Monday, February 06, 2012

"The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out..."

"...the worms play pinochle on your snout."

Remember that old song from your childhood?

Somehow I never imagined myself writing about worms, but heavy rains have washed a few my way recently, and I, camera at the ready, thought to myself, "You never know when you'll need a worm picture." Now that I have three of them, enough to be considered a collection, they have wiggled their way into a blog post.

This first guy (who is probably a caterpillar instead of a worm if you want to get technical about it) had the audacity to march himself across my living room while I watched TV and four dogs dozed nearby. I assume he crawled in under the front door, though I don't presume to know where the heck he thought he was going. I also don't know, despite looking at hundreds of Google images in an attempt to figure it out, what he is or will grow up to be. He was slightly over two inches long. If you know what he is, please tell us.

This one's only offense was breaking and entering.
After he crawled willingly onto the paper towel I placed in his path,
I picked it up by the corners and gently carried him back outside.

It isn't at all unusual to find earthworms on the patio after a hard rain. As much as I used to love fishing, I always felt squeamish about baiting my hook with these wriggly pink things.

Earthworms are creepy, but they remind me of good times
and they're good for the earth, so I always let them be.

On the same day that I shot the earthworm photo, I was horrified to find this next creature on my patio. I'd never seen anything like it. Just as I spotted it turning and twisting its more-than-a-foot-long body on the concrete, Levi stepped on it. He picked up his paw and the thing clung there, holding onto his fur and dancing in the air like some kind of freakishly skinny Cirque du Soleil performer. I grabbed hold of it with my bare hands and tried to pull it off, which wasn't easy to do. That sucker was strong. I thought it would break apart in my hands, but it didn't. It didn't even stop wiggling.

This is how it looked after I'd stomped its a$$
several times with my big, heavy shoes.

Finally, after I had managed to disentangle it from Levi, I learned on the internet that this is a horsehair worm and that it is "harmless to people, pets, and plants" and "should be considered beneficial."

Harmless to people? Hah! It nearly gave me a heart attack.


  1. I'm with you on the heart attack thing! That worm looks scary!

  2. Oh, my gosh!! That's the weirdest thing I've ever seen, I'm not sure I'd have the nerve to stomp it, but of course we have to get it off our dogs before the dogs eat them. You're brave! (and lucky you had heavy shoes on!)

  3. CreekHiker and Duly Inspired: Yup.

    Janet, I was wearing my old Crocs--and don't think I wasn't concerned about all those holes in them.

  4. Cant comment long! I'm off to search my floors!

  5. Tony, there's no need to search. If you sit still and wait long enough, the worms will come to you.

  6. 05 January 2018 - I found one of these Horsehair Worms crawling on my back patio. I put it a plastic jar. None of my girls(4) wanted to take it to school to show their teacher and class - that must be a boy thing. Now what do I do with it?


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