Compost is beautiful.

So how is that going for you Trent?

Well, somehow I thought it would be easier.

You mean, just putting a picture of a rotting tomato, covered with mould and flies surrounded by a slimy, glistening, snot-like mess and you call it beautiful would be ‘the big sell’ and get people to believe you???

When you put it that way maybe it needs a bit more work.

Yah think!

OK.. How about this.

Making compost is not all that complicated for us humans. All the work is done behind our back by the most complex symphony of interrelated players.

  • Toss out some watermelon rind
  • Add some egg shells, an avocado skin, and melon seeds.
  • Throw on some grass clippings and a bit of soil.
  • Let the sun warm it up, turn your back and presto, magic happens.

Flies lay eggs, fungi spread their magic mycelium, spiders get to work, microscopic bacteria, protozoa and a plethora of their friends work to break everything down so each can share in the bounty of riches.

Eventually you need to add some more eggs to make more flies. These tiny fruit flies of the Drosophilinae species have the most beautiful eyes.

The Green-bottle flies are early to the scene. Here is one entering the compost through a knothole in the lid.

A couple more closeups of the bottle flies. This may be what you are swatting when that buzzing iridescent, annoying fly keeps pestering you on your kitchen window.

A few seeds even sprout in the compost willing to contribute their DNA to the rich wonder of eventual soil.

Why does all this matter. If this process didn’t tirelessly work away all over the world none of us would be able to enjoy the food we covet every day. Grow a garden, plant a seed, pull a weed. Enjoy your new batch of compost.

Well. What do you think? That better?
HMMM… We’ll see. Actual beauty is a hard sell until the final product of fresh, dark, soil, rich in organic matter contributed by millions of life forms spills from the compost bin at the end of a season.

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  1. Miranda July 11, 2022 at 5:36 am #

    Thanks for the reminder, Trent, that beauty is everyhere if we are willing to look close enough… and let go of some of our assumptions.

  2. Sarah July 11, 2022 at 3:38 am #

    I love it all!

  3. Jan C July 10, 2022 at 8:12 pm #

    Yes! I agree with Robert!

  4. Robert July 10, 2022 at 1:18 pm #

    Wow! I never looked at compost quite like that!
    The Fly pics are breathtaking!!!

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