The kids were in the backyard playing slam-dunk. They came running back in: "Daddy! There's worms in the basketball hoop!"
Well, sure enough, there were worms. Wriggling orangey-yellow ones, and immobile, apparently deceased, white ones. What the heck were they, and how did they get there? I thought I knew the answer, in a vague sort of way. I thought they were nematodes that had been pooped there by a bird perching on the hoop.
But the more I looked at them, the less they looked like nematodes, and the more they looked like oligochaetes. They're pretty big for nematodes, and they don't have that ice-shard pointedness at the ends. Plus they wriggled very skilfully, to the point of corkscrewing one half of their body along the length of the second half, which I don't believe nematodes possess the musculature to pull off. So I guessed they might be oligochaetes (the very large group of worms that includes earthworms)--there are hints of segmentation; I didn't put them under a scope-- but I couldn't figure out how oligochaetes would have ended up in a basketball hoop-stand. I doubted that birds would poop oligochaete eggs, because my understanding was that oligochaetes hatch from cocoons in the soil, or in pond muck. Oh, where's a vermologist when you need one?