Exploring the Good Life in Gainesville A spark story

Florida Museum of Natural History

introduction

This spark story records my trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History and my experiences within the exhibit. Enjoy!

Nature on Display

As soon as I entered the Butterfly Rainforest in the Natural Museum of History, I was immediately in awe of the beautiful nature and foliage around me. I really appreciated that the exhibit wasn't some air-conditioned enclosure but was open to the outdoors. I could see the sun shining above the tree-tops. The small river flowing through the exhibit also caught my attention.

One of the highlights of my trip was actually when a small blue bird flew down on a small wooden bridge that I was about to cross. The bright colored bird beautifully fit into the colors and environment of the butterfly rainforest ecosystem. The whole experience and encounter with the rainforest was very calming and peaceful.

Nature and Ethics
Here the butterflies are seen feeding on the bananas

As I was making my way through the butterfly rainforest, there was a moment in which I felt an ethical responsibility to nature. This moment occurred as I walked by an area where several butterflies were feeding off of bananas. In this moment I could witness the delicate nature of the butterflies as they were just inches before my face. I saw how the banana, a product of nature, was nourishing the butterflies and giving them energy. This same snack had often times provided me with nutrients and energy as well. Just like butterflies, we rely on nature and are part of nature and should thus treat nature with respect. This experience further reinforced my appreciation for the land and life around us.

Nature and the Human Spirit

I am viewing the butterfly rehabilitation area

The stunning butterflies I saw flying around the rainforest were not always in such great condition. In the picture above I am seen visiting the rehabilitation area where scientists nurse butterflies back to health before eventually releasing them into the rainforest. The transformation, or metamorphosis of the butterfly and the formation of its chrysalis is truly quite a miracle of nature and a testament to the majesty and mystery of the natural world. I am thankful that this assignment gave me the opportunity to connect with and ponder the natural world.

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