Florida Musuem of Natural History Eila Espada


Part of the Butterfly Exhibit

Mom, "I have to go to the Natural History Museum".

This statement is not something every college student has to tell their parents. Not many, parents would believe their kids would pick going to a museum over some frat party. At first, I was a little aggravated that we had to go to the museums. Don't get me wrong, museums are really cool and all. The museums just happen to be located on the outskirts of campus. Sometimes the exhibits in the museum can be boring and layouts are weird and I end up getting lost. In the end, I am glad I went to the Florida Museum of Natural History. While walking through the exhibits I felt some of my childhood spirit being reborn.

Nature on Display

Kyra Ozment and Eila Espada in the Butterfly Rainforest

I think the answer to which exhibit I found the most appealing is not the hard to find. There is just something about these insects that can mesmerize many, myself included. I found the design of the Butterfly Rainforest to be the most appealing because it truly feels like a miniature rainforest and is filled with beautiful plants. The exhibit captured my attention by having diverse types of flowers and butterflies. I learned that butterflies like to hang upside down, are greater in size compared to flowers, and coexist with different species of butterflies. I believe visiting the museum with my roommate made the experience at the museum more enjoyable. I believe the moment when I go to a museum by myself is when I can officially label myself as an adult. The staff was very friendly and informative about the precautions necessary to ensure the safety of the organisms.

Pictures taken of the Butterfly Rainforest

Nature and Ethics

I feel that the Museum of Natural History allowed me to kind of grasp onto the idea Leopold is promoting. I feel that humans should really start taking more actions on preserving the world around us. There have been many species that have become extinct by our wrongdoing. Humans need to stop destroying the environment along with the animals. The exhibit with the extinct and endangered animals corresponds with this topic. By having the idealism that humans should be "conquers of the land", led to the downfall of many animals and environments. I feel sad and angry that we longer get to see these animals roam freely in their natural habitats. The thought that was coursing through my mind as I walked through the museum was "wow, the world has certainly changed". I cannot say what other people thought of the museum since, there was not many people having conversations. The Museum of Natural History allows visitors to connect with nature by having realistic replicas and artifacts. I do feel that my experience in the museum has instilled in me to have an ethical responsibility to nature. We only have one earth, we have to learn how to treat it right or we will no longer have a place to call home.

Photos taken in the "Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life & Land" exhibit

Nature and the Human Spirit

I feel that the ordinary environment for a college student consists of: libraries, living in a dorm, and having easy access to technology. It is nice to take a break every once in awhile and enjoy the world around us. Visiting the Museum of Natural History helps us step out of our ordinary lives by allowing visitors, especially the college students a small getaway from the rigorous days filled of studying and reading mundane textbooks. Visiting this museum helps us understand that the world is not only ours for the taking. There are diverse and numerous organisms who call Earth home. A fallen tree log may appear to be a big piece of debris but to some fungi and insects it is home. I believe we have only uncovered a fraction of the secrets the natural world has to offer. It is a well known fact that we know more about outer space than we do of the ocean. But at the rate we are polluting the world, there might not even be an ocean to explore. I believe we were meant to explore and be curious. And that is the Human Spirit.

Created By
Eila Espada


All of the photos were taken in or near the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, Florida. Kyra Ozment granted me permission to have her photo taken and published for my story.

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