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Science And Nature

Meet up with the marvelous creatures that bring soil alive

Published August 11, 2022

15 min read

Scoop a small number of soil from the Black Forest in Germany, or the Tongass in Alaska, or the Waipoua in New Zealand. Lift it near your eyes. What can you see? Dirt, of coursesoft, rich, and dark as cocoa. Pine needles and decaying leaves. Flecks of moss or lichen. The pale concertina of an inverted mushroom cap. An earthworm wriggling from the light, perhaps, or an ant perplexed by the sudden change in altitude.

Sue Grayston knows there’s a lot more.

Graystons lifelong devotion to soil began in her backyard. As a girl in Stockton-on-Tees, England, she helped her mother sow seeds and have a tendency to the apple trees, roses, and rhubarbs within their garden. Grayston loved the writer Beatrix Potternot limited to her childrens books about mischievous rabbits also for her scientific illustrations of fungi and the countless fabulous forms they thrust through the planet earth.

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