Today was flutter-ific! Tatiana Arce

Nature on Display

• Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been completely infatuated with butterflies. Their symmetry, patterns, and vivacious colors have always driven me to admire them. Which is why I was extremely excited to enter the butterfly rainforest at the Museum of Natural History. Upon entering I was captivated by the different flowers, walkways, and butterflies. My friend and I sat down on one of the benches and took in the surroundings. We noted the peaceful sound of the waterfalls and birds chirping. I was also drawn to the amount of trees and greenery. I feel like I am constantly cooped up in the library or in my apartment, so it was nice to take in the greenery.

• I also enjoyed the various cases of butterflies labeled accordingly by species. It’s intriguing to see all the subcategories of butterflies and differences in patterns/colors. The contrasting signs within the exhibit explaining distinct phenomenons were also interesting. I learned that butterfly mating can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours!

I was excited to find "orange and blue" in nature! #GoGators
If you look closely, there is a butterfly on the bottom right!
Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves. -Drew Barrymore

Nature on Display: The Exhibits

  • I was extremely impressed with this museum. I loved that each exhibit provided the viewer with a different vibe, which allowed for me to contemplate nature in different ways.
Among my favorite exhibits, I thoroughly enjoyed the one on oceans and estuaries. The facts about the depths of the ocean made me ponder about how fortuate we are to grow up in an era with technology that facilitates proper understanding of open waters. Before these technological advances, tons of myths and misconceptions about sea animals were assumed. Through education, we become less ignorant and more compassionate for wildlife.
I was also taken aback by this vast mammoth I encountered upon entering. Imagine if these large animals were still wandering around today? A part of me wants to believe that humanity would try to conserve them, but in reality they would probably be poached for wool, tusks, and other elements. The overall experience at the museum was positive and insightful. I love learning fun-facts about various things that might seem insignificant to some.

Nature and Ethics

  • According to environmentalists, there are various world views when it comes to how we should maintain the environment. Individuals (like myself) fall under the environmental wisdom worldview, which states that humans are not a superior species and should study the history of the earth in order to make executive decisions on how we should conserve it.
  • As Leopold describes, this comes from admiration and understanding of nature. I personally believe that this museum provided me with a place to marvel the beauty and intricacy of nature. I've always been an outdoorsy person, so being surrounded with beautiful flowers and creatures made me happy.
Fun fact: many moths do not eat at all! Some of them don't even have mouths! Although, the ones that do, consume nectar.
  • It's interesting how people of all ages view and enjoy nature. I saw older folks and young children roaming around and learning. My friend and I specifically liked this one child who was around two or three years old, he kept pointing at different things and announcing their color. Even though he wasn't learning about the fun facts, he still enjoyed the different exhibits in his own way!
  • I think that visiting these exhibits did insight a newfound appreciation for nature. As Leopold claimed, being around nature instills an ethical responsibility to uphold and maintain the natural world around us. I would love for my future generations to witness butterflies and nature at large.

Nature and the Human Spirit

  • Looking at nature helps us understand ourselves because it puts our troubles into perspective. We are all just a fraction of life on Earth, yet we all have our own struggles and tribulations. Zooming out and looking at things in a large scale, make our worries seem inconsequential. I definitely see myself coming to this museum more often in between classes to take my mind off of things.
  • I completely agree with Heschel's beliefs on taking time out of your day to connect with nature in order to revel in our surroundings. We were all placed on this planet for a reason and share the same resources. Yet we're all so encompassed in our own bubbles and chaotic lives. Stepping outside of your bubble and learning about different living things and how they work facilitates appreciation and introspection. From the smallest bacteria to a massive whale, we all contribute to our ecosystem, which is why we should all respect it!
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. -Albert Einstein

All images were taken by Tatiana Arce

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