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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14 Responses to “International Rock-Flipping Day”

  1. robin andrea Says:

    We like to flip rocks at low tide. Wonderful little sealife scatter in all directions. It’ll be fun to have a “purpose.”

  2. DougT Says:

    Sounds like fun. I should be way up in the high Sierra on that day. I’ll try to remember to do it from there, though it may take me a while to post it. We do a lot of flipping on my annual Arizona trip- but the real action there is under cowpies.

  3. Vasha Says:

    Truly, an excellent idea. I don’t have a blog, and my camera is not in working order, so I’ll send you a prose account.

  4. Cathy Says:

    Oh! This is too cool! Now I’ve got to find some rocks. We’re pretty sandy up here in Northwest Ohio – Hmmmm . . . .I may have to turn over our year old patio stones while my hubby isn’t watching.

  5. neil Says:

    I am so deeply and totally on board. The problem is going to find a rock I haven’t flipped recently to keep things exciting. Also to keep myself from not flipping it before the prescribed hour….

  6. Susannah Says:

    Great idea!

    I’m always flipping rocks, but I’ll save a few extra promising ones for the 2nd.

  7. threecollie Says:

    What a delightful idea! Flipping rocks is like treasure hunting…never know what you’ll find, but always worth the look. The kids used to love an old board that lays up in the cow pasture because there was nearly always a toad or two under it. They delighted in going along when we went for the cows so they could check it.

  8. bev Says:

    robin – turning rocks at low tide is one of my favourites too. That’s where I often find incredibly cute tiny crabs.

    Doug – All the better if you are turning a couple of rocks far from home, especially in such a terrific part of the continent.

    Vasha – Please do! I think some written reports would make a wonderful addition to the visual stuff.

    Cathy – Patio stones will do just fine if there are no rocks handy. Small creatures don’t really differentiate much between the two.

    neil – That will be my “problem” too! (-:

    Susannah – Nice to see that we have some kindred spirits in this event!

    threecollie – Yes, interesting how a certain old board becomes a dependable place to find a snake or other creature.

  9. Dave Says:

    What a “strangely cool” idea…lol!

  10. NatureWoman Says:

    What a cool idea,Ruth! I’ll be hiking on Sept 2nd, so that will be the perfect time for me to flip a rock or two!

  11. NatureWoman Says:

    I’m sorry Bev! It’s too early in the morning for me to be commenting! I thought I was on Ruth’s blog!

  12. Antblogger Says:

    Great idea! All Germany will flip stones – seven hours earlier!

  13. Wayne Says:

    Sounds like a great idea. I’m looking forward to flipping a rock that will undoubtedly cover a den of rattlesnakes or copperheads cooling off from the heat.

    Gotta be quick with the camera, then.

  14. Mary Says:

    I have plenty of rocks (very dry underneath) but I’ll be out there flipping on September 2nd! Great idea! Thanks!