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Earthworm Basics.
March 25, 2019
Hi,

I'm excited, and you must be too.

Only nine months from today ( March 25), is Christmas.

Get your shopping done now.

Spring slowly inches closer.

Yes the calendar says it is spring, yet nature truly dictates the weather.

The first official day of spring (March 20), last week blessed us with this beautiful white fluff, and it was pretty coming down.

It was all melted by the following day.

I think we are now in the two steps forward, one step back pattern.

Cool and crisp days, yet some days of total sunshine.

How wonderful it feels.

Yolanda had pet therapy one day last week at 'Hope Network'.

She came home smelling like other animals (usually dogs).

For several minutes, Snickers nose was in over drive.

Pictured you can see Snick, Snick giving Yolanda's shoes the once over.

I didn't think of pictures when she was sniffing her pants and legs.

The year round birds have left the feeding stations on the most part.

As territories are getting established, even the migrating robins are jockeying for dominance and prime territory.

Turkey vultures aimlessly drift overhead.

Migration continues.

Mourning doves try to blend in with their surroundings, often as if they are taking a tan (soaking up the sun).

Last week's full moon is pictured.

It is called the worm moon.

Why this week I write a bit on earthworms.

Enjoy.

(Picture taken March 21.)

In ancient times, it was common to track the changing seasons by following the lunar month rather than the solar year, which the 12 months in our modern calendar are based on.

For millennia, people across Europe, as well as Native American tribes, named the months after features they associated with the Northern Hemisphere seasons, and many of these names are very similar or identical.

The Full Moon in March is the Worm Moon, and it is usually considered the last Full Moon of winter.

It is also called Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Chaste Moon, Sugar Moon, and Sap Moon.

Ancient Egyptians celebrated the earthworm.

Aristotle called them “the intestines of the earth.”

Earthworms clean up debris and recycle it as fertilizer.

Their tunnels aerate the soil, preventing erosion.

Their labors benefit the food we eat, the flowers we love, the trees that shade us and the wildlife that lives in our yards.

The worms themselves are food for many animals.

What’s more, around the world, agricultural areas are going “no-till,” where earthworms are valued as the primary force for churning crop residue into the soil and keeping it fertile.

Worm poop (castings), is five times richer in nitrogen, seven times richer in phosphates, and 11 times richer in potassium than the surrounding soil, so it makes a great fertilizer.

Earthworms come in a seemly infinite variety—around 6,000 species worldwide.

Of the more than 180 earthworm species found in the United States and Canada,60 are invasive species, brought over from the Old World, including the night crawler.

Lacking lungs or other specialized respiratory organs, earthworms breathe through their skin.

The skin exudes a lubricating fluid that makes moving through underground burrows easier and helps keep skin moist.

(A pair of Mourning doves blending into leaf litter.)

You may have seen two worms side by side, or what looks like a knot.

Each earthworm is both male and female, producing both eggs and sperm.

They mate on the surface of the earth, pressing their bodies together and exchanging sperm before separating.

Later, the clitellum, a collar like organ that goes around the worm’s body the way a cigar band does a cigar, produces a ring around the worm.

As the worm crawls out of the ring, it fills the ring with eggs and sperm.

The ring drops off, seals shut at the ends and becomes a cocoon for the developing eggs.

14-21 days later, the eggs will hatch.

Baby worms emerge from the eggs tiny but fully formed.

They grow reproduction organs within the first two or three months of life and reach full size in about a year.

They may live up to eight years, though one to two is more likely.

According to the experts.

The glaciers that crawled across Canada into the northern tier of the lower 48 states during the most recent ice age wiped out earthworms in those areas.

In other parts of the United States, you may find native earthworm species, but the worms living in the regions scoured by glaciers are invaders from overseas.

Yes, brought here intentionally by early settlers on the assumption that the worms would improve the soil.

Some were also carried accidentally in shipments of plants, or even in dirt used as ballast in ships.

The earthworm’s digestive system is a tube running straight from the mouth, located at the tip of the front end of the body, to the rear of the body, where digested material is passed to the outside.

Species vary in what they eat, but by and large their devouring of fallen leaves and/or soil allows the worms to move nutrients such as potassium and nitrogen into the soil.

Another reason why I spread leaves in the fall, worm food.

Digging a hole to bury garbage, or work it into the soil, excellent worm food

Also, worm movements within the earth create burrows that encourage the passage of air and a loosening of the soil. Good things, right? Well, maybe not.

Some experts say worms can have a negative effect (especially introduced species into our forests).

This may be true.

All in all, earthworms can be a gardeners best friend.

Read Labels: Certain pesticides used to kill of various pests, may also kill off your worms and other beneficial life forms.

Earthworms, a silent partner to keep around.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the day.

God Bless.

Some experts say worms can have a negative effect (especially introduced species into our forests).

This may be true.

All in all, earthworms can be a gardeners best friend.

Read Labels: Certain pesticides used to kill of various pests, may also kill off your worms and other beneficial life forms.

Earthworms, a silent partner to keep around.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the day.

God Bless.

“It teaches the strong to know when they are weak and the brave to face themselves when they are afraid.

To be proud and unbowed in defeat yet humble and gentle in victory.

And to master ourselves before we attempt to master others.

And to learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep.

And to give the predominance of courage over timidity.”

General Douglas MacArthur, On the virtues of competitive athletics(1880 - 1964)

I played a lot of sports in my youth.

Sports indeed teaches humility, and instills a competitive spirit.

I don't like to lose, but learned to accept it.

The bible teaches this.

“An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.”

2 Timothy 2:5

"Thus I do not run aimlessly,

I do fight as if I were shadowboxing.

No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that,

after having preached to others,

I myself should be disqualified."

1 Corinthians 9:26

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors,

We borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

A Blessed week to you .

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson



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Gardening For Wildlife.


























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