Sunday, September 11, 2011

5th Annual International Rock Flipping Day

Today is my first Rock Flipping Day. I've wanted to participate for three years now, but I've always been in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles and it just doesn't work out. But this year, I'm up north with lots and lots of great rocks to flip.

I picked Squalicum Beach for my first rock flip. I figured along the shore there would be lots to see. The first section of the beach is sandy, but as you walk along the shore it turns to pebbles and then larger rocks. There were lots of wave smoothed rocks to choose from. And the presence of seaweed along the tide line made me hopeful.

I picked a medium sized rock at the water line for my flip. I figured critters would like the intertidal zone for a home.

But when I flipped my rock over, here is what I found.

What I found wasn't what I expected, a crushed beer can. I looked carefully but found no evidence of anything moving or tucked in a seaside home. I'm not sure what this says about my bay. It sure looked like good critter territory. Even though I found no visible life, I replaced the rock just in case there was someone down deep waiting for their roof to return.

Would you like to participate? There's still a bit of time left. I learned about Rock Flipping Day from the current organizer, Susannah over at Wanderin' Weeta, but it was started by Dave Bonta and Bev Wigney in 2007. Here's how it goes.

  • On September 11th find your rock(s) to flip.
  • Record what you find.
  • Replace the rock; it's someone's home.
  • Post on your blog, or load photos to the Flickr group.
  • E-mail Susannah a link or comment on any IRFD post.
  • If you're on Twitter, the hashtag is #rockflip.
It's flipping fun! - Margy


  1. At least the beer can was crushed. Otherwise, they're lethal to small critters. They take shelter inside, then eventually get stranded and exposed to the sun, where they function as ovens, baking all the life (usually worms) inside.

    You probably would have found a few worms in the ground underneath the can.

    Glad you got to a beach this year!

  2. Oh, and I imagined it would be like rock-skipping, which I can no longer do, but rock-flipping looks like a wonderful photographical exercise. If I'm ever home at the coast on Sept. 11, an easy date to remember, I'll go to the beach to flip a goodly rock. You were right about the seaweed, it should have been a clue, but it turned out to be a clueless (person who left the beer can).
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. Well that's a new one on me and like Kay I thought it was going to be a competition somewhere! I will have a look to see if I can find any rocks and have a go, even though I am a day late x

  4. Susannah - Glad reburying the can wasn't a bad thing. I can see what you mean about it becoming an oven. Guess I should have explored deeper, but I didn't want to disturb things unknown.

    Kay - Check out Susannah Wanderin' Weeta blog tomorrow to check out some of the others. I think people flip rocks in all types of terrain, even like yours.

    Fran - Go for it. I am sure Susannah will add you along with the teachers doing it on Monday with their students.


  5. Fran, as Margy says, go for it; I'll be adding posts to the list all day tomorrow, at least.

  6. Oh, gosh, I missed it. I love flipping rocks! Last time I found a salamander!


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy