Posts Tagged ‘worms’

Which came first – the worm or the egg?

April 29, 2009

Pine trees along the coast are loaded with pollen missiles ready to fire.

It’s not unusual at this time of year to see the cracked, jagged-edge remains of robin’s eggs, blue as the sky, lying on the ground. But what about the mass migration of thin earth worms, driven out of the ground – I’m guessing – by last week’s steady rains? Wherever sidewalks split swaths of grass, the reddish strings of living protein have been inching their way across the pavement, destination unknown.

Some left slick trails behind them, others lay curled and drying in the day’s rising heat, and others – reminding me of a man with no water heading out to cross the Sahara – slinked their way down the face of curbs blissfully unaware of the vast plain of black asphalt ahead of them.

Contemplating the worms, my thoughts moved toward the robins and ancient wisdom percolating up from my childhood when I first learned that the early bird catches the worm. This week, every bird caught a worm. They were everywhere, so many in fact that much of the feast was left on the table. There simply aren’t enough birds around to eat all the available worms.

Feeling like Sherlock Homes or Inspector Clouseau observing and pondering, my curiosity sought an answer to the worms and the birds and the cracked eggs. Is nature so finely tuned – is God so detail oriented – that the worm bloom is designed to coincide naturally with the time of the year when the birds most need protein to nurture their eggs and hatchlings?

And how about all the pollen? Does the same fine green powder dusting our cars and sifting through our screens also settle onto the ground to be ingested by worms as another dish straining the bounty-filled table of the vernal feast?

There’s a connection here to the annual run of mackerel that used to mark April along the coast but which has not, now, for several years. Capt. Dale Parsons of Fisherman’s Wharf in Lewes has a theory, but for now, the connection between worms, mackerel, robins and pollen will have to wait for another blog. In the mean time, give yourself a natural high. Get outdoors, take a walk for an hour, and interact with the amazing natural world around us.