International Rock-Flipping Day – Report and Updates

After returning home from our trip to Nova Scotia, I made a little tour of the yard, checking out the vegetable garden and insect activity, but also carefully turned a few rocks in honour of International Rock-Flipping Day. This is my report:

First stop was to take a look beneath one of the rocks around the little frog pond in the front garden (see above – click on all images for a larger view). Most of these rocks are fragments gleaned from road cuts where there has been blasting up on the Shield to the west of our place.

Success at the first rock-flip. Revealed were a pair of small millipedes with a curious ant nearby. I carefully replaced the rock to leave them to their business which looked as though it might be making more millipedes.

The next rock to be flipped was a round boulder that had slid off the low retaining wall around our old raised bed vegetable patch. This rock came from a rock pile in a farmer’s field down the road from our place. The farmer had picked it from the field and we moved it and many others here to build the retaining wall about 20 or so years ago. Attached to this rock, I found a Woolly Bear caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella) that appeared to have recently molted from the smaller husk of a caterpillar just to the right. I thought that was a pretty neat find.

Also found on the earth beneath the same rock was a cocoon which might well be that of a Woolly Bear. I turned a few other rocks in the retaining wall, finding more millipedes, a cricket, a rove beetle, some isopods, and a number of ants.

However, perhaps the most interesting discovery of the day was found beneath an artificial stone block that had fallen off of the hearth in the fire garden while we were on our trip. I picked it up only to reveal several sprouting snow peas seeds that must have been trapped beneath with the stone fell to the ground. Several millipedes and at least one slug had discovered and were feasting on the peas and rotting pea vines. Pretty cool find!

~ * ~

Here’s my first update from other International Rock-Flipping Day participants from around the world:

There’s a rapidly growing assortment of photos and even a poem posted on the Flickr photo pool.

I’ve posted a few photos for others here in my gallery on Pbase.

Blogs with Reports (so far) include:

Windywillow (Ireland)
Heraclitean Fire (London, England)
Sheep Days (Illinois, USA)
Earth, Wind & Water (somewhere in the Caribbean)
Pocahontas County Fare (West Virginia, USA)
chatoyance (Austin, Texas)
Fragments from Floyd (Virginia, USA) – GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Watermark (Montana, USA)
pohanginapete (Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Fate, Felicity, or Fluke (Oregon, USA)
Thomasburg Walks (Ontario, Canada)
Idle Thoughts of an Idle Woman (Queensland, Australia)
The Transplantable Rose (Austin, Texas)
Nature Woman (New York state, USA)
Marja-Leena Rathje (British Columbia, Canada)
Busy Dingbat’s Sphere (West Virginia, USA)
A Blog Around the Clock (North Carolina, USA)
Wander’ Weeta (British Columbia, Canada)
Roundrock Journal (Missouri Ozarks, USA)
Looking Up (Ohio, USA)
Ontario Wanderer (Ontario, Canada)
Bug Safari (California, USA)
Pure Florida (Florida, USA)
Blaugustine (London, England)
Hoarded Ordinaries (New Hampshire, USA)
Congo Days (Kinshasa, Congo)
this too (London, England)
A Honey of an Anklet (Virginia, USA)
Riverside Rambles (Missouri, USA)
Musings from Myopia (Texas, USA)
Joan (Missouri, USA)
Nature Remains (Kentucky, USA)
Prairie Point (north Texas, USA)
Cephalopodcast – VIDEO!

That’s it for now. I’ll add to the list as I receive more links (send along any posts that you would like to see added to this list).


8 Responses to “International Rock-Flipping Day – Report and Updates”

  1. John Says:

    I promised I’d send my link. Compared to all the good ones I see on your blog and Dave’s, mine is appalling…but I promised.

  2. Pamela Says:

    Very nice selection! I found a lot more above rocks than under them, but the event did inspire a good outing.

  3. Cathy Wilson Says:

    Yea! This was fun! I’ll check out the links you’ve provided to see what others have unearthed.

    It’s amazing the way you find such interesting phenomena. That Woolly Bear husk is sweet – little crumpled fur ball.

    I clicked to enlarge the snow pea sprouts. Hope it won’t hurt your feelings when I say “Eeeeewwwwwwwww” . . . It reminded me of that children’s chant: The worms crawl in – the worms crawl out – the worms play Pinochle on your snout . . :0D

    (I know, I know – they’re not worms, but . . . Ewwwwwww)

  4. pohanginapete Says:

    The last four photos make a wonderful sequence, Bev. Generation, growth, and transformation, followed by the recycling of life.

  5. bev Says:

    John – Thanks for sending a link! As Dave mentioned on his blog, not finding anything can also be a useful piece of information. Quite a number of people who flipped rocks reported nothing and tied that to the extreme drought in parts of the US this summer.

    Pamela – I found quite a bit above the rocks too. I read your post and it seems as though you had a very interesting nature hike quite apart from the rock flipping!

    Cathy – It’s okay.. you can say “eeewwwww” about the snow pea sprouts. I must admit that when I first flipped the stone I thought, “Eeek! What the hell are those things!!!” (o:

    Pete – Thanks for pointing that out! I hadn’t even thought of that, but you’re quite right. How neat.

  6. NatureWoman Says:

    These are some very cool finds!!

  7. Kelly Says:

    Aw man… what a neat blog! and super neat on rock flipping day. I’m pretty sad that I didn’t discover this until it was too late… maybe next time?

  8. Cindy Says:

    this fun post is exatly why i’m drawn here like a moth to the light.. and like pete i find it facinating 2 see all groth stages.. cuulnesswill call soon, want 2 hear more re your trip :)

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