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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Two Posts with One Stone

What could be more appropriate for Labor Day weekend than a Labor-saving post which takes in both Garden Bloggers' Muse Day and the new International Rock Flipping Day? These are rhyming lyrics rather than poetry - vaguely following the tune of 'Yankee Doodle' - so hum it as you read


Philo and I went in the yard
With cam-er-a on Sunday;
We planned to take some photos
for another blogger fun-day.

Flipping rocks and flipping stones,
Whatcha think we found there?
It can be a big surprise
What's living in the ground there!

An earwig wasn't a surprise,
Nor were the ants and ant eggs.
My camera is not that good
Plus they climb up your pant legs.

Flipping rocks and snapping pix,
makes a gard'ner take stock
Of what's living in the garden
Under every big rock.

I was glad to see two toads in
Borders where I putter.
But this cutworm didn't live
once I had clicked the shutter.

Flipping rocks and flipping stones
Whatcha think we found there?
It can be a big surprise
What's living in the ground there!

Next we found two slimy things-
Striped and in a co-il.
Howard Garrett recommends
A dollop of orange o-il.

Flipping rocks and snapping pix
makes a gard'ner take stock
Of what's living in the garden
Under every big rock;

They were flatworms and I read
That earthworms are their pre-ey
This worm may be grate-ful
That we joined rock flipping day!

Flipping rocks and looking under
Tryin' to get a good peek.
Running in to look on google
Proves I'm just a bug geek.

Annie in Austin

September 2, 2007

Inspired, as usual, by Thalia the Muse of Comedy

NOTES on the Planaria:
Here's the Howard Garrett flatworm reference.

This site notes that the planaria flatworms are a problem in warm, damp climates, endangering earthworm populations.
But as usual, What's That Bug had the best photos for making the ID.

Both Bill at Prairie Point in Texas and Salix Tree in Ireland posted for Rock Flipping day, along with lots of other bloggers.
Here's a link to Via Negativa with other Rock Flipping blogs.

EDIT Sept 5, '07
You've overwhelmed me with the great comments!
Below is a cut-and-pasted list from Via Negativa:


(last updated Sept 5, 8:30 a.m. EDT - newer additions at bottom)

Flickr photo pool

Bev’s Pbase gallery

Windywillow (Ireland)

Heraclitean Fire (London, England)

Sheep Days (Illinois, USA)

Earth, Wind & Water (somewhere in the Caribbean)

Pocahontas County Fare (West Virginia, USA)

chatoyance (Austin, Texas)

Fragments from Floyd (Virginia, USA) - GRAND PRIZE WINNER

Watermark (Montana, USA)

pohanginapete (Aotearoa/New Zealand)

Fate, Felicity, or Fluke (Oregon, USA)

Thomasburg Walks (Ontario, Canada)

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Woman (Queensland, Australia)

The Transplantable Rose (Austin, Texas)

Nature Woman (New York state, USA)

Marja-Leena Rathje (British Columbia, Canada)

A Blog Around the Clock (North Carolina, USA)

Busy Dingbat’s Sphere (West Virginia, USA)

Hoarded Ordinaries (New Hampshire, USA)

Congo Days (Kinshasa, Congo)

this too (London, England)

Roundrock Journal (Missouri, USA)

Wanderin’ Weeta (British Columbia, Canada)

Blaugustine (London, England)

A Honey of an Anklet (Virginia, USA)

Looking Up (Ohio, USA)

Ontario Wanderer (Ontario, Canada)

Bug Safari (California, USA)

Riverside Rambles (Missouri, USA)

Pure Florida (Florida, USA)

Burning Silo (Ontario, Canada)

Musings from Myopia (Texas, USA)

Cicero Sings (British Columbia, Canada)

Joan (Missouri, USA)

Nature Remains (Kentucky, USA)

prairie point (north Texas)

Cephalopodcast.com (Florida, USA) - VIDEO

The above post is Part 2 of a four-part series on IRFD festivities in Plummer’s Hollow, Pennsylvania (USA). See Part 1, Part 3, and Part 4.


  1. What a fun post! Thanks for participating in IRFD.

  2. Annie, tickled to "see" you in my blog-neighborhood, and your post is just charming!

    Doncha love "What's That Bug"? They helped me ID the Giant Lichen Orb-Weaver I saw on my way to Marble Falls one day.

    TTFN, come on back and visit when you can!

  3. Oh, this is JUST wonderful, Annie! Love your toad--a different species from what we have here. And thanks for putting me on to the whatsthatbug site--entomology isn't my strong suit and I hope to learn a whole lot more via that site.

    Happy Muse Day!

  4. Great orange oil tip.If those pesky flatworms hit on my worm farm again I'll be ready!
    This is a fun collection of blogs!

  5. I've read this post twice and I'm still chuckling. You are a bug geek and a gardening geek. I can just imagine you and Philo outdoors flipping rocks and taking pictures. Now every time I flip over a rock in my own garden, these lyrics will be in my head What a hoot! Perhaps there is a YouTube version coming soon?

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  6. Annie, I thought there might be a new YouTube here also! Between flippin' rocks and swarming bats, things are sure lively in Austin. Funny post!

  7. You left no stone unturned in making this a funny, rockin' post.

    I'm glad to learn about flatworms. I'd seen some before but had no idea what they were.

  8. Thanks for sharing the rock-flippin pics. What a great idea! You know I love blogging about the little friends in our garden as well. Our spider, Miss Charlotte, enjoyed a full day of adoration and praise yesterday as she showed off for the 25-30 guests at our family swim party. The kids (and adults) were in awe of her!

