Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Please place box in shade - thank you"

That's the note I left for my letter carrier (see how PC I am?) yesterday.  Because the Happy D Ranch website has a LOT of disclaimers of how they will ship healthy, hungry worms, but that they are not responsible for worms whose box baked in a sunny mailbox all day.  Ewww. 

My worms did indeed arrive from Portland, Oregon yesterday.  Were they hungry?  I don't know.  Where they actively moving around?  Oh yes.

I had promised three neighbor girls that I would not open the box without them.  They were VERY excited.  Their ages are roughly 4, 6 and 8.  (I'm guessing.)  The two older girls were playing outside when I stepped out front, and as soon as they saw me they made a mad dash my way.  "Are they here??  Are the worms here??"  Yes, yes, they are.  I asked them to go find their neighbor friend who lives 2 houses down. 

Their method?  They saw their friend was also outside -- her playmate having just arrived -- and they stood in my front yard, flailed their arms wildly and screamed, "THE WORMS ARE HERE!  THE WORMS ARE HERE!"  The friend heard, positively shrieked, and joined the chorus as she ran our way -- "THE WORMS ARE HERE!  THE WORMS ARE HERE!"  It was nothing short of hysterical.

A short time later I had a group of about a dozen grown up and kids in my yard, and we opened the box.  Poked at the worms.  A collective, "ewwwww!" following by lots of laughing. 

We had a collaborative effort of setting up the worm condominium.  Newspaper was laid down, coir was mixed in a bowl with water (delightfully with bare hands) shredded newspaper was spread around, egg shells were crushed, coffee grounds and lettuce leaves were dispersed to a corner.  And then... the bag of worms was lifted out of the box.

 And then, ever so gently, the worms were moved into their new home:

The whole sha-bang was topped off with a layer of wet newspaper, and then the lid went on. 

A troupe of kids and adults headed off to the park, and 30 minutes or so later returned and begged to see the worms again.  I suggested we wait until Friday; "You know how traveling makes you tired?  The worms traveled across the country in the last 2 days.  And do you remember how exhausting it is to move into a new house?  They are doing that, too.  Let's let them rest a day or two and then we'll check on them."  While disappointed, they seemed satisfied with that answer, although the 4 year old threw herself dramatically across my lawn.

I dutifully left a light on over the condo overnight.  Since worms don't enjoy the light, it is supposed to encourage them to, you know, burrow down, unpack their things and get settled into their new place.  Not surprisingly, my dog is quite interested in the whole set up.  And because I'm not positive I've identified a totally-all-day-sun-free-zone in my yard, today I left the condo indoors.  I put both of my 10 lb. free weights on the lid before I left, lest the dog had too much time on her hands...

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