I'm sure it isn't on your list of major holidays, but to me, International Rock Flipping Day is the perfect excuse to don my water shoes, tripod and circular polarizer, and head to Valle Crucis park to turn over rocks on the edge of the Watauga River just to see what I could see. What the heck. The holiday is relatively new, starting only last year with this blog post on Via Negativa.
I sloshed through the waters looking for rocks which slurped up to where land meets liquid. I noticed oddles of waterbugs, minnows and honeybees enjoying calm little puddles. I did not flip too many rocks because I really didn't want to disturb too much of the life underneath. But I didn't feel bad at all about messing with the numerous snails I saw. I can not seem to identify them, but there were tons of the mothers. I've heard rumors of bad snails occupying the Watauga, but have no way of knowing if these are the bad guys or not and would appreciate any help. The little dude in the top photo is the largest. Don't know what that orange glob in the bottom photo is. It is underwater.
This final photo is one of my four-pronged ginseng babies. I gathered the ripe berries to stratify and replant at later times. The bright red berries attract the attention of poachers this time of year and after several years of unwanted wild crafters wondering our woodlands, I'm learning to get ahead of 'em. Additionally, I shared my knowledge with a young friend and gave her berries and pointers on how to spread the ginseng love 'round the area.