International Rock-Flipping Day

Have you ever had an irresistible urge to carefully pick up a rock to see what’s beneath? Do you ever yearn to unearth a colony of ants? Or perhaps a ground beetle or a spider? Maybe you’d like to find a worm, or perhaps a tiny snake. Or a millipede, or an isopod or two. One way or another, you know you’re sure to strike paydirt and unearth some hidden treasure.

What, you’ve never done this before?! Well, here’s your big chance!

Earlier this week, Dave from Via Negativa contacted me regarding the idea of launching an International Rock-Flipping Day. This was in response to his earlier post We Rock, following which Fred Garber commented:

How about an event where all of your readers turn over a rock at the same time on a certain date and take photos or write descriptions of what they see? If you don’t have a rock, you can look in the fridge in some forgotton bowl and see what is in there.

Dave suggested September 2nd as the date of the first International Rock-Flipping Day. It seemed like a great idea, so after a bit of back and forth discussion, the plan took flight.

On September 2 (or as close to that date as possible), the plan is for interested parties to head out into your back yards, or wherever you like, and carefully turn a rock or two, or maybe a dozen (don’t forget to carefully replace them after observing what lies beneath).

After you’ve unearthed your treasure, you’ll sketch or photograph, or write whatever you like about what you see — could be a poem, an essay, or some field notes. Next you either post the photos or writings to your blog — OR, if you don’t have a blog, never fear, there will be other ways to participate. Anticipating that bloggers and non-bloggers alike might want to share photos or artwork, Dave has already set up a gallery on Flickr for posting images. As well, for those who don’t feel like navigating through Flickr, you can email your images to me, along with whatever caption you like, and the name you would like your image attributed under, and I’ll set up a special gallery for this event in my online galleries on Pbase. All bloggers are encouraged to post links to these galleries and to each other. As Dave has described:

We want to try and keep this as decentralized as possible. Everyone who blogs about it can link to everyone else at the bottom of their post, or in a subsequent post if they prefer. I’m willing to act as coordinator and send out a list of links that evening or the next morning, with all the HTML tags in place for people to copy and paste. Send your links to me as soon as you post: bontasaurus (at) yahoo (dot) com, with “Rock Flipping” in the subject line.

If you’d like to read more on the event, check out Dave’s latest post at Via Negativa. I’ll be posting another reminder or two closer to the event, but start planning and bloggers are encouraged to pass this message along.

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