Friday, August 24, 2012

Rock Flipping Day coming up!

Yikes! Or, "Bloody 'ell!" as Laurie would say. I just realized that next month, only a few days away, is September. And I had forgotten all about Rock Flipping Day! I repeat; bloody 'ell!

I have been seriously remiss; I had planned to announce it early, and possibly find someone else to help with it. But life has been too varied, and my attention was elsewhere. Sorry, everyone.

Let's make it for the second Sunday in September, like last year. That will be the 9th of September. Mark your calendars, and please, pass the word along. (If you're a teacher doing this with your class, the Friday or Monday is fine.)

And because it's late, and I've had an exhausting day already, I'll just cut and paste the instructions from last year:


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 9th, 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. (Or copy it from this post.)
Important Safety Precautions:

A 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?)
  • 2011 (We Haz Critters)

1 comment:

  1. hi Susannah,
    Just to let you know I am promoting Rock Flipping day in my homeschool newsletter again this year.
    I see that you were looking for someone to host this year. Would you like me to do next year for you? I am not good on Twitter, but I run a homeschooled kids blog carnival so I think I know what would be involved.
    best wishes, Julie.


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