Worm Watching

We live in a world where worms live under the dirt and we rarely ever see them. On the rainy days, worms come out of the wet, nasty soil and find their way to the sidewalk. As we all know, children are very curious and some love to get dirty in the outdoors. Many kids love to dig in the dirt to find and pick up worms. Well, we found a very simple to make worms almost jump right out the soil, the mustard method.

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Sampling location in the Mixed Hardwoods. Four sample squares were placed along this transect.

 

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Worm Hunters

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Our transect sampling area where we did our sample locations. Located in the mixed hardwoods near the swamp.

 

Have you tried multiple ways to try and get a lot of worms out of the ground? Worms live in the ground where they decompose dead animals and they get a lot of nutrients and supplements from it. Depending on the location, worms will come out of the ground when it rains.  We did a simple and easier way of hunting for worms. We used mustard mixed with water to get them out. Mustard is known to irritate worm’s skin and make them come quickly out of the ground. We looked for earth worms while we did this project because we know that there an invasive species here and there are a lot of them around us when were outside.

  We went out to the hardwoods and pinewoods on WCC campus  and we observed a lot of different things(sample area, surroundings,etc.) that were unusual and interesting to look at. One of our group’s observations was noticing all the frogs that came in a large amounts in the hardwoods. They were all over our feet and we had to watch where we stepped. Another thing that we observed was there were not as many worms in the pinewoods compared to the amount of worms in the hardwoods. Our averages were so far apart that we could tell that the hardwoods was a better place for worms to thrive and to live in. The average for the pinewoods was 9 per square meter. Also in the pinewoods, there were a couple places under the soil where the mustard solution did not soak in due to rocks.The hardwoods had a total of a total of 56 worms per meter squared. One question that we had while doing this experiment was why do worms come out of the ground when it rains a lot? My inference was that worms don’t like to come out of the soil when its wet. We used one gallon of the mustard solution per sample area, a square area plot, and a pan to keep the worms in so we could count them for our sample documentation. We had to do at least 4 samples per location and we noticed a big difference between each sample from the 2 locations were at. But for the most part, the hardwoods had more worms coming out of the ground due to the mustard solution compared to the pinewoods.

Overall I think that the project was fun and interesting because personally I learned a lot  of new things from it that we could take in reality and actually use them. One example that I found interesting was when Mr.Long told us that mustard in water irritates worm’s skin and causes them to come out of the ground. That caused me to actually go into the woods  and try it with my group. From that experience I thought that this project would be fun due to the objectives that we had to do. From the project, it helped me also get a better understanding of whats around us and how we can help to not disrupt nature.

       

Enemies In The Same Space

During the last few weeks, our science class went out to do an experiment where we collect worms by using mustard water to coaxed them out. While doing this we went into the hardwood are behind WCC and found the smallish ponds that are located there. As we went deeper into the pond/swamp area, we were surprised to find both a snapping turtle and a water snake almost 3 feet apart from each other.

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In Search For Worms

Worms, they are everywhere. They are gross to some people, while other like them. Me? I’m not a hug fan of them.They live in the ground, and they’re so dirty. They’re small little animals that you can squash with ease. They take their time coming out of the ground, but we made them come out faster. They were jumping right out when we went to do our experiment, and we made them jump by using the mustard method.

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Our sampling area where we did our experiment at, which was in the hardwoods of campus.

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Wicked Worms

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This is a picture taken a few seconds after we put the liquid-mustard extraction, the worm made its self a whole and  is attempting to escape.


Slimy, brainless…and dangerous? Growing up, most of us were told that worms are good for the soil, which is true, but only for gardens, in gardens they eat organic matter which is good for the soil. Over the past few weeks, our class has been learning about the effects worms have in forests, I was very surprised when I learned that worms are bad for forests and that they are an invasive species. Our class was interested in seeing which area had a greater worm density. Then we got into groups and went to the WCC Pinewoods to a trail near a pond to test that using liquid-mustard extraction, which is an extraction that is put on worms to irritate their skin and let them come out of the soil. Continue reading