Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I discover a hoax. And some eggs.

It's been a busy weekend, what with company and making the list of Rock Flippers, (What fun I've been having! And I've met so many new - to me - great bloggers!) but I'm finally getting around to posting my own IRFD report, in two parts.

I stayed close to home all weekend, dashing out every time I took a break to see if I could find a good rock. My first forays were a bust; interesting wildlife, lousy photos. Saturday afternoon, though, I noticed a rock beside our street, a big rock I had passed hundreds of times without ever looking at it. It was far too big to even consider tipping over, but I was getting desperate.

Big, chunky, fake rock.

Then I noticed that white edge. It looked like a coating of barnacles, but here? I went closer and touched the rock. It was just painted styrofoam. How had I missed that before?

A nudge with a couple of fingers, and over it went. And look what I found!

They must be eggs, but what laid them, I don't know. I can see something inside, looking mostly like a bubble of air.

This blurry photo gives an idea of the size; that's a fat earthworm. The whitish thing on the right is a dead woodbug. I'm wondering whether it is warmer under the fake rock than it would be under a real one; I'll have to monitor it over the winter.

A few hours later, I was out again. I crossed the street to our productive vacant lot.

Big slabs of debris from building sites, now almost hidden by the weeds. Too big for me.

Smaller chunks. I could handle these.

Here, I found the ever-present woodbugs, slugs, and earthworms. And the spiders that feast on the woodbugs.

Dead weed stalks make great camouflage for a leggy spider.

Funnel-web spider with packed lunch; a beetle wrap.

And I began and ended with the next generation. These were cocoons containing ant larvae. The adults were frantically collecting them and hauling them down cracks.

All in all, a good haul. And Sunday's flipping yet to come; that will be next post.



  1. Glad you had a Good flippin day!
    Lots of flippers out there..
    nice finds under your hoax and real rocks!

  2. Those translucent globes look like snail or slug eggs. Thx for organizing the whole flippin' day! Alas, I was out of town and had forgotten.

  3. Thanks, Tim. I looked at photos of both snail and slug eggs, and looked over the ones under the "rock" again. I can't tell which they are, but I will monitor them to see what shows up.


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