Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Vermicular love

They excite me so much, I can’t resist telling people.  Anyone who’ll listen: my hairdresser, the neighbours, the guy who works down the chip shop (swears he’s Elvis), you….   

I’m generally met with a look of complete indifference and the feeling that nobody really cares.   I understand.  Maybe it’s hard to get how anyone can be this excited by worms.  But I have fallen head-over-heels in love with my little herd ( to use the correct term) of Tiger Worms and European Nightcrawlers  - as introduced here.

They’re tucked away in the shed for the Winter now, their Wormery home wrapped in paper and bubble wrap to keep them warm, and every day I trudge down there first thing, before I’ve even had a wash or a cup of tea, to check on them.  Lift the lid and have a little peek, careful not to expose them to prolonged bright light, as their skin is ultra-sensitive to it and too much will cause them harm.  Check the thermometer on the wall and if it’s below 10 degrees, tuck them up again.

There’s something incredibly soothing about checking out your worms - it should be prescribed as a form of therapy.  Unlike the common earthworm which likes to burrow deep, composting worms spend more time on the surface so it’s possible to see them just by lifting their bedding.  Watch them slowly eating their way through their food, or occasionally one may climb up the inside of the worm bin for a little wander and a change of scene, especially if they sense it’s raining outside, which they can  - even from inside a bin, inside a shed.  Who knows what else they know that we can't even begin to understand?

Occasionally I’ll find a pair mating – side by side, pressed up to each other tightly for a couple of hours (!), hermaphrodites with multiple hearts (three more than a Time Lord!) - am I selling them to you yet?

If not, just one more thing....   It struck me as I was walking yesterday that worms truly are the gentlest and worthiest of creatures.  They don’t fight or kill each other or any other being over food, territory, or mates. They co-exist harmoniously with other species and are undemanding of each other.  If there’s not enough food for them all in one place, older worms will move on to seek it elsewhere to let the younger ones feed more easily.  And they self-regulate their population – too many baby worms starting to hatch in a confined space? – they’ll simply stop breeding until their numbers level out again. Maybe we could learn a thing or two from them.


I ♥ my worms

13 comments:

  1. You keep worms and watch them all day, and worry about them, so we don't have to! Can you put a Worm Cam in there? Gotta be better than Big Brother.

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    1. I'd love to! It'd be like one of those anti-stress hypnosis tapes. Not a lot of action but really quite mesmerising.

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    2. Or check this timelapse video:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7th23RZbmk&t=165s

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  2. Rarely have I seen such a wonderful love letter to worms!

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    1. Haha, thanks CC. The only shame of it is that I won't get one back...

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  3. There's a line in your second paragraph that contains the words "can" and "worms" ... yet you managed to resist contorting the sentence to allow a "can of worms" pun. This is just one example of your blogging skill!

    I could do with some more worms in my compost bins...

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    1. Looks like I wriggled out of that one. See, I couldn't resist in the end...
      You may have some cocoons in there just waiting to hatch when the weather warms up. But if not, I could quite easily be persuaded to take up worm-farming full-time and send you some!

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  4. "There’s something incredibly soothing about checking out your worms" - Only you C could write something like this. Wonderful that you've found a passion for these amazing creatures. Will now check out the video clip.

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    1. Ah, thanks Alyson. Whatever your passion is, you just have to get into it, don't you? Thankfully this is a very easy hobby to have, so much easier than snowboarding or potholing...
      There's loads on youtube on worm-farming; very comforting to know there's a lot of people out there with the same obsession!

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  5. Couple of hours! Who do they think they are, Sting and Trudie? Seriously, a fun read.

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    1. It does all appear very tantric, yes! A fascinating process re. the transfer of eggs and all that, but probably not everyone's cup of tea!

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  6. Does this mean you are a Worm Wrangler? :o)

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    1. Possibly?! 've only just come across that word in relation to people. We never used the term in my day when Wrangler was just a brand of jeans ;-) Must try and keep up!

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