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No. 106: Jul-Aug 1996

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Fiddling Up Worms

When fishing season arrives in Tennessee, L. Harvey does not get out his shovel to dig for worms, he gets out his saw!

"Using a dull handsaw, Harvey cut a dead dogwood tree down to a 10-inch stump and then began sawing it lengthwise -- an act of worm fiddling that sounded like someone playing the bassoon, and made the ground purr beneath our feet.

"At first, Harvey's sawing seemed to agitate only insects and spiders, but after a while we saw our first fiddled worm. It was 6 inches long, wriggling next to Harvey's boot."

Twenty worms at each site are about average with Harvey's fiddling. His fiddled worms are top fish-catchers; the slime they produce even glows in the dark. Harvey is a purist and eschews modern worm-catching technology, such as those popular iron stakes driven into the ground and connected to a car's battery.

(Simmons, Morgan; "Making 'Music' with Saw and Stump," Knoxville News-Sentinel, April 21, 1996. Cr. J.A. Caywood)

Comment. See SF#65 on how to "grunt" for worms with a driven stake and notched stick -- a variation of Harvey's technique.

From Science Frontiers #106, JUL-AUG 1996. � 1996-2000 William R. Corliss