Saturday, September 03, 2011

Rock Flipping Day coming up!

Where have the years gone? Here we are in 2011, and the great International Rock Flipping Day (IRFD) is going into its 5th year! Five years, hundreds of rocks turned, thousands of lives discovered underneath them! Wow!

'nuff exclamation points: here's the important stuff; the when and how and where to link.

International Rock Flipping Day, September 11, 2011

Rock Flipping Day was started by Dave Bonta and Bev Wigney in 2007. The idea is simple; in Dave's words,
we pick a day for everybody to go outside — go as far as you have to — and flip over a rock (or two, or three). We could bring our cameras and take photos, film, sketch, paint, or write descriptions of whatever we find. It could be fun for the whole family!
37 bloggers joined in that first September.
On 9/2/2007, people flipped rocks on four continents on sites ranging from mountaintops to urban centers to the floors of shallow seas. Rock-flippers found frogs, snakes, and invertebrates of every description, as well as fossils and other cool stuff.

If you're joining in for the first time, here's a quick rundown of the procedure.
  • On or about September 11th, find your rock or rocks and flip it/them over.
  • Record what you find. "Any and all forms of documentation are welcome: still photos, video, sketches, prose, or poetry."
  • Replace the rock as you found it; it's someone's home.
  • Post on your blog, or load your photos to the Flickr group. (Even if you don't have a blog, you can join.)
  • Send me a link. Or you can add a comment to any IRFD post.
  • I will collect the links, e-mail participants the list, and post it for any and all to copy to your own blogs. (If you're on Twitter, Tweet it, too; the hashtag is #rockflip.)
  • There is a handy badge available for your blog, here.

Important Safety Precautions:
caution from Dave:

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!

About Respect and Consideration:
The animals we find under rocks are at home; they rest there, sleep there, raise their families there. Then we come along and take off the roof, so please remember to replace it carefully. Try not to squish the residents; move them aside if they're big enough; they'll run back as soon as their rock is back in place.

Previous Rock Flipping Days:
2007 (In the halls of the mountain millipede)
2008 (IRFD #2)
2009 (The early bird gets the worm.)
2010 (Mongoose Poop?)

As you can see, we've been having fun! I'm excited about this year's finds! (There I go with the exclamation points again; I do love IRFD!)

Thinking of rocks. These would have been great. Unfortunately, they're in Sumggler's Cove, and we're not.


  1. I will be down in Portland but I am sure I can find an interesting rock to flip somewhere along the road home.

    I am passing this to a friend. She has two sones and this is right up her alley.

  2. Plethodon of the north woods stand by for some daylight (some logs may be flipped as well)

  3. We will do this too on Sunday! We have a few rocks along this coast to flip! Thanks Upupaepops for this lead!

  4. I'm sorry I missed it! I usually find salamanders when I flip tree logs, though!
    Cheers from Cottage Country!


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