Friday, July 11, 2008


I have found true real humus! It is sponge-like, as if walking on closed cell foam. You have probably walked on some spongy forest soils like this. I believe there is some in the cedar swamp where it is not mucky--ie it is on the rises around trees, caught up in moss-covered roots. This is where I really recognized the stuff today--caught up in cracks on rock or caught up in roots. It was clinging to bedrock near a lake in a mainly undisturbed area. It was mostly damp, retaining moisture like a humus colloid should. It seemed that moss was the key builder, so maybe this is just peat or sphagnum that I'm referring to, but I think it would have been fantastic for growing whatever, not just birch trees, blueberries, and other taiga bushes. There were hemlock trees nearby as well. I find the pine-forest soils to be very spongy as well. Plenty of water seems to have a lot to do with this humus-building, though humus resists drying out. Pines don't transpire as much as hardwoods, and so the soil stays wetter, more acid, totally fungally dominated.

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