Touring the Florida Museum of Natural History By Christopher Kelton

In this spark story I shall be using images and written narrative to describe what I enjoyed about my visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History and reflect on the meaning that I find in nature.

Nature on Display
Identification of the Field

I found this exhibit to be particularly appealing in that it fully immersed me into the nature of Northwest Florida. You could literally walk through the exhibit and find for yourself all of the plants and animals within it. There is a field guide for identifying them, and this helps lend a hand to creating a more natural feel. It made me feel as if I had prior knowledge going in and could identify the plants and animals myself. The exhibit caught my attention, because it is very immersive and you could reach out and touch it - I did not actually touch the exhibit. I learned the beauty that each of the plants and animals have to offer through their complementary nature of each other, which I would not have understood as well if the exhibit was merely a picture or something of that nature. I enjoyed being able to discover new things about the nature that is all around us within this museum; it gives a greater understanding to the ecosystem that we are living with.

Nature and Ethics

Leopold recommends that we look upon ourselves as members of the "biotic community" rather than as "conquerors of the land," and I believe that the Butterfly Garden at the Florida Museum of Natural History offers this opportunity. It lets you see first hand the lives of butterflies, a weak; non-threatening (to humans for the most part) species. We are able to see how they eat, fly, interact with each other, and interact with us as we walk through their sanctuary. There was definitely a feeling of unity between the people and butterflies, because the butterflies will fly up and land on you as you walk through. Everyone was reacting in the same way as the butterflies, with respect for each other. This experience instilled in me the ethical responsibility of treating all of nature with the respect that it deserves, because all of nature should be respected and cared for with equal reverence for their lives. This is because all life forms are dependent on each other in this beautiful web of symbiotic relationships.

Nature and the Human Spirit

The Florida Museum of Natural History lends us a helping hand in stepping out of our ordinary lives by showing us extraordinary things that make you swallow your pride. An example of this can be seen in the picture above with the growing size of sharks' jaws. This display is able to show us the mystery of the animal kingdom all around us. It shows us how we pale in comparison to a lot of other creatures out there. This line up of sharks helps us understand the majesty which each piece of nature contains. This exhibit lets you experience something you would never be able to safely experience, the greatness of a massive, dangerous creature such as these sharks.


Prairie, Florida Museum of Natural History, Personal Photograph by Christopher Kelton

Field Guide to Northwest Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Personal Photograph by Christopher Kelton

Butterfly Garden, Florida Museum of Natural History, Personal Photograph by Christopher Kelton

Sharks' Jaws, Florida Museum of Natural History, Personal Photograph by Christopher Kelton

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Chris Kelton

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