that if enough people "like" the story it will be made into a mini-documentary. You know what to do. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Human Nature Center

Researchers have begun submitting evidence from last weekend's Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival. Apparently the Riverside County Department of Parks and Recreation invited Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce Director Idyll-Beast to assist in their public outreach effort. The animal proved to be a lively addition to the Parks pavilion, inviting scads of visitors to visit Idyllwild, Riverside County's only Mountain Resort Community.

Guest researcher Patrick Strong submitted this image of three delighted wine and balloon lovers discovering one of the Inland Empire's lesser-known assets.

A careful perusal of the image reveals what appears to be a slightly blurry Idyllwild Nature Center volunteer, Scott Fisher. It is lilely that the blurring is a result of the camera's depth of field and not Mr Fisher's wine consumption.

The Festival was a terrific opportunity: Hundreds of visitors met the Idyll-Beast and availed themselves to the ensuing photo-ops, and the Beast learned a few things about human nature.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Beauty and the Beast

CNN  has picked up a story from the  journal Biodiversity that deals with:

…. how vulnerable species that overtly display characteristics human beings respect or find desirable -- such as beauty, strength, power or cuddliness -- are more likely to be the focus of concerted conservation programs than animals or plants that are less appealing to the eye.

"People have biases towards species that are glamorous," said Dr. Ernie Small, author of the study and taxonomist for Agriculture Canada.

"Animals that are beautiful, entertaining or that command respect due to their size or power are almost always given greater forms of conservation protection."

         Fortunately for Idyllwild, our own Idyll-Beast meets or exceeds new federal guidelines for personal appearance of protected species. The beauty and cuddliness aspects are attested to by the scores of photographs Idyllwild visitors take home with them and which we gladly publish here. As to strength, the animal is sometimes seen working out at the par course below the ICRC playground site. And reportedly making excellent time.

            And as to power, well there are different kinds of power. His position as a director of the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce gives him some very limited powers. I believe he is able to sign checks (with a second director.) And of course Chamber Directors have the power of invisibility. He can also make and second motions and vote.

            But I think what the authors of the study cited had in mind were more “telegenic” powers.  Being beautiful, entertaining and commanding respect for his size; what better description could an Idyll-Beast elicit? Certainly the behavior of the ladies in many of these photos is ample testament to powers most of us wish we had…

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Do I Smell Bacon?

Readers of all political stripes (and spots) have been outraged by recent revelations of excess and debauchery by members of the Federal Government’s General Services Agency. Almost a million dollars was spent on one “motivational seminar” in Las Vegas, and officials who organized this little shindig took nine so called “planning trips” to Vegas before the main event. The travel and catering costs for the planning phase alone totaled over $136,000. One investigator, staggered by the scope of this “culture of fraud, waste and corruption,” was quoted as saying “every time we turn over a rock, there are fifty more with all kinds of things crawling out.” Sounds like spring-time in my back yard.

We at the Idyll-Beast Research Center have been quick to spot the silver lining in this cloud of corruption, bribery and kickbacks. This week we sent off a huge package of brochures from local inns, restaurants, shops, day spas and pet grooming services, along with an effusive cover letter offering the services of the Chamber of Commerce as “Event Planning Consultants,” addressed to the General Service Agency’s Department of Wretched Excess and Unseemly Frolic. I bought the stamp myself.

What happens in Vegas no longer stays in Vegas, but Idyllwild… We have a crypto-hominid serving on the Board of Directors of our Local Chamber of Commerce, yet the tabloids leave us alone. This is just the kind of place where beastly hi-jinx will be ignored. And think how much further our tax dollars will go here!

Friday, April 6, 2012


More evidence from the recent Riverside County Fair and national Date Festival has surfaced. I here reproduce the unedited report from famous cryptozoologist "Splatt Ratzenberger."

In 2011, Splatt and family left Palm Desert for a backwoods 4 wheel-drive camping excursion to Black Mountain, when they caught their first glimpse of the Idyll-Beast – posted on the yellow sign at Mountain Center.
Needless to say, hopes of a chance-encounter kept them on their toes, all thru the night! They hoped to lure the Idyll-Beast into camp with ‘smores…but the wind wasn’t blowing the right direction.
They visited the friendly folks at the Black Mountain Fire Lookout for an incredible view - high atop the pines…but no Idyll-Beast movement was seen.
They even ventured into “Camp Lackey”, the long-abandoned YMCA Camp....but came up empty.
Finally, “Splatt”, of the Biker Nation TV Show, discovers the long-elusive Idyll-Beast at the Riverside County Fair, of all places!!

