Little Kailua-Kona is generally (blessedly) drama-free. Just the way we like it. Unfortunately, the last few days have been far from it- high winds, multiple brush fires, aborted cruise ship stops (due to the choppy sea) & hours-long backed up/closed roads. Thankfully, homes & lives were spared.
Until now. But don't be alarmed, I'm not talking about humans, just my hopes and dreams. Last Monday I opened my worm bin, and even though it was a cursory glance, it seemed like there were a little less. But since I was in a rush to dump in the food, I didn't have time to hunt for the little 'balls' of worms (they tend to collect/bunch together like little balls of twine). But then on Thursday, I opened up the bin again...only this time it was abundantly obvious that over a span of 3 days, 80% of my worms were either dead or gone. Since I started off with about 100 in June '11, they've thrived and multiplied into what looked to be maybe 600-700. Needless to say, I was horrified and bereft. But because I had two friends over at the time, I had to grit my teeth, keep a brave face on and stop myself from collapsing to the ground in a heap (I am strong like that...ostrich bite survivor and all).
Initially, I thought it was mass genocide (by some thick, white worms that I hadn't noticed until that day). I naturally held them responsible for somehow picking off my beautiful red wrigglers because their arrival perfectly coincided with the death of 2/3 of my red worms. So in retaliation and a desperate attempt to save the rest, I furiously hand picked out probably 300 of those nasty little white cannibals (no further comment about the imperialist invaders being white). While doing so, I silently cursed them for having the nerve to not only feed on my happy, productive little worm family, but for killing my dream(s) of being a self righteous, hippie organic gardener. Now who would get to don a big straw hat, cute pastel gardening boots from Target and a hemp basket all around town, proudly handing out organic heirloom tomatoes to her friends & strangers alike?! Not me, that's who!!! And so I angrily stuffed their repulsive little bodies into a ziploc bag and not knowing what to do with them, left them to suffocate in the sun. In hindsight, this was a little cruel...okay, a lot cruel. But as any mother/pet owner knows- if you hurt her babies, somebody gon' pay.
Unfortunately, the very next morning when I opened up my predator-free bin, I found the remaining 150 or so red worms all shriveled up, lifeless...and dead. Every last one of them. Needless to say, I was/am devastated and still in shock. So officially, the cause of death listed on the 700 death certificates I must painstakingly issue out will be unknown. There will be no service, as my mother cruelly refused to fold 700 origami caskets for her grandworms.
So at this point, there is no happy ending, and no glass half full as I'm not even sure what to learn from this. I did not move the bin (they're in a shady, protected area) or feed my worms any differently (no meat, dairy, acidic foods) than I have in the past 7 months that they thrived, so my guess is that they suffered some type of illness vs. cannibalism. I want to start over again, I have too...I'm very committed to this process/idea. But right now, the thought of it just frustrates me. I think I need a few weeks to decompress, as well as track down my kind worm supplier (who will hopefully agree to another worm deal in the parking lot of a nearby local service station). Everything I do is with class.
So please, don't cry for me, Argentina or my worms. They had a good life, cut short by about 14 years, but I guess that's how life is sometimes. Here's to moving onward and upward...sniff. [collapses in a heap]