In three small indoor gardens and one larger enclosure, 30 types of butterflies and ohter wonderful creatures can be discovered. On your first walk through the gardens it’s hard not to be delighted, when you see a huge morpho butterfly passing right by and you get a glimpse at its wide open wings and eveytime the wings come clapping a deep blue sea is beaming in flashes. With the help of R. you spot some fat caterpillars chilling under a leaf and supposivley haven’t moved an inch in two days as if they were waiting for some sort of enlightenment. But there won’t be an enlightenment, much better, nature will pull of one of its sickest tricks in the book, and these lazy suckers will transform into colorful beauties.
With the help of J. you spot a Leaf-mimic. In a garden of leaves, underneath a big leaf, there’s a little leaf, all crumbled and tattered, and only its tiny feet give away the idea that it’s not a leaf but a butterfly with a camouflage game that would put every army adjutant and even John Cena to shame.
To experience these kind of wonders, was one of the best parts of volunteering in the gardens. I also learned about compost and planting and about the leaf cutter ants which build entire kingdoms of their own underneath Costa Rica's red soil. Above the ground and everyday of my stay I had time to explore the lush greens of the many national parks and nature reserves that you can find all around Monteverde. All that, while nature is celebrating a music festival that never stops. Starting early with countless birds singing and tweeting their favorite operas. During the day, with now clear schedule the heroes of black metal will join in. Howler monkeys will communicate from high up in the trees dropping some of the most obscure growling sounds which may come to a sudden stop when the old fashioned rain hits the leaves, drumming it’s pleasing tune. Having crickets as an evening act comes as a welcoming change with their string section vibrating in the warm lights of a setting sun, until restless dogs will wrap the day howling loud to every star.