The worms have left home again. It’s the second time they have done this and I am in despair yet again. Just like last time, they are all over the floor of the garden shed, their poor little desiccated bodies making me feel sad and guilty. They seem to have been heading for the door as if they had wanted to go out into the garden.
Why did they do this? Make this doomed lemming-like journey? I thought I was taking good care of them. They lived in the garden shed in a worm farm (a two-story plastic box on legs designed especially for them). They were fed regularly with vegetable scraps, and I even chopped the scraps finely just as the instructions on the packet that the worms came in told me to do; they could not have been in search of food, surely.
Perhaps there was something they did not like, though I carefully removed the cabbage leaves after I read somewhere that worms don’t like cabbage. And the egg shells because they seemed to studiously ignore them even though I read somewhere else that they like to lay their eggs in them. I never gave them onions, which I also read they dislike.
I sprinkled their bed mostly fairly regularly with a soil conditioner, as instructed by several worm-savvy writers on the web, and I always wet it with water that had been standing in the shed overnight so there was no chemical imbalance or drastic change of temperature to upset them. The shed is cool in summer and relatively warm in winter, and I even put a large cardboard box over their home to improve the insulation for them against our recent cold winter days.
But, no, the ungrateful creatures just up and left. They must have wriggled their way up the sides of their apartment, then under its lid and then down the legs on to the floor. There are some still left behind, I can see, but not half as many as are now littering the cold concrete.
Perhaps there was some kind of civil war going on and the defeated have been driven out and those left behind are the victors — a battle on the scale of Milton’s Paradise Lost, all in the garden shed.
I’ll have to do some more reading about worms before I decide whether to replace them or not because I cannot bear the thought of going through this leaving-home business again. In the meantime, I must sweep the floor of the shed to remove their poor little bodies and the sad reminder that worms are a mystery and a source of great anxiety to me.
. . . . . . .
Elsewhere in my garden right now …
This is a one of the wild strawberry plants that have obligingly taken root amidst the dichondra ground cover under the birches. They are so pretty and the fruit so delicious I have decided to leave them there, even though it is a race between me, the local low-life like slugs and snails, and the visiting birds and my grandchildren, as to who gets to eat the little berries.