My wife and I are running a Thrilling Thursday's - Fun Friday's program at the elementary school and we decided that our first project will be learning about earth worms.
We gathered several books to share with the children including:
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
Wonderful Worms by Linda Glaser
Earthworms, Dirt, and Rotten Leaves by Molly McLaughlin
Earthworms, Underground Farmers by Patricia Lauber
Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof
Junior Science Earthworms by Terry Jennings
We printed and laminated several anatomy charts, worm pictures, and posters and my wife created an "Earthworm Exploration" activity.
My job was to gather worms from the compost bins to use for the activity. It had rained most of the morning, then became partly sunny and humid, so I wasn't sure if the worms would be buried deep at the bottom of the compost. I went our after supper and collected several rather small worms. We were expecting showers later in the evening so I decided to wait until after dark to collect some night crawlers.
About 10:30pm I put on my raincoat, grabbed a headlamp and headed outside in the pouring rain. There were probably hundreds of fat juicy night crawlers sprawled out all over the lawn, plus several hundred small sticks that I mistakenly thought were night crawlers!
It has been a while since I searched for night crawlers, especially in the pouring rain, so I was a little rusty. Most of the worms darted back into their holes as soon as the headlamp shined on them, others were just too quick for me to grab.
As I walked around the backyard, hunched over in the pouring rain wearing a headlamp at 11pm, I thought to myself, my neighbors are probably looking out their windows right now thinking that I have completely lost my mind!
I managed to gather a bucket full of large worms and decided to check the garden area on the side of the deck before heading inside. I walked around the deck, hunched down, and started checking the ground when I heard a rustling sound coming from under the deck! The noise was getting louder and I could tell whatever it was was heading in my direction! The first thought that raced through my mind was that it was a skunk, raccoon or the opossum that I saw earlier in the week, so my first reaction was to quickly get out of the way. Without thinking, and completely soaked from head to toe, carrying a bucket of worms, in the pouring rain, I attempted to jump up onto the edge of the deck which sits about 3 feet off the ground!
Needles to say I didn't make it!
As I tried to jump onto the wet deck, my foot slipped off the edge, scraping my shin and smashing on my right knee as I fell back into the mud! In a state of agonizing pain and panic, while whatever was under the deck starting running past me, I managed to leap back up onto the deck.
I stumbled into the house to find my wife standing there with this bewildered look on her face as to say, what the heck did you do now!
The pain was unbelievable and I could barely move my leg, but after I explained what just happened we both burst out laughing!
Luckily after applying an ice pack and some neosporin the swelling and bruising aren't as bad as last night!
Who knew searching for night crawlers could be so dangerous!