Rivenrock Gardens writes…
“The further you enter into it; the deeper it becomes”, Dante
Imagine if you will, having been shrunk down to a microscopic size. You are now smaller than an ameba, but larger than a bacterium. You live in the ground, in a microscopic world of one celled and larger creatures. Some of them are living in the thin film of moisture around the soil particles. As you roam around, knee deep in the water layer around a large grainy sand particle, you see in the water film a multitude of animals and algae floating around in the tiny currents in this small world of water. Some of these small microscopic creatures are animals, catching the algae and bacteria and eating them. Some of the bacteria are dining on algae, and also the dead bodies of the animals that live in this film of water clinging by static action to the sand grain.
You however are large enough to leave this film of water and venture to another particle nearby. This one is up against the sand grain; it is a particle of compost. This particular piece is so decomposed that it is not possible to distinguish what it once was. But now it is a piece of humus, decomposed plant or animal matter. It is a fluffy segment larger than the sand particle. As you get closer to it you see that is so open and porous, its many cavities and cracks are full of tiny organisms. Some are the same as were around the sand, and some are different. This piece also has water in and around it, but since it is so porous it has soaked up water in mush the same way a sponge would. Its’ many cracks and fissures are full of water, in fact this piece of detritus is carrying more water than its’ own weight. And in all this water and organic matter there is a veritable colony of organisms at work, digesting the organic compounds of the compost, as they work at it their own waste products are released into the water in the particle. These compounds are worked upon in turn by even smaller creatures, and some substances from them form acids that help to etch the soil particles and hasten the breakdown of the material…”