Life in the Compost Pile

I’ve had compost piles for ages, but it’s a bit different here in Panama. There are so many critters that love the scraps. It was hard to even get started because anything I’d put out would immediately disappear. Now that I have more time to garden, there are lots of weeds and leaves but any fruit and veggies scraps still always attract things. I’ve seen squirrels, iguanas and other lizards, possums, all kinds of bees, ants, flies, and quite a few different types of butterflies.

One day there were tons of these golden bees visiting. I've also seen a lot of the little black bees.

One day there were tons of these golden bees visiting. I’ve also seen a lot of the little black bees. and sometimes some other varieties as well.

One days I discovered ants carrying off all the white inner part of an orange peel. If you look closely you can see white spots which are bits being carried away. By the end of the day there was nothing left but the orange outer peel.

Another day I discovered ants carrying off all the white inner part of an orange peel. If you look closely you can see white spots which are bits being carried away. By the end of the day there was nothing left but the orange outer peel.

What gets me the most excited by far though, are these butterflies. It's a large and beautiful butterfly here, but this is only a part of the beautiful it offers!

What gets me the most excited by far though, are these butterflies. They are large and beautiful butterflies, but what you see here is only a part of the beautiful they offer!

When they rest the keep their wings closed and only open them for a flash, so you have to be patient to get a glimpse of the beauty within, and very very patient to catch it with a camera!

When they rest the keep their wings closed and only open them for a flash, so you have to be patient to get a glimpse of the beauty within, and very very patient to catch it with a camera!

These are spectacular butterflies and quite large. It's something to see the flying through the yard with their iridescent blue wings flashing in the light.

These are spectacular butterflies and quite large. It’s quite something to see them flying through the yard with their iridescent blue wings flashing in the light.

I took over 300 photos to get these three with a peek at the blue inside the wings. By the time they flash their wings open it's too late to click the shutter, so I just took tons of photos and hoped a couple would catch them at the right instant. I was very happy to see that I had had some luck!

I took over 300 photos to get these three with a peek at the blue inside the wings. By the time they flash their wings open it’s too late to click the shutter, so I just took tons of photos and hoped a couple would catch them at the right instant. I was very happy to see that I had had some luck!

I also took a short video where you can see the flashes of blue.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
This entry was posted in gardening, insects, Panama and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Life in the Compost Pile

  1. Allison says:

    Fantastic video!

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  2. Emma says:

    i looooooove blue morphos!

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  3. indacampo says:

    Beautiful Kris!

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  4. Kathy says:

    First, let me say that I love your butterfly pics. I’m like you, I love my butterflies. OK, now some compost tips that might help. My husband Til and I have always composted down here. First in Costa Rica and now in Panama. What works for us is ditch composting. This means digging a ditch for your compost and covering it with soil in layers. This is a method we have always used with success and are using now. Good luck and keep composting!! Hope this helped.

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    • Really? Thanks so much for the tip. I will have to try this. Do you put the ditches where you want to improve the soil, or come back later to gather the compost and spread it where you want it?

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  5. D. Quijote says:

    If you like BIG butterflies go to banana plantations, put some semi-rotten fruit out and wait… You will see them in the hundreds. The foliage I believe attracts them. At least that is how I remember it.

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  6. Elvira says:

    Very interesting, I love it

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  7. Now who would have thought that a compost pile could be so beautiful. lol Love the Blue Morphs.

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