A Glimpse from Last Season:

of course she held it... she loves the worms
2011©Jennifer Martinez

Meanwhile Justice is still playing with a worm and I explain that she needs to put it back in the dirt…  it’s time for him to go home.  She asked “to his family?” I say, “yup, home to his family in the dirt.

Which leads to conversation about how every one of Gods creatures has a job to do, and how we should be nice and respect nature. Not a minute later, a big nasty centipede wiggles out from my shovel and is fast moving toward me…   I end our conversation by smashing the centipede into a gooey mess.The conversation may not have had the impact that I intended. The little bugger just wouldn’t die.

View the full story here: Rush to Weed Before the Storm.

Garden Season 2-Day 1-6485
Garden Season 2-Day 1

Just as our first planting season started off with a conversation about earthworms, so starts season two.

Justice spotted a juicy fat earthworm in the dirt on her first dig. Which means work is over and it’s playtime.

She mentioned that the worm was a girl. Of course I seized the parental opportunity to teach her something I thought I remembered from biology class.

I said “Well, Ya know… I think earthworms are A-Sexual.” I turned to see if I’d gotten her attention, and indeed I had.

– Insert picture of a bewildered 4-year-old here. – 

With the funniest look on her face, in what sounded like a valley girl voice over she said, “What’s that?” I proceeded to  explain gender and that worms are neither male nor female.  Again with the bewildered look of boredom from mom’s education attempt. “There are no boys or girls in the worm world” I said. Justice simply replies “Oh, then I guess all worms are girls”. I did the bobble head thing and went back to digging.  

Later I checked my memory by googling worm gender facts. Earthworms are in fact hermaphroditic. Since they have both male and female parts worms can reproduce sexually and asexually.

How to explain that to the 4-year-old?

I’m not sure I’m prepared for the next worm reproduction conversation. So I better leave the scientific education to the pros from here on out.

Speaking of education, do schools still get to dissect worms?

Reference:

The following link has a list of answered questions with 2 descriptive pictures. (including an x-rated shot of mating worms that in my opinion was somewhat fascinating, kinda gross, and slightly strange.) In this moment, I realize I’m officially a nature nerd.

http://www.biologyjunction.com/earthworm%20facts.htm#regenerate

More scientific information provided in the following links.  Including some test results on worm mating experiments:

1. http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexual_reproduction

2. http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/A/AsexualReproduction.html

The following link is simple and informative:

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/earthworm/

Advertisements