It’s all been a bit Anglo-Saxon lately so it was off to Futurelearn for a change. The short module on soils was just the ticket, requiring no excessive dedication and topping up existing knowledge with a bit of extra.
The module had some nice muddy practicals. Although the soil profiles here were familiar, I dutifully dug, and I’d not thought before to make any estimate of local sealed soils. Being lazy, I did a rather cheaty method: printed off a Google Maps satellite view, gridded it, and counted squares (11% sealed according to me, + or – a fairly large error, so aren’t I lucky to live in the country). The worm counting exercise began with instructions as to how to irritate your worms (to make them come out and be counted); but as I wasn’t passing near a shop to purchase the necessary, I merely dug and annoyed a few that way. Then there was soil testing with red cabbage indicator fluid. It certainly showed the need to have a colour chart to calibrate against (which in our case we had not got), and the camera was obviously completely unreliable as photos I took of the plain white china background came out as all sorts. But pretty. Rorschach test, anyone?