Good Life- FLMNH By: Olivia granaiola

At the Florida Museum of Natural History, I became more in tune with the natural world around me than I normally am in my everyday life. Being in the presence of hundreds of butterflies allowed me to look at the world a little more closely because they are such small, beautiful creatures who will flutter away at the slightest movement. Here, I snapped this picture of a butterfly on the ground. I usually do not think about the "ethics" involved with walking because I am so focused on getting to my next destination. The ground is just "the thing I walk on". But at the Butterfly Rainforest, I was forced to look around and appreciate the beauty of everything. If I was walking the way I usually do (quickly), I might have accidentally killed the butterfly because I would not have seen it. As a person who loves animals, the thought of accidentally killing one and not even noticing made me very upset. Something wonderful about this experience was that I realized I was not the only one who thought this way. A mom and her child were walking around and the mom said "Be careful!". I almost never see a busy mom telling her child to be careful at the mall, but because it was an experience with nature, she (like I) felt an ethical responsibility to the Butterfly Rainforest, as well as its inhabitants. Picture taken by: Olivia Granaiola. 1/18/17
This little exhibit in the Butterfly Rainforest represented "Nature on Display". While most of the butterflies were flying around or resting on trees, these butterflies were feeding on a leaf-shaped dish. I thought it was appealing because it maintained the natural habitat of the butterflies with an item that can usually be found inside of a house, further connecting us with the animals. I noticed it because it was really the only area where a mass of butterflies remained still and also because the dish was one of the only things inside the Rainforest that did not come from nature. In a medium like a tree or wood, I might have assumed that the butterflies gravitated towards the texture. But, this leaf-shaped dish had a completely different texture than an actual leaf. I realized that, like humans, animals are also drawn to things because of their sight more than anything else. I have never seen a butterfly eat before, so I thought that was super interesting because I never thought that they would eat part of a banana or an orange. Picture taken by: Olivia Granaiola. 1/18/17
This represented "Nature and the Human Spirit". Although this was a display at a museum that is relatively new, I began to think about real rainforests. The trees and plants that have been there for hundreds of years could still be alive hundreds of years later. In our ordinary lives, many of us see a tree and think about the beauty. We rarely stop to think about its lifespan or how it relates to us as a species. But being there behind this beautiful exhibit triggers the mind more than the mind is usually triggered. As humans, we tend to believe that we are the be all and end all of the entire world. However, our years are only a blip in the scheme of time. Trees that our great grandparents got to see could still be standing to enrich the lives of our great grandkids. Four generations of humans could easily equal part of the life of a tree or a cascading creek. I believe that both the mystery and the majesty of this exhibit lie in the fact that nobody truly knows how long it will be there. When a tree dies, nobody knows because it continues to stand tall, which is something humans will never get to experience. Picture taken by: Olivia Granaiola. 1/18/17


Photo Credits: Olivia Granaiola

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