International Rock Flipping Day

Rock Flipping EnvironsI asked my whole family to go with me… well, except Emily who is out of the country…  All the humans declined.  Only Lolli agreed to go.  It wasn’t raining THAT hard… Oh well, more fun for me.

I picked the creek at Bergman Park because it was close by and because there are always salamanders in it, even when it is dry.



Honestly, every 5th rock turned up a salamander.






I’m pretty sure there were at least four or five different kinds of salamanders.  I’ll leave it to the herp nerds to tell me what they are…

UPDATE 9/8/08:  Oops… Only two different kinds.  Sarah the herp nerd tells me that all of these are Dusky Salamanders, except the last one, which is a Two-lined Salamander.  Thanks Sarah!

There were lots of many-legged creatures, too, some who could twist and turn like a pretzel.



Many-legged Fellow

There were plenty of bugs, too… beetles and crickets and such that were too fast to photograph.  I also liked finding hidden homes, including one that was recently excavated.

Newly Excavated Hole

Another hidden hole

It was also nice just to see colored leaves or fossils. 

Fall - I mean Late Summer - leaves


I think International Rock Flipping Day is my new favorite holiday.

Compliments of Dave Bonta:

Rock-Flipping Day Reports

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17 thoughts on “International Rock Flipping Day

  1. I love the fossils. We used to collect many near gravel pits in Toronto as children. I have yet to see a salamander. Maybe I will get brave a turn a few rocks.

  2. Pingback: Rock-Flipping Day 2008 « Via Negativa

  3. Here’s an email I received from a reader:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for awhile now, but never commented or emailed before. I live in NE Pennsylvania, and go for a walk with my camera almost everyday thru our meadows and woods. Today it was fun to concentrate on looking down, instead of up! I can usually identify the birds and animals I see, but the creatures under the rocks I’m not too familiar with, I found out! We have a lot of Red Efts… one day after a rain I decided to count how many I saw on my path – 27! I decided to send you a photo from the area under the largest rock I flipped. The first shot shows the whole area and the second is a close up of the slug and some kind of salamander? I saw one other like this under another rock as well. (Another thing we do have a lot of here is rocks!) I would like to know more about it, if you know. It will be interesting to see what other people saw under their rocks! Oh, and I was careful to put my rocks back.
    Nancy Van Cott

    I’ll put her pictures on my Flickr site with mine:

    Rock Flipping Environs
  4. Pingback: Sherry Chandler

  5. Ha! No, I’d never heard of IRFD. But nearly every day is for me. Can’t resist looking under things for minibeasts.

    I wondered if you knew about the fossils – was that the leaf of Gingko biloba? Or am I on totally the wrong track? Maybe shellfish! Really enjoyed your article here, thank you for such an enjoyable bit of blog.
    = = = = = =

    Please note – I’m looking for writers, like yourself, who might like to occasionally post at my Natureheads blog, with articles like this. Not that I’m looking to get the credit for your writing! Just that I like the idea of the blog growing into a place where people share their passion for the natural world.

    On WordPress you can be an ‘author’ on various blogs. You could even ‘copy and paste’ your work to make it easy, and of course each time, you can link back to your blog.

    Anyway, take a quick search for the ‘Natureheads blog’ and let me know if you’re interested.

    All the best – Jason.

  6. Jennifer- Might it be possible that you got northern duskies and mountain duskies? We have the mountains in extreme NE Ohio and I bet you have them up your way too. They have round tails and chevron patterns on their backs.


  7. I was completely engrossed, marveling over all the critters, and then you had to be so lucky as to find a fossil. My fossil envy is spirally completely out of control. I’ll go lay down for a while and try to think good thoughts. }:(
    I’m back and it looks like it was a great experience. I have a spot all picked out for next year that is on a body of water and should yield more varied critters. I’ll try not to peek ahead of time.

  8. Pingback: Rock Flipping Day at Horsetail « Let’s Paint Nature!

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