  9. Hey! That looks like the same kind of toad that's in my yard. Like you, I've saw a lot of baby toads last month.

    I wish I had read Bill's post earlier--I didn't know it was rock flipping day until last night. I know I'd find a lot of lizards. They're always scurrying around from one pile of rocks to another. I have quite a few different kinds but they're all too quick for the camera.

  10. Yay! Yesterday was just a flippin kind of day, wasn't it?
    It's fun and it rocks!

  11. A fun poem! I always wanted to know what those slimy things were. Interesting that they would prey on earthworms. I thought they just ate organisms in the soil and organic matter just like earthworms.

  12. Gee, I didn't know it was Rock Flippin Day or I'd have been out there flipping rocks. But, hey, almost every day is rock flipping day around here. I am building a new garden bed and edging it with rocks from my rock pile. No flat worms around here.

    Your toad is different than the ones we have here in MO also.

    Sounds like you had a heck of a good time! Love your poem.

  13. Flipping heck, what a fun post this is! Loved mr Toad and thanks for the What's that Bug link because bug knowledge is not my strong suit either. ;-)

  14. LOLOLOL!!! Very funny and very creative of you! I loved this!

  15. OMG, I can't stop laughing. I did sing along and what fun it was! When I got to the cutworm, I just started laughing and still haven't stopped.

    I really think you should have sang it and inserted an audio file that played while we were reading.

    Great post, Annie!

  16. hopefully this will become an annual event

  17. I know we were all singing along! Thanks Annie, that was fun and now I am going to go out and flip some rocks myself however, the creative prose will not accompany the photos! Still chuckling!...and singing Yankee Doodle!

  18. Oh how fun! I think I might need to go flip some rocks while I still have this lovely melody in my head... :) (Except I doubt I'd have anything that exciting under mine. Just dust--it's dry here again.)

  19. Annie,

    I'm laughing silly here. I needed a break and you made my afternoon!
    You really need to get this on U-Tube.

    I knew about rock flipping day but completely forgot to flip! I can picture you and Philo getting all excited over ants and worms. LOL!

  20. Annie, this is WONDERFUL...! I used to love flipping rocks when I was a kid, but I didn't know there was such a thing as rock flipping day.

    I LOVE the song. I'm going to go back and read it again.

    La la la la... Ha...!

  21. Dave - this was quite an innovative idea and I'm glad to be included.

    Lori, our blogs may not usually occupy the same realm, but apparently art and gardening can meet under a rock!

    Jodi, last year's drought meant few toads... I was glad to see these guys, whoever they are!

    Hello Dinamow - I'd never heard of orange oil until we moved to Texas, but sure find it useful here.

    Carol, if I can make you chuckle the effort was worth it. Philo is an awfully good sport!

    Hi LostRoses, it's hard to be bored if you're interested in both the natural world and the virtual one - they intersect so well!

    Hello Pam/Digging- the flatworm stories out of England make me very reluctant to live and let live this time. I'm glad you liked the post.

    Diana, I heard about it through Prairie Point and SalixTree. The idea of your spider as the star of the party is very cool!

    Howdy, MSS! Maybe it's a southern variety? I tried to establish toads in my IL garden, but the crows went after them. We mainly see lizards on the wooden fences, and they are hard to catch for photos.

    Thanks for flippin' too, Salix Tree!

    Ki, so the flatworms are in New Jersey, too? One of the websites said that was the original impression , until the earthworm damage became apparent.

    Hello Healingmagichands - maybe this will be an annual event! My husband sometimes thinks I'm nuts, but he got into the spirit of it pretty quickly!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it Yolanda Elizabet - What's That Bug is a great site!

    Thank you very much, Kylee!

    Zoey, your posts send your readers into laughing fits, so I'm glad you laughed at this one.

    Bill, I'm sure that's David's intent - this year had a lot of participants!

    Layanee, I have no explanation for the song... it just sort of bubbled out
    when I was looking at the photos.

    Hello Blackswamp Kim, we flipped some 'empties', too. It was interesting to see which of the rocks got the action.

    Mary, you know darned well you're responsible for damp office
    chairs all over the country . It's a compliment when you think something is funny!

    Josie, David at Via Negativa appears to have started it - it sure was an interesting idea!

    Thank you all - but don't look for a YouTube of this one... sooner or later I'll get a new song up. The "Arizona Ash" Youtube was well received, so another of my tree songs might be next.


  22. No flatworms in NJ that I've encountered but lots in Hawaii, the arrow headed variety. They are surprisingly long and slimy looking with darker stripes along the length of the body. I also saw what looked to be a tiny 6" long blind snake which turned out to be a legless skink. ;)

  23. YouTube, YouTube, we want another YouTube. (Which can be your new rock flipping song or if you have another one already in the works, that would be okay, too).

    YouTube, YouTube, we want another Annie YouTube!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  24. Pure genius!
    Dear Annie- YOU ROCK! That's a wonderful post.
    Both these concepts of 'flipping rock day' and 'bloggers muse day' are relatively new to me, but thanks heavens for them, as they made you write this lovely post.

  25. What fun!! Loved reading your poem.

  26. How hilarious! Rock flippers! I try not to flip a thing, for fear of interrupting a snake's afternoon nap! Actually, I don't flip rocks because I have so few of them - unfortunately. Great lyrics.

  27. Wow, Annie....this post took me all over the place this afternoon via links, all the way to Guatemala, in fact! This is a way cool idea, I'm gonna do this yet this year! (Better late than never! ;-)


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