Well, today we managed to stay outside for most of the morning until the downpour. Around 11:00 we came inside with our worms. Yes, that's right...worms came inside for a Worm Tail Painting!
We started the morning by going on a worm hunt. Unfortunately and much to our disbelief we only found 2 worms in our yard. So we headed out to the woods. We flipped over rocks and sure enough...JACKPOT! We gathered 12 worms total-enough for everyone to observe at least 1 worm.
We brought the worms back to camp and placed them with a small drop of mud onto our Nature Journals. As we observed their bodies and movements they created trails in the mud. Most of our worms weren't moving as much as we remember from last year, but Kyleigh had the most active worm-crawling onto other's papers!
An earthworm's body is made of rings, called segments. Each segment is surrounded by a set of muscles that helps earthworms move. The muscles enable their bodies to stretch out, thicken, stretch out, and thicken. Tiny bristles on the outside of an earthworm's body help to give it traction such as the tread on a tire or shoe.
While an earthworm does not have an obvious head or a tail, you can identify the head by which direction the earthworm moves. Earthworms do not have eyes, but they do have special cells that respond to light. They will burrow down into the soil when they sense light. They can tell when someone is near because they can sense the ground shaking. Earthworms do not breathe the way we do, but absorb oxygen through their moist skin. If earthworms' skin dries out, they will die.
Earthworms are helpful in many ways. They break down dead material and fertilize soil. Their castings (poop) are full of nutrients that enrich the soil and help plants grow. They also loosen the soil with their tunnels which allows water and oxygen to reach plants' roots.