While at the Florida Museum of Natural History, I was able to further examine the natural world on a small scale. With nature being on display I was able to experience how animals live or lived in their natural habitat. In addition, I considered how conservation and preservation are key in sustaining this beauty land and world. The next few slides encompass pictures of the animals on display and a tour of the Butterfly rainforest and hopefully allude to the fact that preserving such wonders of life should be of value to all.

Shown above is a picture of me in the Butterfly rainforest. For one, the exhibit was appealing because of its size and "openess." I felt free and in sync with nature. The butterflies flew right in front of me and it was as if I could reach out and touch their wings. There were plants, trees, and a little stream that made it seem like the "real deal," or like a genuine rain forest. I was able to witness some butterflies nibbling on some grapefruit and bananas something I did not even know they ate. Subsequently, seeing the butterflies first hand was a breathtaking and enjoyable experience because I felt at peace. Peace because it was quiet in the garden and all that seemed to be important was the motion of the wings carrying that butterfly to its specific destination.

Leopold's opinion about learning to respect, love, and admire the land could not have resonated more in this museum. The exhibits of nature on display literally in hands reach struck each and every visitor that walked in. We all seemed to be amazed by such beauty and seemed to question why we had not seen it before. As we walked past the butterflies, fossils, or the marine life we all gasped and stared. Stared at the details in each animal, wondered how it might have lived, questioned why others did not take the time to appreciate all that was around. Accordingly, I can safely say I took on an ethical responsibility to stay true to Leopold's words. I want to learn to admire, respect, and love the land. I no longer wish to be the conquerer instead I want to be the promoter. Promoter of all things that appreciate what we have while we have it.

This picture was taken in the marine life exhibit, which was my personal favorite. It certainly pulled me out of my ordinary life by allowing my imagination to wonder somewhere into the depths of the sea. The depths of the sea are definitely a mystery today and have been for a while. We still have not identified all the marine species and so understanding our role as mere explorers and not conquers on this earth was a lesson I learned. Mystery and majesty of this world should encourage us to further conserve it because there is so much we still do not know or understand. Appreciation of the unknown should drive us to discover but to not loose focus on what we already have. In other words, we need to find a balance between the majesty we already can see and the majesty that is still hidden perhaps somewhere in the depths of the sea.

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Stephanie Guadarrama

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