All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust. Ecclesiastes 3:20
Each spring a bit of a unique sight occurs for a short time around the forests and meadows where I live, especially if there are some old leaves from last fall still visible on the ground. Earthworms come out at night and pull old leaves and debris into and around their burrows. Sometimes there can be several piles of leaves one or two inches high across the forest floor.
As the soil warms up after a long winter, the worms are starting to gather food. And this is a very good thing for just about everyone else.
The above pictured earthworm is more specifically called a nightcrawler. These earthworms have the capability to burrow several feet deep into the soil. By this burrowing action, the nightcrawlers can mix different layers, or types, of soil. This also creates tunnels which aerate the ground. Both these actions help create a more favorable environment for plants to grow.
When the worms eat the old leaves, their waste makes rich nutrients available to plants. As this waste is mixed with water, it has the ability to hold many positively-charged nutrients, which are then taken up and utilized by plants. Worms introduce a lot of beneficial bacteria and microbes into the soil as well. The amazing worm reduces most all the nutrients to their most usable form for the plants to uptake.
After a short time, these leaf piles gathered up by the earthworms will be consumed, and the piles will disappear from sight until next spring. It is nothing short of amazing what goes on around us every day while most of us are unaware of the complexity of it all. Amazing critter.
Have a great day.