The Tropical Rainforest ft. blue butterfly
This exhibit stood out to me because I learned to be present as I experienced the Butterfly Rainforest. Barely five steps into the exhibit, as I scrolled on my phone to find the instructions for this assignment, a blue butterfly flew right between my face and phone screen. For a second, I jumped. Then, I felt an expression of joy form on my face that I couldn't make go away. It was like the butterfly was saying "put down your phone and enjoy the view." It was the interactive environment of this exhibit that made it so enjoyable to me. I couldn't possibly be detached from nature when it was so prevalent around me. But then again, isn't it always? It was a wakeup call to me to enjoy nature more often.
Finch eating off the sidewalk
What I experienced in this picture seems to sum up my experience at FLMNH: this finch is tiny and if you don't look closely, you may miss him. This is something that I couldn't get off my mind while in this exhibit. As I turned the corner toward this exhibit, there were at least 10 finches gathered on the sidewalk. The sad thing is, I almost didn't notice. After all, they were so tiny. By the time I was able to take this picture, only one finch was still on the sidewalk. And that's the thing about nature - if you don't look, like really look at your surroundings, you'll miss it. Most of the other people in this exhibit seemed to understand that. I saw children, ever so curious and grandmothers photographing every single flower, butterfly, bird and plant. They seemed to know how to connect to nature and truly appreciate the moment. I desired to do the same. And, with so much life and beauty surrounding me, it wasn't hard to enjoy the experience. I learned to not only see nature, but admire it.
Butterfly feeding off bananas and grapefruit
As I watched this butterfly eat, I thought of how perfect this environment was. It wasn't like a zoo, where you feel bad for the animals who should be living in the wild rather than a cage. This exhibit was better than the wild - no predators, no competition for food, no lack of resources. I thought of how nature isn't always a "survival of the fittest," it also supports each other. The water nourished the plants, the plants gave the butterflies a place to play, the flowers added beauty. They all worked together in harmony. It gave me a greater appreciation for nature because if nature can support itself, why can't mankind support each other as well? There are many lessons we could learn from the butterflies, plants and birds.