Today was night hike day.
After sunset (pictured above), we had an opportunity to go out into the rainforest, and this was quite the adventure. As you would imagine the rainforest is foreign and unforgiving already in the daytime, but in the nighttime it takes up a different sort of personality—a more threatening one, and for the first time I felt slightly un-safe while cruising the trails. My general disregard for the danger of animals helps me feel safe in the jungle when the sun’s out, but at night even I started feeling hints of fear.
We saw many spiders and many crickets. The crickets were plentiful. I saw at least four that were large, maybe 5 cm, with long antennae often the size of their body. They were shiny and easy to spot in the dark. I also saw a surprisingly large amount of monkey grasshoppers, five in total. This is surprising since grasshoppers tend to be diurnal. I also saw katydid nymphs with very strange morphology, longer-limbed than their adult sizes, pictured to the right next to a monkey grasshopper picture.
Once again there was a moment of total darkness, as we all turned off our lights and stood in the rainforest. It was different from the cave—more alive. We stood in the darkness for a few minutes, and the stars shone above a lot brighter than they ever are in Houston, or anywhere else. We spent the rest of the night watching the stars off the staircase of the station, talking and listening to the sounds of the rainforest.