On our last day before we left the beautiful Arenal area of Costa Rica we toured the hanging bridges that run through the canopy of the rainforest. I generally consider myself an aspiring naturalist. During hikes around our area in the midwest most of time is spent looking at the ground, making notes of an individual plant’s morphology, the time of year it sprouts, etc. When I come across a plant I am familiar with, it’s like saying hello to an old friend. Costa Rica was different, seeing how I recognized maybe 2 species total. Since I experience nature this way, it truly felt exotic and foreign to me. We hiked up the hills and jutting bluffs into the canopy of the rainforest. There, surrounded by howler monkeys and all manner of bird varieties, is how we ended our time in the rainforest. It was perfect and an incredible way to experience how beautiful the jungle can be.

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