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Hidden Beauty

December 10, 2010

Owl Butterfly


Recently I traveled to Lima to attend the Fulbright Scholars Thanksgiving Luncheon. While there, I had the opportunity to present a selection of my images. After my presentation, one of the other scholars asked me a question – “Where do you find all of these animals?” She went on to explain that her brief experience in the jungle left her overwhelmed. All she saw was green and none of the animals she had read about in books presented themselves. I remember having the same feeling during my first jungle walk. I had great expectations after reading a book called “The Great Kapok Tree” as a child. In the book, the jungle is teeming with life and all the animals live in an and around one giant kapok tree. My first rainforest experience was in Belize when I was a freshman in college. I expected to see giant red beetles sitting on lush green leaves and snakes hanging from vines. Instead, I found a beautiful forest that seemed devoid of animal life. It is only now, after over four years of experience, that I am able to uncover all of the diversity. I walk at what seems a frustratingly slow pace. I scan the ground for snakes and watch for insects and frogs that hop out of the way of my massive boots. I pause in front of tree trunks and examine every inch of bark until I find the world of camouflaged insects and animals pressed flat against the wood. Then, I bend to the ground to flip over leaves in the hopes of finding a weevil or butterfly hanging on the underside. It is only in this way that I find the rich variety of life that is in the jungle.

I have posted this set of images from the Los Amigos Conservation Concession as an illustration of how cryptic and camouflaged many of the animals are!

Camouflaged frog on tree.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anne Hice permalink
    December 10, 2010 6:34 pm

    Awesome Spider photo; also frog one

  2. Joy Fillman permalink
    December 10, 2010 9:15 pm

    Wow, Gabby…this post really opened my eyes to the incredible efforts at camouflage nature has made to insure the safety of whatever life form is present in the jungle. As usual…you have taken such beautiful photos!

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