Rock-Flipping Day update

International Rock-Flipping Day, September 2, 2007

Badge designed by Jason Robertshaw of Cephalopodcast and free for use in association with IRFD events. Alternate design here. Thanks, Jason!

Word about International Rock-Flipping Day has been spreading steadily across the internets, and it looks as if a fair number of people will be taking to the woods and fields and shores to flip rocks tomorrow.

One thing I forgot to do in the initial post is to caution people about flipping rocks in poisonous snake or scorpion habitat. In that case, I’d suggest wearing gloves and/or using a pry bar — or simply finding somewhere else to do your flipping. Please do not disturb any known rattlesnake shelters if you don’t plan on replacing the rocks exactly as you found them. Timber rattlesnakes, like many other adult herps, are very site-loyal, and can die if their homes are destroyed. Also, don’t play with spiders. If you disturb an adjacent hornet nest (hey, it’s possible), run like hell. But be sure to have someone standing by to get it all on film!


I learned about a slightly more respectable rock-related activity on the radio this week: stone-skipping (that’s “ducks and drakes” for you Brits). The Penn State-supported NPR station WPSU has an occasional feature called “Sports That Are Not Football,” and this week, producer Cynthia Berger travelled to Franklin, Pennsylvania for the Rock in the River Festival.

Listen to the podcast.


  1. So what do we do if we live in a flood plain which is silt no rocks? Bike till we get out of the silt??


  2. Yep.

    Folks like my brother Mark, who lives in the middle of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, might be SOL.


  3. Stone-skipping; spent many hours doing that by the seaside or any decent river with a bit of a shallow beach beside it. Now rock-flipping… that sounds a bit mad!


  4. I love to skip rocks, too, but I’d never considered trying to turn it into a spectator sport. With rock-flipping, the only competitors are the critters underneath, trying to see how quickly they can get away from you!


  5. yes, i’m way late, as in everything, and i totally missed he flipping day. but i must respond to “don’t play with spiders”.

    i won’t argue long and hard, just point out that spiders are your friends and many of them enjoy a little playtime, or just quiet contemplative socialization. if they’re not interested they’ll usually let you know, by rejecting your attentions.


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