If you're an earthworm, or an earthwormophile, you may wish to look away... the following blog entry contains some images you may find disturbing.
Solid rain all day yesterday, driving earthworms out all over the pavement. So many will never find their way back to soil, and become bird food or desiccated worm corpses (and then bird food). This seems to be my week for encountering dead or dying animals.
I can't remember seeing so many flushed out in the fall. In the early spring, when the ground is still partly frozen, you expect to see it after a deluge.
Hard life for a worm. It occurs to me that probably not until the advent of tar-bound macadam did earthworms have this problem. Sure, they've always gotten flushed out, but when a worm gets flooded onto dirt roads, cobblestones, or gravel, access to the earth was just inches away. Now they can be swept whole feet or even yards from the precious loam. That's quite a way to crawl for an earthworm aboveground. And that's if he sets off crosswise on the path and not lengthwise. It's not like earthworms have GPS.
I've always felt a bit of kinship with earthworms, having had to eat plenty of dirt in my career. The earthworm was the only thing I ever had to dissect in school, as I managed to be ill on Frog Day (and budget cuts put an end to Fetal Pig Day). They're about the only thing above or below the surface of my lawn that's actually good for my lawn. And here they are, flooded out onto the short road to ruin.
Ah, earthworm! Ah, humanity!