The Amazing Wall-climbing Alaskan Worm

pskvorc(3)April 25, 2014

I have mentioned several times here at the Vermicomposting forum that a prime motivator for my interest in vermiculture was observing thousands (and, yes, I mean more than nine-hundred and ninety-nine) of the things climbing the exterior walls of a friend of mine's garage. They were attracted for some reason to twenty some-odd bags of fermenting birch tree leaves that had been set against his garage wall awaiting delivery to the local dump.

For several reasons, It never occurred to me that someone would doubt the veracity of that anecdotal 'report', but apparently my naivete was once again no match for cynicism. It is difficult for me to imagine someone making up such a story solely for the purpose of explaining why they "got into" worming, but apparently that is precisely what some here think.

My friend whose bags of leaves these were and upon whose garage wall these unbeliveable worms trespassed is a fastidious fellow. (He's the minister of a local church. He is also the one I told you I corralled into helping me pick up moose poop in my yard for my worms, and was so interested in the concept that he picked up a 5-gal bucket's worth from his own yard and gave it to me for the worms!) Anyway, I thought I remembered him telling me that he had spent hours cleaning the dried carcasses off of said garage, but I wasn't sure. So I called him and asked if he had in fact 'erased the evidence'.

I was a bit surprised at his bristling at the suggestion that said event was a fabrication even though it was I, not him that was being accused, but unfortunately, he verified that he had indeed pressure-washed and hand-scrubbed all the dead bodies from the walls of his garage. At that I asked if there wasn't at least one tell-tale carcass left that he had missed. (If you knew Jim, you would appreciate how much that question was 'clutching at straws'.) As he was quite incensed at all of this, he went outside to look for some semblance of evidence.

Lo and behold, he was able to find not just the "sign" of a worm, but an actual DEAD BODY! It had escaped the fury of the pressure washer by hiding behind a gutter downspout. Here's the picture he sent, (he measured it at 47" above ground level):

Some humor should be inserted here. :)

There are several assertions that I have made that this picture completely fails to corroborate. First this is about one thousandth of the number of worms I claimed scaled the wall. Second, I have stated that they were upwards of 10 feet above the ground. This falls short of even 4 feet.

Alas, I am fated to suffer the scorn, derision and sarcasm directed at those that observe something an animal has done, (even with another witness), that others to whom the story is related cannot fathom could have actually happened based on their personal experience with said animals. Such is fate. But...

I think most here can appreciate the humor in the idea that someone (me) would make up such a story, not for 'fame and glory', but simply to offer explanation for "why" they decided to "get into" worming. For those folks, I offer

The Amazing Wall-climbing Alaskan Worm

in 'evidence' of my veracity. (Please note the use of the singular "worm". :( )


PS - By the way, when I called, he had been out in his yard mowing his dead grass, and wanted to know if I wanted the 5 bags of grass that had resulted. I thanked him and said "No". NO ONE would believe anyone was mowing their law in April in Alaska!

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There are several reports online I have read of worms climbing trees and buildings. I think we believe you.

My only concern is next years years leaves and grass are composted to help a garden in Alaska.

If I could I would brew up some beer and wine, get out some nice big glasses and invite everybody at the forum to a nice party with those tiny hot dogs with toothpicks and bacon wrapped scallops.

We could all watch that very short youtube that is no longer available of some guy "pissing off his worms" as he called it by lifting a level off of his can o worms and showing what must of been every hole in the web had a dangling worm or two. His worms must have read directions of eat from the top level and poop in the lower level. The worms were accommodating. The worms seemed to enjoy being half and half stuck like bad in an elevator. We could throw tomatoes at the video to be collected later and fed to the worms.

I think in real life without the coldness of the internet format everybody would be sitting around Micky D's drinking a senior coffee shooting the breeze and trading worms. I would not have any worms to trade due to feeding whole huge bowling ball 6 inch turnips which are now blocking the entire harvesting area of 5 by 5 in a worm inn.

P.S. I do not drink coffee but I do wonder what they do with all those grounds?

Isn't this the way the scientific process is supposed to be with lots of divergence? Maybe we have critical review on steroids here. Critical review with no steroids is maybe less forward motion. But much happier. I prefer critical review. I help a lot by doing things as wrong as possible enabling conversation starters.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:04PM
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Home brew and tiny hotdogs with toothpicks, watching worm videos and talkin' worms. When is the party?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 10:29PM
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I guess ya hadta be there...


    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 12:12AM
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Paul, what a wonderful story-teller you are!!! I thoroughly enjoyed (and laughed) at your post!!!!

That would certainly be an amazing sight, having such a fastidious neighbour be over-run with wall-climbing worms.
Much like a non-animal lover, always have a cat or a dog at his feet or wanting on his lap. (my brother)

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 8:28AM
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Thanks, jasdip.

He's "OK" with worms, being an inveterate nightcrawler fisherman, but he really didn't like them all over his garage.

We kind of have a running joke these days when we go fishing. I'm not exactly "Pig Pen" from the Charles Schulz Peanuts cartoons, but 'fastidious' would not be a word commonly associated with me either. Anyway, Jim is always telling me to use the windshield washers to clean the windshield of our 'fishin' truck'. For me if there are no obstructions, I'm fine with conserving the cleaning fluid until it's REALLY needed. Anyway, I feel about the same way with my glasses. When Jim can't stand my glasses any more, he asks for them and cleans them for me. Nowadays, it's just a joke. Whenever we get in the fishin' truck to go fishing, he asks for my glasses so he can clean them.

He also a real "right-side" driver (as opposed to "back seat" driver), but I'm a pretty tolerant fellow (as well as hard-headed), so his 'assistance' driving is more amusing than annoying. We are well-suited fishing buddies. It will be hard when he goes, and he's 'going fast'. He was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal prostate cancer on Thanksgiving. I don't think I'll be doing any more fishing when he's gone. Maybe when my 2-month-old grandson gets old enough...


    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:15PM
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mendopete - I was 'imaging' the scene you described, and "submaring races" came to mind. Watching the "worm races" would be an interesting way to spend a sunny afternoon...


    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:17PM
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Paul, my heart goes out to Jim (and you). He'll sure enjoy your company, in whatever you do together in his remaining time.

We go on Monday for prostate removal. When the surgery told hubby the pros and cons of radiation and surgery, I told him to go in there and "rip that puppy out." So that's what we'll be doing Monday.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 3:22PM
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Thanks, jasdip, and all the best to you and your husband.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 6:38PM
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Thanks Paul. Tomorrow is purely clear, liquid diet tomorrow for him, so I'm doing it along with him. Not fair to be cooking and baking and chowing down when he can't have any :)

This post was edited by jasdip on Sat, Apr 26, 14 at 22:24

    Bookmark   April 26, 2014 at 10:11PM
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Good luck and best wishes to you jasdip. I pray all will be well.
Paul, its gotta be tough to be losing loosing your fishing buddy. I hope he catches the big one this summer with you.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 1:57AM
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Here's Jim's first nice pike of the season:


    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 11:54PM
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