We’ve finally had quite a few rain showers here on the Palouse, and the girls and I have spent many a recent morning outfitted in our rain boots and umbrellas on our walk to school. No complaints here. I still get a thrill when I stomp through puddles!
I’m careful with my stomping, however; there’s rarely a puddle without an earthworm in it, and I’d prefer to not squash them. On a recent return trip from dropping the girls at school, I spent some time contemplating earthworms and puddles, and I thought, “There must be more to it.” I went right home to the Internet. It turns out, they need moisture to survive and won’t drown like us humans when submerged in water. Scientists believe that earthworms surface during rain storms because it’s easier for them to travel, taking advantage of slick, wet surfaces to move quickly, something they can’t do when the weather is hot and dry. Another explanation is that rain falling on the ground gives off the same vibrations as their biggest predator, the mole, thus alarming the worms to escape to the surface.