No words (well, few words) can describe the rush of excitement, creeping anxiety, and sheer realization as I gazed upon Panama from the Smithsonian Crane in Fort Sherman.
The main premise for today’s adventure was traveling to the Atlantic portion of Panama at Fort Sherman to observe tropical morpho butterflies. These Lepidopteran specimens posses vibrant wings that utilize the properties of the light to safely navigate through the Central American rain forest. We were tasked with collecting and examining them; a chore harder than capturing dragonflies, but helps improves one hand-eye coordination and patient. I was fortunate to capture a morpho with my net (but not fortunate to take a picture of it, so just trust me on this).
However, the true diversion of this trip was being elevated past the jungle skyline by the Smithsonian Canopy Crane, a device that allows scientists to observe and conduct research 100~ feet into the air. As we reached the maximum height on the crane, I was stunned by the wondrous imagery that surrounded us. While I had reached higher altitudes on roller coasters and other machines of enjoyment, there was something unmistakably remarkable being there, being in that moment.