A few weeks ago, arboretum workers pruned the huge Ombu tree. It needs pruning every year, because it's heavy and it grows so fast. The severed limbs were put through a chipper, and the resulting mounds of mulch have been composting vigorously. Yesterday morning I noticed steam rising from the top of the pile, and it looked for all the world like a mini-volcano. Today, I returned with my camera to take pictures.
A brief video of steam rising from the mulch. The little black box is the LCD display for a temperature probe I brought along.
Mulch volcano, ringed by little mushrooms. I'm guessing it was too hot up on top for the mushrooms to grow.
The ambient temperature outside the mulch pile.
The reading with the temperature probe plunged about elbow-deep into the mulch. By the way, this handy little gadget normally gets plunged inside our Thanksgiving turkey, among other edibles. Don't worry, I've already washed it.
Views of the mushroom "village"
...and I need to have a bug in this post, so here is a little fly hanging out in the Mushroom Village.