We don’t often lament our inability to take a decent photograph. Our point-and-click Panasonic and Ruth’s iPhone well enough serve their purpose – not creating wonderful, fit-for-print photographs but collecting a series of aides-mémoire, snapshots to jog our recall of sights and experiences we could never tame with a camera. We trust our memories to fill in the blanks. And in any case, as writers by trade, we’re generally more interested in putting our impressions into words rather than pictures.

However, there are occasions when we curse our hopeless photography. One such occasion occurred last week, during a three-day hiking trip we took through Corcovado National Park. Tucked away on the Osa Peninsula in the southern corner of Costa Rica, Corcovado is a vast, mysterious tract of rainforest that’s said to be one of the most biodiverse places in the Americas. Hiking through it in the company of an expert, eagle-eyed guide, we were directed to all manner of flora and fauna that will never meet our eyes again. Our pictures… Well, let’s just say they don’t quite capture the majesty.



Anteater, exiting.



Underside of chestnut-mandibled toucan.



Unfocused lizard.



Peccaries in motion. (Action shot!)



We’ll spare this one its dignity.



Half a… Actually, we’re not sure what this is.



Indistinct capuchin monkey. (It was humid. The camera had steamed up. So had Will’s glasses.)



Tapir. Perhaps not its best side.



We can’t remember what was here when we decided to take a picture. But it wasn’t there when we took it.



Should you want to learn what any of these animals look like, please see Matthew Karsten’s more impressive photographs from his own hike through the park. Us, well, at least we have our memories. Somewhat.

from Naranjo, Alajuela, Costa Rica