(March 31, 2006) – Everyone’s heard of snake charmers, but what about worm wranglers? Using a specially designed “worm fiddle,” guests at Martin Park Nature Center can try their hand at enticing earthworms out of their underground burrows Saturday, April 29, at 10 a.m.
The worms will be charmed topside by a worm fiddle symphony of vibrations, which is caused by twanging the worm fiddle against the ground. It may not be Mozart, but it will definitely be something. Worm fiddles are little known today, but have been used by rural people for ages. Neil Garrison, a naturalist at Martin Park, first heard of these mysterious devices from the Foxfire Series, a collection of books chronicling the knowledge and crafts of the Appalachian people.
Charming worms from their dirty dens is only half the fun. Once to the surface, the earthworms can be used for fish bait, recycling or worm ranches. “We’re going to focus on the use of worms for recycling. They are a great help in compost piles or to keep in worm ranches, which, like compost piles, the worms break down kitchen scraps to rich soil,” Garrison said.
During the Worm Wrangling at Martin Park, however, the worms will be used only to demonstrate, not for bait. “We don’t want to send people home with a pocket full of worms,” Garrison said.
The worm wrangling costs $2, which includes the use of the worm fiddle kit. Call (405) 755-0676 to register and get all of the juicy details.
Martin Park, located near Mercy Hospital at 5000 W Memorial Road, is a 140-acre nature park that combines recreation, education and wildlife. It features a hands-on nature museum highlighting Oklahoma’s flora and fauna, over three miles of hiking trails, a prairie dog colony, bird observation wall and a watchtower. Admission to Martin Park is free.