From 10,000 feet in the air, nothing is what it seems. Supposedly unending rainforests are passed over in seconds, roaring rivers are hushed and immense lakes become nothing more than puddles.
But changing one's altitude does much more than minimize the landscape and its grandeur. Indeed, while soaring among the clouds, in a brief moment of suspension, something beautiful takes place. The combination of earth, vegetation and water, which from land appears so mundane, suddenly explodes into hypnotizing mosaic; reflections and distortions of sunlight, normally unavailable to the human eye, begin to produce colors and shadows that deceive while they captivate; and one gets the feeling that an another world exists at this extraordinary height - a world where birds fly, where the sun always shines and where air and wind are king.
Perhaps the most striking illustration of nature's creative capacity is the magnificent maze of mangroves found in Costa Rica. Large areas of mangroves line the estuaries, streams and river mouths along the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts, most prominently to the east, between Limon and Tortuguero. The mangroves grow in this vague zone where freshwater meets saltwater, where the ground is neither liquid nor solid, where trees roots, paradoxically, are aerial.
But from the labyrinth of a small, serpentine stream, or perhaps even when eyed from the midst of a large lagoon, something of the mangroves is lost. To see it all - to view this "in between" world as the Frigate birds, Wood Storks and Roseate Spoonbills see it; as the Cormorants, Pelicans, Herons and Egrets see it; and as all the others birds nesting and living in the trees see it is to see it from above.
A panorama in smooth motion, a bird's-eye view welcomes in the vivid of nature's unique inspiration. Moving with the wind, suddenly the true scenery appears, uncovering the contrasts otherwise missed: the red of the ground stands out against green of the foliage; the pure white of the clouds belie their gray shadows that darken the land below; and ocean somehow meets horizon as the blues of the sky begin to assimilate those from the sea.
Surfing so close to the cloud's shores, this hidden realm of wind and splendor produces a show that breaks old boundaries while creating new perspectives. In this world, colors converge and shadows dance, mountains disappear and cities fade, leaving only the air that calms, air that simplifies and air that reveals nature's true magnificence.