Tiny Moments in the Earth's Biggest Garden

02-22-2019

By Monica, Expedition Guide

I am in my room when I hear the anchor rattling below the bow. I grab my pack stuffed with binoculars and a camera for my day hike. Above me is the pristine forest of Peninsula de Osa. The green mountain wakes up as mist from the last rain lifts and makes the forest look magical. At a distance, the Yellow Chest Toucan sings at the top of the tree while four Scarlet Macaws fly and glow in the sky with their bright colors.

We embark at the trailhead and everybody smiles in happiness about adventuring into the wilderness. The rainforest is one of the most amazing places on earth and the largest garden in the world.

This rainforest and humidity contribute to the formation of clouds and generate 75% of its own precipitation. As we ascend the trail, we hear the cicadas, their deafening sound humming deep in our ears. We pause to appreciate the forest...humid, dark, lush, and vast.

And it is in that moment when an army of ants start crossing our trail. Those army ants move through the rain forest floor as they hunt. Everything is moving as we contemplate the scene in front of our eyes.

The army ants do not build anthills - they are nomads. At night, they mount their bivouac at the base of a tree where they rest to start a new day moving on the forest floor, little by little, hunting all the insects they can. While they complete their work every day, a group of birds known as antbirds follow them, trying to hunt all those insects that fly away from the ant stampede. The antbirds always follow the army ants, and there is a very special relationship between them. There is always a leader in the flocks of antbirds and he sleeps close to the ants every night.

Our time of appreciation is full of tiny moments. It’s not always is possible to see big animals, but keeping our senses open and observing everything around us, there is a very big, complex, and interesting world inside the rain forest.

Always begin with appreciating the small things in life, and then it becomes possible to enjoy every moment.

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