In the wake of our tropical heat and heavy rains, our compost bin was a seething mass of invertebrates when I dropped off the veggie and fruit scraps last evening. Pill bugs (rollie pollies) of various species dominated the scene, joined by beetles, harvestmen (daddy longlegs), fruit flies, worms and an assortment of larvae. Of course, the predators (primarily spiders) were there as well.
The nightmarish scene, backed by a pungent mass of rotting vegetation was not for the faint-of-heart but was rewarding for one (i.e. myself) who built the bin two and a half years ago. Since its completion, we have thrown tons of yard and kitchen waste into that simple contraption and have yet to remove any compost. The efficiency of the scavengers and recyclers is certainly amazing, joined of course by microscopic bacteria and fungi.
Indeed, a compost bin offers a contained view of nature's less appreciated creatures at work. Their vital activity is multiplied a billion-fold across our neighborhood but is rarely observed and generally unappreciated. Anyone who wants a close-up look at their handiwork should buy or construct a compost bin; it will reduce your contribution to landfills, discourage your use of pesticides and augment your devotion to natural recycling.