Rock-Flipping Day 2008

International Rock-Flipping Day, September 2, 2007
It’s International Rock-Flipping Day! If you haven’t flipped yet, please review the guidelines. Be sure to replace all flipped rocks, and do so as carefully as possible: if rocks aren’t returned to their exact footprint, some of the creatures underneath them may be crushed. We also advise wearing gloves as protection against poisonous snakes, spiders, and scorpions, if that’s a concern in your area.

If you don’t have a blog (and even if you do), you can upload photos to Flickr (it’s free to join) and post them to the IRFD group there. I will also be glad to post photos and other material here for anyone who’d rather not bother with Flickr. (My co-conspirator Bev Wigney has been forced by circumstances beyond her control to step back from heavy involvement in the festivities this year.)

I will post about my own rock-flipping activities later today or tomorrow, but I will continue to add links at the bottom of this post to all the IRFD-related posts I can find — I’ll republish it multiple times a day for the next several days as more stuff comes in. And just like last year, we encourage everyone who blogs about Rock-Flipping Day to link to everyone else, as well. Let’s keep things as decentralized as possible, read and comment on each other’s posts, and share the link-love. If you email me with a link (bontasaurus [at] yahoo [dot] com, or use the Contact form on this site), I will include you in the list of folks to email daily for the next three days with all the links I can find. Alternately, you can simply plan on bookmarking and revisiting this post and copying and pasting from here; scroll down for the complete list.

Also, as I noted in this year’s guidelines, we’d like to award two prizes, one to whomever documents the greatest biodiversity under a single rock, and the other to whomever appears to have the most genuine epiphany as a result of flipping rocks. Bev and I haven’t had a chance to discuss how we will choose the winners, but it seems to me that the latter prizewinner in particular could be decided by popular acclamation. Leave comments here or email me with your nominations in one or both categories.

Here’s something you can sing while you’re out peering under rocks, from a Via Negativa reader and regular commenter who is tragically blogless.

The Rock-Flipper Song
by Joan Ryan

(with apologies to Fiddler on the Roof’s “Matchmaker”)

Rock-flipper, rock-flipper, flip me a rock.
Please do not knock
This game as “schlock.”
Rock flipper, rock flipper, look in the yard
And find me the perfect rock.

Rock flipping’s fun-dipping under a stone
Not far from home.
Hey, do not moan!
Day tripping, rock flipping yields so much fun
And even when you’re alone.


Our Johnny
Hopes for a lizard

Our Benny
Looks for some worms

Our Sara,
Just found a beetle

All kids like
Something that squirms.

Rock flipper, rock flipper
Find me a cache.
Careful! Don’t mash
Some of your stash.
Rock flipper, deep dipper
Into the loam,
Please find me a pet of my own.

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Anticipatory posts (a selection)

Marcia Bonta — Rock-Flipping (summary of IRFD 2007)
fish without faces — the tanager and the scorpion (poem)
Fragments from Floyd — Today is Rock Flipping Day: Get Out There!
Going Like Sixty — International Rock Flipping Day: the First Sunday in September

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Rock-Flipping Day Reports

Pohanginapete (Pohangina Valley, Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Blaugustine (London, England)
Nature Remains (Ohio, USA)
Pensacola Daily Photo (Florida, USA)
KatDoc’s World (Ohio, USA)
Notes from the Cloud Messenger (Ontario, Canada)
Brittle Road (Dallas, Texas)
Sherry Chandler (Kentucky, USA)
osage + orange (Illinois, USA)
Rock Paper Lizard (British Columbia, Canada)
The Crafty H (Virginia, USA)
Chicken Spaghetti (Connecticut, USA)
A Passion for Nature (New York, USA)
The Dog Geek (Virginia, USA)
Blue Ridge blog (North Carolina, USA)
Bug Girl’s Blog (Michigan, USA)
chatoyance (Austin, Texas)
Riverside Rambles (Missouri, USA)
Pines Above Snow(Maryland, USA)
Beth’s stories (Maine, USA)
A Honey of an Anklet (Virginia, USA)
Wanderin’ Weeta (British Columbia, Canada)
Fate, Felicity, or Fluke (Oregon, USA)
The Northwest Nature Nut (Oregon, USA)
Roundrock Journal (Missouri, USA)
The New Dharma Bums (California, USA)
The Marvelous in Nature (Ontario, Canada)
Via Negativa (Pennsylvania, USA)
Mrs. Gray’s class, Beatty-Warren Middle School (Pennsylvania, USA)
Cicero Sings (British Columbia, Canada)
Pocahontas County Fair (West Virginia, USA)
Let’s Paint Nature (Illinois, USA)
Sleeping in the Heartland (Midwestern U.S.)
Three Oaks (Ohio, USA)

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IRFD group on Flickr
IRFD gallery on Via Negativa