Museum of natural history spark story by lauren kirkley

Nature on Display

Unsurprisingly, the butterfly exhibit was the one that stood out most to me. Stepping into the room felt like stepping into a different world and I was fascinated as I searched for butterflies amidst the lush garden. I felt like a kid again, my sense of curiosity ignited. Getting to be in the actual habitat that butterflies live in in nature allowed me to learn a lot about what climate and environment they prefer. I also got the ability to observe several butterflies up close, as shown in the collage below. Seeing their colors and patterns up close and seeing how well they could camouflage themselves was also very cool and showed me how they operate in nature.

Kirkley, Lauren. "Self Portrait with Butterfly." 2016. JPG file.

Kirkley, Lauren. "Butterfly Collage." 2016. JPG file.

Nature and Ethics

Seeing the beauty of the butterflies, including the ones building their chrysalises in this exhibit, made me feel a sense of responsibility towards nature. Near this exhibit was a sign describing the Xerces Blue and Boidouval's Satyr, two butterfly species native to San Francisco that went extinct when humans removed their host plants. It also described the Bay Area Checkerspot, which was saved from extinction by human efforts to replant their host plants. I don't want to lose another species of butterflies so that future generations will not be able to study them and appreciate their beauty. As we walked through the garden there were many generations, from young children running through to elderly people taking pictures. I think it's important for all of us to appreciate nature and work to preserve it, as the butterfly exhibit showed us.

Kirkley, Lauren. "Artist with Pupae." 2016. JPG file.

Nature and the Human Spirit

I have always loved turtles, so I was immediately drawn to this exhibit of a loggerhead turtle nest. Loggerhead turtles lay their eggs in a nest like this ashore, away from the water. Then, when the babies hatch, they make the journey across the beach to the sea. They are very vulnerable to predators- including humans- during this time. Besides the fact that that journey is probably braver than anything I've ever done, this reminded me of how innate nature can be. I feel like I owe a lot to my mom for raising me because I can't imagine being like a loggerhead turtle and just being able to know what to do basically from birth. However, it also reminded me that even though I don't have things figured out, innately there is something within me like a purpose. Just as loggerhead turtles know that they have to go across the sand to the water, I will figure out what I have to do. Placing myself in the position of a loggerhead turtle, as strange as it made me seem, made me feel more comfortable with my place in this world and more confident that one day I will achieve the good life.

Kirkley, Lauren. "Myself with Turtle Nest." 2016. JPG file.

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