Sunday, September 20, 2009

The early bird gets the worm: IRFD 2009 - 1

... or snails. Or maybe a spider or two.

Leftover shells from bird breakfast. Not under a rock.

Rock Flipping Day 2009 is underway! Posts and photos are coming in, a few as early as Saturday morning, and we've got a great line-up of flippers waiting in the wings.

And there are prizes! Even not completely imaginary prizes! Cephalopodcast, the creator of the original IRFD badge, has made a Junior Award badge; if some of your crew of RockFlippers are under 7 or thereabouts, add this badge to your post. (It might be a good idea to print out copies for each kid, to stick on the fridge or hang on the door ...)

Junior Rock-Flipper Award
Badge, by, under a Creative Commons license. Original, and other sizes, in Flickr IRFD pool.

And now, without more ado, let the show begin!

First up, in the early bird category:
  • From The Natural Capital, hailing from Washington, DC, a grand collection of critters, including a video of frantic ants, with birdsong.
  • Bill Murphy, blogging in Fertanish Chatter, (NY) found an interesting greenish spider with grey socks.
  • Sadly, Pablo from Roundrock Journal, flipped his rock and found nothing at home; just an open front door. I wonder what's living down there?
  • I was out early, too, flipping the landscaping.
  • Julie and her family, Just Playin' Around, flipped paving stones and discovered what they've been walking on. The kids are 2 1/2 and 5; don't forget to add their award to your post, Julie!
  • The Science Goddess, in western Washington, discovers that "the rock is providing habitat services for any number of organisms. I will now have to stop thinking of it as an eyesore by the road." She writes about it in What It's like on the Inside.
  • Kris Abel, CTV's tech expert, checked out a rockbed in the Toronto Music Garden, and found low-tech, silent residents. His photos are also in the Flickr pool.
  • The latest (as of noon today) photos in the pool are by BugLady, of Bug Safari. She is not thrilled with her finds, but I like her spider. I guess what you see every day becomes old hat after a while.
  • Sofia_Alexandra, in Sweden, found ants and loaded them to Twitter. #rockflip The cat doesn't say what he found.
  • Ted Simpkins added photos of a redback salamander to the pool.
  • Roberta, of Growing with Science, found a change in the under-rock habitat after a dry summer in the Sonoran Desert.
  • At Chicken Spaghetti, Susan finds an earthworm and gives us some handy book titles to go along with it.
  • Laura, at Natural Notes, says her photos are Not Much to Look At. On second thoughts, however, they are "kind of neat in their own way."
  • Elizabeth, blogging at Yips and Howls, looks at piles of Oregon basalt, and finds "small critter turds".
  • Hugh, of Rock, Paper, Lizard, makes a determined search through Rip-rap & rubble. He is finally rewarded with a well-camouflaged spider.
  • Nothing. Sort of, says Kate, after flipping rocks in two counties. The dry weather worked to her advantage, though.
  • Andrea, the Dog Geek, found slugs. And more slugs. No dry weather for her!
  • Glass snails from the garden, in Dave Ingram's Natural History Blog.
  • Dave Bonta, at via negativa, weighs in with videoetry: Advice for Prospective Troglodytes.
  • Sarah (at Unplug Your Kids) and her family explored the woods, looking for perfect rocks. She describes the ones they found as, "quite beautiful, volcanic, and full of holes."
  • Ange, from Quebec, added a photo to the Flickr group; are these egg masses? If so, what laid them there?
  • ORCA: Observar, Recordar, Crecer y Aprender, blogging from Barcelona, Spain, found "escarabajos y hormigas,"* and, I think, some springtails. (*That's "beetles and ants".)
  • Will Rees, in North Carolina, goes out herping/'shrooming/rock-flipping. Among his finds; a cottonmouth and other snakes. He also has a valuable tip for anyone hiking in snake country.
  • And here's Seabrooke, at The Marvelous in Nature, with some good info about ants. (She found several species.) And how to tell a centipede from a millipede.
  • From Aotearoa, New Zealand, Pohangina Pete sends the story of a walk in search of rocks (in a drowned totara forest). The garden turned out to be a better bet.
  • MrsJurus, from Centerville, OH, added photos to the Flickr pool The evidence shows she was accompanied by at least one kid.
  • Ontario Wanderer found "a worm in the worm" in one of his flower gardens.
  • Candeiasleal added a woodbug from northern Ontario to the Flickr pool.
  • A couple of toddlers, with Bare Baby Feet, discovered the Ant Queen of Okemos, Michigan, big, red-and-black, and beautiful.
  • And the Pickle family turned up a Spiderman disk and a nickel. That's besides the earthworms and a cool slug.
  • Crickets and a handful of worm. At Crazy Maize World.
  • Dr. Omed broke all the rules. But his beetles are worth looking at, so we'll forgive him. This time.
Late entries:
As the rest of the posts come in, I will update the list. Refresh this page occasionally to see what's new. And don't forget to check the Flickr pool, as well.



  1. We flipped our rocks last night. This was our first year and it was fun! I've put up a post on my blog about it:

  2. I just flipped! Come on over and answer the question Have You Flipped A Rock Today?

  3. Hey sounds cool, i went out today and found lots of cool stuff. I couldn't access your email for some reason but i've posted my findings of snakes spiders, fungi and more on my blog Thanks Willy

  4. Got it, Will. I don't know what went wrong with my e-mail. I've posted your link to the list.

  5. Thanks again for organizing the responses to the event. I rarely need motivation to go out and snap pictures of nature, but it was especially fun to know I was in good company.


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