Yesterday I was repotting plants and found some earthworms living in the potting mixes.
At first I thought they must have crawled into the pots through the drainage holes – when I’d set the plants out on the grass in the rain sometime; or maybe from when some of the plants were living under the tree in the backyard.
But then I found a worm in the base of the maidenhair fern. There’s no way I would have left that plant under the tree – its fronds are too fragile in the wind. It’s unlikely I would have put it out in the rain, either; it’s possible, but unlikely. If I had done that, I probably would have just set it on the edge of the verandah, not down on the lawn, and the verandah is covered in ceramic tiles, not soil.
So, I don’t know. These earthworms have appeared from somewhere, but I have no idea where or how they’ve survived in the pots for so long. I don’t even know what they eat.
It’s the sort of mystery which makes me realise how much I don’t know. I must have seen thousands of earthworms over my lifetime, but I don’t know even the most basic facts about them. I don’t even know how they’re born, for example. (Are there eggs? Could there have been worm eggs in the bags of potting soil?)
I’ll have to look it up.