A Trip to the Butterfly Garden By Jennifer Rafalovich

Nature on Display

When I visited the Florida Museum of Natural History an exhibit in the museum caught my attention and sparked my interest. The butterfly garden at the museum is host to many different butterflies from all around the world. The exhibit was placed inside a large dome with many plants all around with a lot of sunlight coming in, mimicking the natural habitat of these butterflies. The exhibit caught my attention because everything in the exhibit is alive! Instead of looking at recreations and statues or fossils of things that used to exist, this exhibit allows you to see what does currently exist and allows you to interact with it. This exhibit gave me the opportunity to view butterflies first hand instead of simply looking at pictures of them. The exhibit featured butterflies from entirely different continents so there is no way I could have seen them in person unless I purposely traveled to their natural homes. I was able to see how the butterflies interacted with one another and how they spent their time in the exhibit. While at the exhibit, I was looking around and I saw a butterfly stuck inside a plant so I held it open for it to fly out. This was exciting because I was able to save the butterfly from being stuck there. I enjoyed my experience at the exhibit because it gave me a chance to see species of butterflies that I may not have been able to see. Also it gave me a chance to take a step back from my busy school schedule and take in the beauty of these creatures.

Watch out for the butterflies resting on the path!

Image citation: Rafalovich, Jennifer. Butterfly Path. 2017. jpg

Butterflies and I

Image citation: Rafalovich, Jennifer. Butterfly and I. 2017. jpg

Nature and Ethics

Visiting the Natural History Museum gave me the chance to take a break from all my school work and take in the beauty that nature has to offer. Leopold says that we, as members of the Earth should learn to "love, respect, and admire" the land and that we should act as a part of the "biotic community" rather than the "conquerors" of it. I think this is very accurate and exhibits such as this one really bring out the beauty of the world that many people forget about. People should respect the world that we call our home by treating it kindly, keeping it clean, and protecting others that live along side humans. At first when I walked into the exhibit I was taken aback by all its vegetation and scenery. Then, as I saw the first butterfly, it grew more and more alive with every butterfly thereafter. I felt a sensation of serenity as I walked through the exhibit, looking closely into the leaves to see what butterflies were hidden in them. As I was in there so was a mother with her daughter. The little girl was chasing the butterflies and her mother watched with amusement. The exhibit felt as though it was filled with happiness and joy. This exhibit, and the museum in general, gives people a chance to appreciate the beauty in simple things. Just by going to the exhibit, one experiences how something so small can hold so much magnificence. Also, seeing this exhibit makes you think about where the butterflies actually live in the wild, vegetation such as the one in the dome is very hard to find with all the industrialization that is taking place. So where do they go? These butterflies are safe inside the protectiveness of the museum staff but not in the outdoors. They deserve to live freely and peacefully just as we do. Visiting the museum really opened my eyes in the sense that there is more to life than just us humans, it is our duty to protect those that cannot protect themselves. We are the ultimate predator and it is our job to realize the harm we have done and stop it before we do even more damage.

Enjoying the scenery.

Image citation: Rafalovich, Jennifer. Enjoying the Scenery. 2017. jpg


Image citation: Rafalovich, Jennifer. Eyes or Butterflies. 2017. jpg

Nature and the Human Spirit

Most people have school or work or a family and so on. Most people are preoccupied with problems that are many times minute. Do they take the time to breathe and look outside and see the world around them? Coming to the Natural History museum gives people a chance to learn about the natural world. The exhibits all demonstrate how much life there is outside of humans and how it even existed before us! How can we take so much away from the beings that inhabit this Earth when they were here first? In reality, the more we take the away from them, the more we lose. We would not be where we are today without the animals and forests that are barely even around anymore. Areas that are considered some of the most beautiful places on Earth are also the ones that are not or scarcely inhabited by humans. There is so much life beyond us and the Natural History Museum does a very good job of making this clear. The world is losing its most precious scenery just because we as people can not put down our smart phones and look outside. "You never know what you have until its gone" is such an accurate quote, especially in this situation. Many people do not realize what they are missing out on, but they will when it is not there anymore. Going to the butterfly exhibit was a break much needed from reality, but it does not have to be a break. I want to be able to look outside and see what I saw in the exhibit right outside my front door.

Spot the butterfly!

Image citation: Rafalovich, Jennifer. Hidden Butterflies. 2017. jpg

Vegetation and beauty are all around us.

Grid citation: Rafalovich, Jennifer. Vegetation. 2017. jpg

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