Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Woah...climbing earthworms!

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU
 
tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 02:25 PM
Original message
Woah...climbing earthworms!
It's been raining all night...about 5 inches since about 6 p.m. last evening. Lots of standing water
around, obviously...and there will be a lot of drowned earthworms on the roads and
sidewalks as always happens when we get heavy rains...but I saw something for the first time ever a
while ago...and I've been around for 60+ years --- opened up the blinds on a small window in the kitchen
and saw a large worm climbing up the screen...on the inside. :crazy:
I raised the window and took him (her?) off the screen to have a closer look...nothing unusual about it, just your
regular vanilla night-crawler fishin'-type worm that somehow managed to climb about 7 feet up the outside wall of
the house and find a little gap in the screen to get inside between it and the window.

Maybe this isn't as unusual as I think but I sure as heck never saw anything like it before. :eyes: :shrug:

Oh, I put the critter into a big pot that I've just started some herbs growing in...it burrowed right down into the dirt.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. You gave it a happy home!
It'll do the herbs good too.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Yes it will! I kind of feel bad for all the ones that didn't climb
but seriously I had absolutely no idea they could go up a vertical wall...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. before columbus, there were no earthworms in north america.
i found it hard to believe, but it was in an article in national geographic several months ago.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tachyon Donating Member (520 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Jeez, I would never have imagined -that-!
How bizarre...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. no, not so. Article was wrong...
A total of approximately 182 earthworm taxa in 12 families are reported from America north of Mexico, i.e., USA & Canada, of which 60 (ca. 33%) are exotic/introduced. Only two genera of Lumbricid earthworms are indigenous to North America while introduced genera have spread to areas where earthworms did not formerly exist, especially in the north where forest development relies on a large amount of undecayed leaf matter.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthworm#North_America
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Yeah, I would find that very hard to believe
That's a huge niche going completely untapped for hundreds of thousands of years, if that were true.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. i mis-read/remembered - should have said there were no "nightcrawlers" prior to columbus coming here
Edited on Tue Mar-18-08 07:20 PM by QuestionAll
the great thing about natty g is that it's available online. this is from a great article about the jamestown settlement.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0705/feature1 /

The English colonists who landed at Jamestown 400 years ago undermined an ecosystem and changed the continent forever. It is just possible that John Rolfe was responsible for the wormsspecifically the common night crawler and the red marsh worm, creatures that did not exist in the Americas before Columbus. Rolfe was a colonist in Jamestown, Virginia, the first successful English colony in North America. Most people know him today, if they know him at all, as the man who married Pocahontas. A few history buffs understand that Rolfe was one of the primary forces behind Jamestown's eventual success. The worms hint at a third, still more important role: Rolfe inadvertently helped unleash a convulsive and permanent change in the American landscape.

Like many young English blades, Rolfe smokedor, as the phrase went in those days, "drank"tobacco, a fad since the Spanish had first carried back samples of Nicotiana tabacum from the Caribbean. Indians in Virginia also drank tobacco, but it was a different species, Nicotiana rustica. Virginia leaf was awful stuff, wrote colonist William Strachey: "poor and weak and of a biting taste." After arriving in Jamestown in 1610, Rolfe talked a shipmaster into bringing him N. tabacum seeds from Trinidad and Venezuela. Six years later Rolfe returned to England with his wife, Pocahontas, and the first major shipment of his tobacco. "Pleasant, sweet, and strong," as Rolfe's friend Ralph Hamor described it, Jamestown's tobacco was a hit. By 1620 the colony exported up to 50,000 pounds (23,000 kilograms) of itand at least six times more a decade later. Ships bellied up to Jamestown and loaded up with barrels of tobacco leaves. To balance the weight, sailors dumped out ballast, mostly stones and soil. That dirt almost certainly contained English earthworms.

And little worms can trigger big changes. The hardwood forests of New England and the upper Midwest, for instance, have no native earthwormsthey were apparently wiped out in the last Ice Age. In such worm-free woodlands, leaf litter piles up in drifts on the forest floor. But when earthworms are introduced, they can do away with the litter in a few months. The problem is that northern trees and shrubs beneath the forest canopy depend on that litter for food. Without it, water leaches away nutrients formerly stored in the litter. The forest becomes more open and dry, losing much of its understory, including tree seedlings.

Whether the night crawler and the red marsh worm actually first arrived on Rolfe's tobacco ships is not known. What is clear is that much of the northern forests in America were worm free until the Europeans arrived there, inadvertently importing earthworms on the root-balls of their plants or in the ballast of ships. The effects of this earthworm invasion have been slow to show themselves because the creatures don't spread rapidly on their own. "If they're born in your backyard, they'll stay inside the fence their whole lives," says John Reynolds, editor of Megadrilogica, the premier earthworm journal. But over time, the effect on the ecosystem can be dramatic...

much much more at the link.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I didn't know it was online! thanks!
I could spend hours there :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Inchworm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. That's a trip
Thanks for sharing that. Who woulda thunk?

:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. sorry, but i made a goof...
there were no nightcrawlers prior to columbus...see my post above, or this article:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0705/feature1/
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. Spring rains around here drive the house centipedes indoors.
Edited on Tue Mar-18-08 02:30 PM by Buzz Clik


Little buggers give me the willies.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Speck Tater Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
6. I understand putting it a big pot with herbs, but...
... doesn't it take more than one worm to make a good stew?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
PoliticalAmazon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. Big tropical worms will jump out of their bin during electrical storms
I just set up a "worm ranch" for the office (to worm-compost the leftover salads, coffee grounds, etc.). Several places on the internet they warned against getting the large tropical worms for compost bins because, during electrial storms, they leap out of the bins.

I can't get that image out of my mind...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geardaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Red wigglers
We use red wigglers for our compost bin under the sink. It reduces throwing away our vegetable matter in the regular garbage and makes GREAT compost for our indoor plants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenia_fetida
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geardaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-18-08 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
12. And now a PSA from the MN DNR
Just saw this when doing more worm surfing.

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialanimals...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Sep 17th 2014, 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC