Nature on Display Gabriela Gonzalez

The Butterfly Rainforest is a unique, walk-through exhibit that is characterized by wooden bridges and a twisting stone pathway. The exhibit featured diverse plants, as well as butterfly species. My attention was first captured by the aviary style of the enclosure; the height of the enclosure surprised me because I had never given thought to how high butterflies could ascend. The first hand experience presented by the museum allowed me to observe the butterflies drinking the banana sugar with their pointy, needle-like mouths. I also noticed that while most of the butterflies had a distinct brown and white pattern on the outside of their wings, only a few adorned the bright blue hue on the inside of the wings. Butterfly speciation was on full display within the butterfly aviary, and I am overjoyed that I was able to witness it.
As I walked out of the Butterfly exhibit and into the museum, I was impressed by the mural of the world on spanning the wall. Under the wall were smaller informational graphics detailing the effect of human expansion on butterfly migration patterns and life spans. Leopold would have agreed with the graphics messages, as they detailed the effects of airports and increasing global temperatures on the insects. The Natural History Museum allows visitors to appreciate the butterflies, birds, and plants up close, which lent to the sense of responsibility a patron feels as they vigilantly watch for butterflies on the ground. He would have applauded the museum for raising awareness and allowing visitors to see themselves as part of the "biotic community." As I traveled through the museum, I stopped at the exhibit where curators were monitoring butterfly cocoons. The little kids were enthralled with the origins of life, and I felt a responsibility to encourage the youth's love for nature.
Hiding amongst the other trees and often overlooked for the butterflies is the ethereal Ceiba tree. The spiked tree is a staple in South American countries, including Mexico, and transported my mind back to Mayan culture. During the summer of 2016, I traveled to Merida, Mexico where I interacted with the local Mayan people and learned the significance of the Ceiba tree. The Mayans believe the Ceiba tree is the naturalistic bridge between the underworld and the heavens, and that it is the center of the earth. Western culture relies more heavily on science and fact, so it was nice to be able to appreciate the spiritual aspect of other cultures.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.