Good Life Activity at Florida Museum of Natural History by SHelby Neal


I was so excited to visit the Florida Museum of Natural History, specifically the butterfly garden, because it's full of appreciation for our state and the beauty it holds. Walking through the garden I was able to not only see, but experience the plethora of vegetation and butterflies. It was so much fun to take pictures with all of the butterflies, and I even got to have two land on me, which gave me so much joy. In the end, what was just a necessary museum trip ended up being a lovely trip with a great group of friends.

Nature On Display

My favorite display at the Florida Museum of Natural History was the butterfly exhibit. I loved the extreme diversity of plants, from angiosperms to ferns to gymnosperms. Being in biology two currently, I was able to appreciate the different types of plants and even name a few. I particularly liked the design of the pathway throughout the exhibit, and the wooden bridges added to the very outdoorsy vibe. The wrought iron gates and trickling waterfalls created an aesthetic of being in a 'secret garden'. Through this densely packed exhibit I was able to see so many more plants and butterflies in just an hour than I will probably see in any year. I was also able to become more educated on the diversity of florida's natural flora.

Nature and Ethics

Often times, as humans, we consider ourselves to be a more "evolutionarily advanced" species, due to our history of communication and colonization. We often see flowers, plants, and animals, as something to be possessed and cultivated. However, in this exhibit I was able to view these living things in a 'look, but don't touch manner'. This was especially true for the butterflies. Throughout our walk I was mentally pleading with each passing insect to land on me and let me hold it, however it was not until I was quietly sitting on a bench that a butterfly came and landed on my hand. I calmly watched and snapped pictures, excited that I was given this opportunity by this tiny insect. This showed me how much of a co-habitation earth is, and how all of these butterflies had a mind of their own. I was able to watch other visitors go through this same range of emotions as I sat on my quiet bench and breathed in the clean, clean air, thanking the plants for their life-giving contribution to my day.

Nature and The Human Spirit

As my group and I walked through the Butterfly exhibit I found myself straying from the pack and walking ahead to appreciate the beauty in solidarity. Every time I found myself too far ahead I would turn back and find the group laughing and enjoy the exhibit. However, after a few times of this, I found myself turning around and not hearing any laughter. As I walked back I found my friends all sitting on a bench in silence, appreciating the nature and hoping a butterfly would appear. It was surprising to see them all sitting in silence, simply enjoying each other's presence and their own thoughts. They were each in their own world, noting and thinking about different aspects of the world around them. It was refreshing to experience such a peaceful yet pondering silence while being surrounded by so many of my friends.

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