The 2nd International Rock-Flipping Day

Yesterday was International Rock-Flipping Day. In my recent trips to Roundrock, I’ve been flipping (and replacing) rocks everywhere I’ve been to see what I might find. I even went back to my lucky rock from last year wondering if I might uncover the same resident. (I didn’t.) But I did find the fellow you see above at a very different site.

I flipped this rock near the overflow outlet drain below the dam. #1 Son and I were gathering rocks to throw into the bottomless pit of water that has formed just below the drain pipe and I yanked up the rock above. It gave way with a slurping sound, and below it was coiled the small snake you see.

The snake was annoyed at my rude intrusion and quickly slipped into the tall grass nearby. In the moments I had to try to identify the snake (and you’re seeing the critter’s belly in this photo), I managed to see the characteristic band of yellow behind its head suggesting to me it’s a ringneck snake. (Ringnecks are also known for their yellow or orange bellies.)

I’d found one of these at the other end of my woods where it is much drier, but that was on a visit after it had been raining for days and the water was flowing. It turns out, ringneck snakes prefer moist woodlands, so both sightings have made sense.

For a collection of links to this year’s many Rock-Flipping posts (including, yes, an Elvis sighting), go to Dave’s blog here. And you can see lots of great photos of the things that lurk in the dark under rocks at the Flickr site here.

Missouri calendar:

  • Caspian terns migrate in flocks across Missouri, feed in wetlands.

Today in Missouri history:

  • Manual Lisa, fur trader, explorer, fortune hunter, government agent, and backwoods aristocrat, who based his empire in Missouri, was born on this date in 1772.
  • Cardinal Mark McGwire hits his record-breaking sixty-second home run at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in 1998.

15 Responses to “The 2nd International Rock-Flipping Day”

  1. Ed Abbey Says:

    Wasn’t there supposed to be an asterick behind the Mark McGwire statistic?

  2. Deborah Godin Says:

    You flipped a snake! How cool is THAT! A very nice-looking snake, I might add. And yeah, at the risk of having a rock flipped at me, I’d * McGuire too.

  3. Dog-geek Says:

    Great find – I’m so jealous! I was so hoping for a cool reptile or amphibian, but mostly what I got was ants.

  4. Jen Says:

    You sure strike gold when flipping those rocks. Beautiful!

  5. robin andrea Says:

    That’s a beauty, pablo. Quite a lovely find.

  6. Beau Says:

    Nice one… If spreading gravel counts for rock flipping then I flipped a bunch! 🙂

  7. FC Says:

    I was trying to think of a flip remark, but failed.

  8. Carolyn Hoffman Says:

    Pablo, It’s a lovely snake, and very, very cool. It does not look like the ring neck snakes I have up here, though. My ringneck snakes are dark above, with a red ring around their necks. The belly is pale whitish. Your snake is a beauty. Perhaps there are more than one kind of ringneck snakes.

    Carolyn H.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Hi, pablo. Your snake reminds me of the Prairie Ring-necked Snakes I see here in Eastern MO. Nice post!

  10. Larry Ayers Says:

    Oops, I posted anonymously! The preceding comment was from Larry in Hannibal.

  11. ...tom... Says:

    If McGwire deserves an asterisk than what does that criminal Bonds deserve..?? Nah, no asterisk.

    Hey, definitely the best ‘find’ I have seen documented yet.

    Very nicely done.


  12. Dave Says:

    Nice work. I’d say you had one of the better “flips” that I’ve seen! 🙂

  13. Dick Says:

    Its really fun looking at all of the flipped rocks. It’s my first Year flipping and it is going to become an annual event for me. Liked you snake!

  14. Roundrock Journal » Blog Archive » 3rd International Rock Flipping Day Says:

    […] flipped, but I did not find. I was fairly successful last year and the year before with International Rock Flipping Day, actually finding something under the […]

  15. Rock-Flipping Day 2008 | Via Negativa Says:

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