This would normally be a “Saturday Surprises!” post, but yesterday was another great day to work out in the yard and garden, so nothing got posted. Instead, we have yet another “Sunday Surprises!”
Yes, this is a picture of worms and dirt and soggy old hay. Not particularly the kind of photo that would get thousands of “likes” here or anywhere else. But to a chicken, it’s one beautiful mouthwatering photo!
The inspiration for this particular post came when I overheard Emily telling the others, “Our Daddy is the best worm hunter ever!” Who doesn’t want to be admired like that?
Over the years of taking care of my chickens, I have learned the best places and conditions for finding worms. Underneath bricks, pavers, and old logs are all prime spots. Wet days after a period of rain like we had this past week are always good. But even I had not anticipated the number of worms I would find under the straw bales I had put around their coop and run areas to act as a windbreak.
That was late fall. Now it was late spring, practically summer. The hay bales had gotten repeatedly wet over the months and had begun to break down. The worms from the yard had found a nice home.
There’s more than one kind of worm in my yard. Some worms are sluggish and fat. The chickens enjoy those for their gourmet appeal. Other worms are a bit leaner, longer, and livelier. The chickens enjoy those for the thrill of the hunt! They start thrashing around as soon as they are uncovered, and seeing them sends all of my girls into a frenzy.
After their breakfast feast, we sat and I told everyone about my Uncle Eddie who owned a worm farm. They were fascinated, completely entranced. I told them about how there were rows and rows of raised beds almost like tables. They were filled with soil and different kinds of worms. I told them about how he could just walk right in and fill up a bucket of worms in no time.
They were all ready to head for Uncle Eddie’s Worm Farm until I told them about the alligator he kept in his backyard. It had made its way up from Florida to the North Carolina coast after a hurricane, and Uncle Eddie had found it and given it a home. Having an alligator for people to look at helped his worm business. Who wouldn’t want to look at a live alligator while getting some worms for fishing?
My chickens were glad to hear that the alligator had his own little pond and drainage tile that made a cavelike shelter. They were not glad to hear that Uncle Eddie fed his alligator chicken legs.
No one wanted to visit Uncle Eddie’s Worm Farm after they heard that, no matter how many worms there were or how easy they were to find.
I suppose this just proves the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. But I think it also shows that sometimes what we are looking for just may have already been provided for us, right in our own back yard, right where we live. We just may need to do a little exploring.
Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!