Liam the Worm Rescuer
On Wednesday morning it was raining when we went out to wait for the bus' arrival to whisk the elder youth off to another fun pact day of learning or well at least a few hours as it was early release day. Upon our arrival to the driveway the kids discovered the worms have invaded the driveway. I loaded the wee youth in the vehicle for the required trip to school for the day. While loading the vehicle the eldest youth came to the conclusion that if the worms stayed in the driveway that the van would drive over them and squish them. He set out on mission to save the worms of our driveway. While waiting for the bus he picked up the slimy wigglers and airlifted them to the safety of the yard. Alexis wanted to help but couldn't figure out how to pick up the worms. Liam informed it was easy, "Touch them and then they make a U as they curl up, just grab that part" She still wasn't convinced. Liam rescued several before the bus came and he dropped of his last survivor and headed out to the bus.
Have you ever wondered why earthworms come out of the ground when it rains. I use to think it was because they would drown in the ground when their holes filled with water however I had to go research this because I wasn't certain this was the right information. Turns out I was very wrong. I found this information
Worms don't have respiratory systems like humans. They take in oxygen through their skin which is covered in tiny mucus-secreting cells. For this reason, a worm's skin needs to stay moist for it to survive. Dry skin means death to a worm.
When it rains, worms leave the ground because the wet ground is much easier for them to navigate, plus they don't have to worry about drying out in the hot sun. Most often when they come to the surface they are doing so because it's easier to find mates on the flat open ground as compared to underground in their burrows.
Gardener John Mertus said it best in his article on earthworms: “To an earthworm, the wet ground is a wild singles bar.” For more information, see The City Naturalist - Earthworms
I wonder now if Liam's rescue of the worms was helpful or a hindrance to their love life, eithe way I am sure they were happier in the grass then in my tire. Hopefully they were able to find a good singles bar in the grass since the driveway was being evacuated.
On your next rainy day when you see those worms inching their way along the sidewalk or driveway, smile and know they are on a mission of love.