Kids, these days, do “planking”….”owling”….and even “phooning”.
In Idyllwild, Splatt and daughter, “C-Na$ty” sent all their friends a cell-phone pic….“Beasting”.

Even motorcycle riding Momma, “Wild Child” got in on the act….

Friday, March 2, 2012

Social Grooming

This image by professional photographer Peter Liebig captures the Idyll-Beast as he enjoys a little attention from fellow County Fair denizen Reetsie Fuller. Reetsie, also known as "the Gourd Lady", knows how to be a good neighbor. Years of experience with her Yorkie and her Horse have made her a formidable opponent with a comb. Snarls and tangles fear her. And animals love her.

According to her website, Reetsie is a "self taught artist and professional animal trainer who has always been enthralled by the beauty she sees around her in nature." We couldn't have said it better.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Youngest Researcher

Parents bring their children to the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival to broaden their Horizons. So many informative displays, so many unusual and exotic animals! Here Debra Lenzen caught Quintus and Steve enjoying an encounter with the unexpected. I think Quintus is the one tugging on the Idyll-Beast's beard. Children are all about experiments!

Moe and Curly

Idyll-Beast "contactees" often have requests when a photo op presents itself. Here "Curly" asked if the Idyll-Beast could channel his inner "Moe" and re-enact a scene from his favorite Beef Jerky commercial. Messing with Sasquatch indeed! It looks more like Idy is performing a necessary service, examining his new friend for "uninvited guests." Always ready to lend a hand, or paw.

Hemet Youth Talks to Animal

Donald Godbey of Hemet was reportedly "very impressed" to meet the "talking hairy beast" that staffed the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce booth at this year's Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival. The animal explained the many opportunities for leisure and recreation in Idyllwild, and invited Donald and his family (and pets) to look him up when they're in town.


The evidence keeps on coming. This year's County Fair and Date Festival was the "Best Ever." Here Beast watcher Arminda Aceves captured Ariana, Caitlyn and Cypress Hill from North Shore California visiting with the staff at the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce booth. We salute these promising Future Cryptozoologists of America!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Intrepid Adventurers

This came in the e-mail today and clearly couldn't wait. Researcher Herminia Carrillo sent this image of an intrepid group of First Graders from Emila Earhart school in Desert Sands. The group knows how to combine learning and fun. They all learned a lot about Idyllwild. And a lot about the Idyll-Beast. See you in Idyllwild!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Mountain of Evidence

Beast watchers (and Chamber watchers as well) will be interested to see this evidence of the Idyll-Beast at the Riverside County Fair and Date Festival. This goes on until Sunday.
Record crowds have been thronging the Fairgrounds in Indio, and the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce booth has been a mob scene. Idy has been inviting scores of adventurous young people into our little "wildlife preserve" for photo ops. Researchers are combing through the mountain of evidence that has resulted from these encounters and will be releasing the images as we are able to confirm their authenticity. This image seems unretouched except for some color/brightness adjustment.
The Chamber still needs volunteers. Chamber watchers and Cryptozoologists may apply in person at the Funky Bazzaar, the Cave, or Bubba's Books. Steve and Peter have tickets and parking. Give Idy a break!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


As some of you know, the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce is again representing our community at the Riverside County Fair and National Date Festival. (February 17-26 at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio.) Chamber Director Idyll-Beast has been doing his part; ingratiating himself with the staff, inviting the kids in to our little "wildlife preserve" for photo ops, handing out hundreds of Visitor's Guides, maps and brochures each day, reconnecting with old friends and helping first timers plan their next vacation get-away.

There were some challenges in training the Idyll-Beast to keep the table neat. Those big paws were not made for straightening up tightly spaced piles of brochures, but I think he’s getting the hang of it. Our Beast-Whisperers have also done a great job of developing the Animal’s “script.” We have replaced last year’s greeting, “You look delicious” (maybe too provocative) with the more business-like “Have you ever been to Idyllwild?” His old sign-off line “Look me up when you’re in town” was also deemed by some too personal and he now ends each conversation with “See you in Idyllwild!”

