One Moment

I’m home! I’m home!

I’ve been home for days, actually, but unable to compose anything coherent about my trip to Costa Rica. It was an unforgettable adventure, an experience so rich with sensory details that I haven’t found a way to process them all yet. I’ve decided to start by sharing just one very small moment. Here it is:

© Loree Griffin Burns

Can you see the blue morpho caterpillars all over the leaves in the image? This is just one small branch of one small tree in a greenhouse full of trees. We are talking lots of caterpillars. It was the largest herd of caterpillars I have ever seen in one place. Their brilliant yellow bodies and hot pink hair tufts were stunning against the green leaves, especially as the sun set over the farm. Here’s a closer look:

© Loree Griffin Burns

I took photo after photo, none of which did the sight justice. Eventually I gave up, and opted for simply watching them. In this tiny moment of defeat–during which I finally stopped making noise with my camera shutter–I was treated to the most astonishing thing: the sound of hundreds of caterpillars feeding together.

Who even knew such a sound existed? Or that human ears could hear it?

I didn’t.

But now that I do, I plan to remember it always. As with the photos, my literal descriptions don’t quite do the sound justice. It was a wet noise. Sharp, but in a whispery sort of way. Nippy. Insistent.

I have pages and pages of trip notes and interviews to read through and transcribe in the coming days. And a book proposal to write. With any luck I’ll find time to share more Costa Rican sights and sounds here, too. In the meanwhile, have a great week!