Foraging for trash proved a lifesaving mission yesterday. While exploring the island, I came upon a bright yellow container advertising “18 Canadian Nightcrawlers.” Since the top was off, I could see that there was still dirt inside. Assuming that a fisherman wouldn’t leave perfectly good bait to shrivel in the sun, I dumped the soil to put the container in my bag and was surprised to see several long, meaty worms fall writhing to the earth. Hastily, I gathered them back up into the container. But, after looking around in vain for the careless fisherman, I agreed with my boys that we should liberate the nightcrawlers (poor, displaced Canadians) and give them an opportunity for a new life on the Monocacy. The boys decanted and reburied them a safe distance from the water. On the way home, I attempted to throw away yet another piece of garbage, a random square of cardboard caught in some wintry underbrush, when I discovered a few snails clinging to its underside. It was an easy decision simply to return the cardboard to the ground with snails intact. After all, cardboard biodegrades, and the snails weren’t being particularly offensive.
UPDATE, 6/14/16: I have since learned that I absolutely should not have liberated these nightcrawlers as they are an invasive species that can harm the native wildflower population and change the composition of the forest floor. Read more here. My apologies. I really am ashamed of my ignorance!
UPDATE, 4/11/16: It seems I’m destined to uncover little critters. Today, trying to lift a piece of plastic (which I have since learned is irretrievably buried in the sand), I found a most impressive wolf spider. He wasn’t inclined to have his picture taken, so I had to chase him around a bit. Thankfully, I don’t suffer from arachnophobia. (To be honest, I only mentioned that last bit because I have to take advantage of the few times Greek comes in handy).