This brings up a sensitive subject. Some members of the community have suggested that the Idyll-Beast “scares children.” I am always quick to ask if the speaker has actually seen a Beast scare a child or heard a child complain about being scared. Or is the complainer just projecting? Setting aside for the moment the fact that many Idyllwilders “scare children” and are still allowed out in public, I would like to point out that the only incidents I have personally witnessed were the results of parents (generally new fathers) who were unclear on the protocol for introducing babes in arms to a new animal. Some careless adults see the Idyll-Beast and just push the carriage right up to him, forgetting themselves completely and giving junior something of a shock when he or she glances up from their bottle to see a mountain of fur towering over them.

I believe the proper method is common knowledge, but among modern parents it is unwise to assume anything, so here I present a digest of accepted practices:

Upon seeing a new animal, park the carriage at a safe distance, 10 to 20 feet. Gently direct the child’s attention to the animal. Smile.

Leaving the carriage (preferable with a parent or other familiar adult) approach the animal yourself slowly, being sure to smile and present yourself in a non-threatening manner.

Having greeted the animal and asked its permission, you may pet, shake hands, or put an arm around the creature. Again make eye contact with your child, smile, and make reassuring noises.

Finally, if the child seems willing, slowly bring the child closer to the animal and create a suitable photo-op.

It should also be mentioned that our Idyll-Beasts have received sensitivity training. Don’t approach little ones, let them approach you. Identify yourself as a representative of the Chamber of Commerce. Never go through hand bags, back packs or vehicles in search of snacks. When greeting visitors “Welcome to Idyllwild!” is preferred over “you look delicious!” Always refer to children as “Offspring” and not “appetizers” or “tasty little morsels.”

We are presently preparing a customer satisfaction survey that will allow visitors to rate their “encounter” and give the Chamber some metrics. Contactees will be asked to rate their Idyll-Beast on courteousness, grooming, and general knowledge. Science marches forward.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fish Bowl

It was about two years ago that we began to think of getting a pet for the Idyll-Beast. We introduced him to a number of cats and dogs, and then took him to meet several shop-keepers and restaurateurs, but the animal seemed unsure….until the evening he saw a Chamber of Commerce meeting. I was reminded of the first time I saw an aquarium; the brightly colored creatures flashing too and fro, some alone, some in little schools, the sense of a jewel-like miniature world under the unearthly glow of the fluorescent light. Looking through the plate glass at the Water District that night, I knew Idy was hooked.

The Beast was fascinated with his new hobby. He learned to tell the various officers apart, explaining to anyone who would listen the difference between the first and second Vice-President. “The Second Vice-President is taller, and handles membership.” After a few months Idy succeeded in hand feeding most of the directors, and even found a little castle and a scuba diver to decorate the meeting room.

Keeping pets, as we all know, is not without its moments of grief. One morning I woke to find one of my little gems colorless and belly up. I remember having to scoop it out with a net. My elders explained that “burial at sea” was an appropriate method of interment. So sad watching the little fellow spin around in the porcelain before vanishing into the hereafter.

So it was with heavy heart that the Idyll-Beast took out his net at the recent meeting of the Board of Directors, at which President Nick Todd’s resignation was accepted by the other Directors. Todd had not been himself lately, his color fading, his fins drooping. He never really recovered from his encounter with the larger fish from the County. The debacle of the Town Hall lease left him feeling filleted and salted. Luckily for Todd, there is compelling evidence for life after the Chamber of Commerce

Monday, January 30, 2012


Evidence is still trickling in from the Third Annual Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema. In addition to the sighting inside the theater (see the January 17th post) there was what can only be described as a photo op on the Red Carpet earlier that day. One of the participants in the Festival, Director Ben Cooper, tracked down a member of our staff inquiring about the possibilities of an encounter between an Idyll-Beast and the Creature featured in his offering, "Primitive."

Soon after the call, "Idy" bounded out of the forest, across North Circle (looking both ways before crossing) and onto the Red Carpet. Ben did his best to corral the animal over to the area where a model of his creature was on display, but not before the Beast was thronged by admirers. A few accommodating visitors did allow themselves be photographed with the model, but all eyes, and cameras, were on the Beast. Posing with the ladies, holding the babies, exchanging grooming tips with the gentlemen, working the crowd. During a pause in the hub-bub, Cooper quipped to the Beast "You're really popular up here!"

"We don't get many celebrities in this town," was the Animal's reply.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Beast Who Fell To Earth

This morning I was awoken by a curious scratching sound and a thump on the front porch. It was a little early for the UPS man, but I went downstairs and opened the door. I could have sworn I saw a furry figure vanish into the forest, and when I looked at my feet, I saw a manuscript tied up with string on the door mat. I took it inside and began reading. It turned out to be a “treatment” and screenplay for a very unusual psychological horror story.

