Nature and the Human Spirit
Butterfly exploring my finger in the Butterfly Exhibit
Butterfly fly onto my back in the Butterfly Exhibit
As typical as it is, the Butterfly Garden put me in a state of shocked silence; but not just because they are pretty. For some reason I have had multiple instances when butterflies would fly onto my face or shoulders and just stay there. I never thought much of it until I began to read a bit more into religion (Judaism specifically). In the Jewish religion, butterflies represent miracles performed by G-d. And throughout my ventures I've come across countless stories of Holocaust survivors in which the sight of a butterfly outside the camp fences was enough to tell them to keep fighting. For me, butterflies mean strength and perseverance of life. So this exhibit took my breath away for a very different reason than most.
Nature and Ethics
Being born and raised in Florida, I have seen a lot of first-hand destruction and disrespect of the ocean and the natural habitats of the everglades. You go hunting in a place that looks like it's never been touched by the hand of humanity, then you just happen to stumble upon a beer bottle or a cigarette butt. It's quite perturbing. The first photo is meant to depict the layers of soil in Florida, but the glass bottle on top really struck a chord with me and made me think about how irresponsible we are with our surroundings. The information plaque (second photo) also made me think about the degradation of the environment due to our carelessness.
Selfie with Net Ban Information
My family was never too financially stable. This being said, for the 30 years that they have been married, my parents have been driving down to The Keys every weekend in order to fish and lobster enough to feed us. I remember the stories my dad told me about how vast the change was when the net ban was introduced. Months after the ban, all of a sudden there were snapper and trout back in the brackish rivers, snapper and grouper back in the mangroves, etc. The fish made an insane comeback, and I can honestly say that the net ban may have had something to do with the survival of my parents and siblings. All of the information in this exhibit made me truly understand that it is our duty to protect the land around us and appreciate it for what it's worth. Steps like the net ban need to be continually taken in order to reverse the damage we have already brought upon the world around us.
Nature on Display
As weird as it is, I have always had a borderline-unhealthy obsession with frogs. Empty hours would find me randomly researching interesting facts about them. So you know that when I heard about the new frog exhibit I may have gone ballistic. This particular collection drew my attention for many reasons, but I also was not really expecting to learn anything new about frogs (as arrogant as that sounds). Much to my surprise, I gained a LOT of knowledge regarding their basic survival. Initially, frogs in some parts of the world quite literally freeze every winter, then thaw and continue to live in the summer. Can you imagine? They have adapted in a way that basically kills them so they can live. Not only this, but the Poison Dart Frog is the deadliest creature in the world. The toxins produced from one tiny frog is enough to kill up to 12 men, or about 10,000 mice. This entire collection brought to my attention the lengths that nature will go in order to just barely survive. Each creature has a unique ability and adaptation enabling it to continue on day after day.