our compost tube are definitely starting to rot. And things are growing: above, looking down the neck of the soda bottle, you can see an onion sprouting up from the pile. We also took a sample of the water which collects in the bottom of the tube and took a look under the microscope. Check out the videos below:
Here you can see some of the microorganisms living in our compost pile at 40X magnification, shot with a small hand-held digital camera. The worm above is called a nematode. Cornell's Department of Crop and Soil Science has a page about compost inhabitants. They also have an online guide called Composting in the Classroom: Scientific Inquiry for High School Students which we haven't checked out yet but will.
Above is a 400X magnification of the kidney-shaped organisms, which are probably protozoa. Here's a page about Microbial Decomposers, with microphotos, from the city of Euless, Texas.