Today is International Rock Flipping Day and I’m participating for the sixth time in this Blog Carnival event.
But the truth is I did not flip a rock.
This year I finally realized that I don’t like to flip rocks. I don’t want to be surprised by what’s underneath and the surprise is increased by having to stand close enough to photograph the critters.
Before this dawned on me I flipped two carefully chosen benign-looking rocks. Predictably, there was nothing but dirt under them. (Whew!) Even so I followed Rock Flipping Protocol and replaced the rocks as I found them.
Then I remembered Mainly Mongoose’s 2010 blog post in which she pondered the hazards of flipping rocks in the lowveld of northeastern South Africa, a location filled with poisonous snakes. Luckily she found a rock monitor (lizard) poised in a rock crevice. No flipping required!
So I switched strategies and photographed the most interesting crevices in the rock walls at Schenley Park. This yielded three spider webs: a many-round-holed web, a hammock, and a funnel. The spiders were quick to hide as I approached.
Hoping for more interesting creatures, I visited the groundhogs’ wall domain but no one was home until this little guy appeared, hidden behind the flowers.
Not as good as a rock monitor but a chipmunk is a nice surprise.
Happy, International Rock Flipping Day. Go out and flip a rock if you dare! Remember to put it back the way you found it.
p.s. Heather Mingo At the Edge of the Ordinary posted links to 2014’s hearty crew of international rock-flippers. Click here for the round-up and links to the flipper results on Flickr and Facebook, too.
(photos by Kate St. John)