Costa Rican Creature Harmony

En la oscuridad de la selva, el sol filtraco a través
de la alboreá preseguida la mariposa azul


Some of my trips I like to be well informed before I go, others I love the sheer joy of discovery and mystery. I must admit, the only thing I knew about Costa Rica could be found in the book, Monkeys are Made of Chocolate, written by Jack Ewing in 2005.  Early on in the awakening of human impact on the environment, Costa Rica was on track to becoming a world model as the greenest, most environmentally conscious country where deforestation was quickly diminished to almost zero. I had also learned that Costa Rica could boast the greatest density of species in all the world including the rather impressive Blue Morpho butterfly.  I expected that everywhere I ventured, I would run into some tropical species or an other.  I was not too far off.

Within only a few months, I found iguanas in tea kettles, bats in rafters and pools, frogs in toilets, sandwich thieving Capuchin monkeys, bugs of all sorts, and--my favorite--surprise run in with a three toed sloth.  None of these encounters were in the depths of the jungle, nor were they encounters with creatures in captivity.  They roamed around (in what I imagined they believed)  to be the happiest, dreamily coexistent place on earth.  Even the pelicans shared their waves around surfers as they too dove and rode the blue pipelines. The wildlife seemed to latch onto Costa Rica's motto of, "Pura Vida". 

Nature and all it offered, happened upon me quite often.  There was one encounter in particular that I will never forget, or trade the memory for anything else.  I was in the middle of the rain forest with a guide who specialized in low-impact jungle interior excursions.  He promised nothing, but was confident in seeing everything.  The deeper we went, the more excited I became.  We had just hopped over a few rocks to get a better look at a waterfall, when my sunglasses landed in the fast moving water right over another waterfall. I rolled my eyes wondering what monkey might discover them and suddenly had feelings of guilt on my not so low-impact on the ecosystem.  That was the fifth pair of sunglasses I had lost that month--under different circumstances of course. By some internal homing beacon system, the guide found my sunglasses and further suggested I might invest in a sun-glass band.   He turned to lead us on while I stewed in shame. That is when I caught the florescent flash of giant, rolling wings.  A Blue Morpho butterfly flitted right over my head.  Its wings had a rhythm of their own while its beauty outshone the rays of light trickling through the canopy.  I was in awe, what an incredible gift.  

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Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa

Poás Volcano

Poás Volcano

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Volcano Irazú

Volcano Irazú

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Dani Siems