Rain Makes for Easier Travel?

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!

Photo Oct 26, 7 56 22 AM

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.

Leave a comment 3 Comments

  1. Ah Meg, another mystery of life solved! When I was Little I loved snakes , but thought worms were ” icky”. I was under the delusion that night crawlers being so large were snakes and I was always catching them and keeping them as pets.

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Such a gorgeous walk in the fall leaves to school. Your information on earthworms is interesting and something I didn’t know about. This is what I love about our morning gathering here at MJF. So many interesting topics are discussed and shared!

  3. Cindi says:

    Well, phooo, scientists. All this time I thought it rained earthworms. It must. There are so many here that you have to be very, very careful walking in the rain. I’ve never been one to be squeamish about worms ~ I’ll bait your hook in a minute, but some rainy days when I open the garage door and they are dangling from the edges and plop down on the car as I back out ~ well, that does get to be a bit much. Makes for a funny story to tell the squeamish though. Watch ’em squirm 🙂

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