The last few days have been sunny and warm. Yesterday’s temperature reached 60, and almost all the snow is gone. Then, today came rain, and it’s getting colder as I write. Is this a spring rain, or something else?
I decided to ask the worms for their opinion. The best place to find worms after a spring rain is at the edges of our street, so I went out front to check dead leaves in the gutter:
No luck there — not a worm in sight. So, I went to our front garden to turn over some flat rocks:
No luck with worms, but I did find these:
Mixed in with dirt and roots were small bug-like animals — long, slender, and shiny like worms, but each had at least a hundred tiny legs. They were millipedes, common animals in our soil. They coiled up, then uncoiled and slowly crawled for cover.
I also found this:
A hole, entrance to a tunnel heading deep into the soil, smaller than a dime in diameter. Could this hole lead to where the worms are hiding? In a few weeks I’ll come back to check it out.
So, this weather was spring enough for millipedes, but not warm enough for worms.It was just another winter rain.
I went back to my computer to upload these photos, and guess what I saw out the back window?
A possum under the backyard thistle feeder, also on a hunt! But was it just looking for spilled seeds, or for the bugs that devour thistle waste in warmer weather? Either way, check that possum’s hands:
I’ll bet those tiny fingers are much better than mine for catching bugs and worms!
Nature Note added 2/18/09:
We just discovered that there is an International Rock-Flipping Day! I can’t believe we missed it last year. The 2009 Rock-Flipping Day will be on September 6 (see the comment, below). Don’t worry, you’re invited to the celebration! Our version will start in our front garden, and who knows where we’ll go from there.