International Rock Flipping Day dawned pleasant and sunny after yesterday's Hanna-induced monsoons. It was low tide when we arrived at the beach, on the Long Island Sound. Low tide leaves a lot uncovered—perfect conditions for flipping.
Under one of the first rocks we turned over were some small Asian shore crabs. In addition to being quite invasive in the Sound, they're very fast and hard (for me) to photograph. So, my assistant courageously volunteered to hold one while I snapped away. (Click on any photo to enlarge it.)
The assistant then found a whopper of a clam, and within a few seconds figured out how to make the clam squirt his mom. The next creature of interest was this mussel (left), which had been minding its own business in the water, under a stone. There are lots of mussels in the intertidal zone.
I like an old Audubon Society field guide, Atlantic & Gulf Coasts, for identifying what we see at the beach, but could use an updated one. Covering seashore life from plants to whales, the edition I have does not, alas, mention the shore crabs. Children may want to look at the color photographs in the book; otherwise, it's geared for grown-ups. For the kiddos, the DK Eyewitness title Seashore is informative, and Jim Arnosky's nonfiction picture book Beachcombing comes recommended by my friends over at the blog Literate Lives.
An excellent book (for adults) about the Sound is Margins: A Naturalist Meets Long Island Sound, by Mary Parker Buckles; not a guide book, it's more essay-ish in form.
Via Negativa is compiling a list of all the participants in today's rock-flipping festivities. I will add links here over the next couple of days, too. Keep reading after the jump for the roster so far.
Pohanginapete (Pohangina Valley, Aotearoa/New Zealand)
Blaugustine (London, England)
Nature Remains (Ohio, USA)
Pensacola Daily Photo (Florida, USA)
KatDoc’s World (Ohio, USA)
Notes from the Cloud Messenger (Ontario, Canada)
Brittle Road (Texas [?])
Sherry Chandler (Kentucky, USA)
osage + orange (Illinois, USA)
Rock Paper Lizard (British Columbia, Canada)
The Crafty H (Virginia, USA)
A Passion for Nature (New York, USA)
The Dog Geek (Virginia, USA)
Blue Ridge blog (North Carolina, USA)
Bug Girl’s Blog (Michigan, USA)
chatoyance (Austin, Texas)
Riverside Rambles (Missouri, USA)
Pines Above Snow(Maryland, USA)
Beth’s stories (Maine, USA)
A Honey of an Anklet (Virginia, USA)
Wanderin’ Weeta (British Columbia, Canada)
Fate, Felicity, or Fluke (Oregon, USA)
The Northwest Nature Nut (Oregon, USA)
Roundrock Journal (Missouri, USA)
The New Dharma Bums (California, USA)
The Marvelous in Nature (Ontario, Canada)
Via Negativa (Pennsylvania, USA)
Mrs. Gray’s class, Beatty-Warren Middle School (Pennsylvania, USA)
Cicero Sings (British Columbia, Canada)
Pocahontas County Fare (West Virginia, USA)
Let’s Paint Nature (Illinois, USA)