In keeping with our practice of never abusing the attention of our gentle readers, I here reproduce the treatment alone. I think it conveys an accurate impression of the script.


Copyright 2012, The Idyll-Beast Research Center. All rights reserved

Opening shots, forested mountain. Birds sing, a creek chatters, squirrels gossip, a coyote saunters warily. A furry biped is carrying a handful of berries and tubers. He approaches a Heidi Beast and a Cub, both intent upon the grinding of acorns. Scenes of domestic tranquility.

Night in the forest. The Beast family sleeps peacefully.

As the Beast sleeps he dreams…

A human face at the mirror, shaving. The man (the Hunter) walks downstairs past mounted antlers and animal heads. He takes a few bites of his breakfast and throws the rest down a noisy garbage disposal. He gets into a truck, starts up its smoke belching engine, and heads for the mountains.

We see the man taking a huge rifle out of its bag and heading up a trail. Soon shots echo through the valley and creatures are falling. The hunter beheads their lifeless bodies and leaves the good parts there to rot.

The Idyll-Beast wakes up in a cold sweat, his pulse racing. He jumps up and realizes it was only a dream…

But then while eating breakfast he hears a rifle shot… or was it only thunder?

The next night he dreams again. He again looks a strange face in the mirror as it emerges from shaving cream. This man (the Truck Driver) goes downstairs and kicks his dog. He treats his mate little better, and twists the ear of his child. He gets into a smoke-belching truck and heads onto the freeway, cursing the other drivers and honking his horn.

The Beast again wakes with a start. His mate is now concerned, and they attempt to comfort one another. At lunch he hears what sounds like the air horn of the truck in his dream. Or was it a bird?

The dreams continue: a doctor performing cruel experiments on monkeys, a farmer keeping pigs on a factory farm, a politician accepting bribes from the owner of a meat-packing consortium, a child who sets ants on fire with a magnifying glass, pulls his cat’s tail and pins butterflies to cards.

Increasingly agitated the Beast seeks solitude in a strange part of the forest., journeying further than he ever has before. He sits down to rest. Suddenly he feels a prick in his shoulder and sees a little colored dart sticking out of his furry flesh. He becomes dizzy and falls to the forest floor. Before he loses consciousness he sees emerging from behind a tree…. The Hunter!

When he regains consciousness he is bound and being carried from the Hunter’s truck to another larger vehicle. At the wheel… the Truck Driver!

They take him to a laboratory where the doctor removes his mask to reveal… the frightened face of …the Experimenter…

Finally the Beast ends up in a cage at a circus side show. A curtain rises and the other monsters from his dreams are crowded around, gawking with open mouths and looks of fear…

False ending. Fade to black.

Then we see the Hunter waking from a dream, shaking and screaming, sweat soaking his night shirt.

The Truck Driver also wakes in the cab of his truck, and notices he has wet his pants.

The Experimenter leaps from his bed, clutching his heart, eyes popping in horror. One after another the monsters waken in fear and trembling as the credits roll.


Film makers interested in optioning the script should contact the Idyll-Beast Research Center. I think it could be a monster.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

That Would Be Scary

This last weekend the Third Annual Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema rolled out the red carpet. Locals and visitors alike sampled a wide range of hits and near misses: Documentaries, mysteries, dramas, comedies, movies about animals eating people... Something for everyone. Indeed, the Saturday night screening of Ben Cooper's "Primitive" drew a familiar furry presence out of the forest and into the Rustic Theater. Bystanders report the Idyll-Beast was there in his official capacity as a member of the Board of Directors of the Idyllwild Chamber of Commerce.

At first seating himself (with a large bucket of "delicious" popcorn) at the rear of the theater, he soon noticed Chamber Mascot Steve Moulton and joined him.

In an interview Steve stated:

The Beast offered me some of his popcorn, but when I tried it I got a mouthful of fur. Those paws of his get fur in everything. The Beast seemed really interested in a film that he had heard was "about eating," but seemed a little disappointed by the film's "stereotypical depiction of fur-covered Americans." After about a half hour he stopped eating his popcorn and never finished. I think he stayed until the end just to be polite. When the lights came up I wasn't sure what to expect. He hemmed and hawed a little bit, complimented the acting and direction, the cinematography and especially the music. "Very professional." Before he left he said something about "just for once they should make a film about an animal that dreams he is a human and does terrible things. That would be scary."