Natural History of the Good Life Isabella Oliver

Nature on Display

The beautiful coast makes me reminisce from my younger days of living near the coast in Venezuela: the display seemed to provide the perfect center lighting to re-create a powerful sun shining down upon a peaceful stretch of sand and sea, two contrasting colors that both soothe and excite - which is why i found the exhibit so appealing. Moreover, the exhibit information on what are rapidly becoming extinct species educated and gave me a feeling of urgency to protect our environments. seeing this first hand is something that captures your attention much more than simply reading a scientific article on the dangers of global climate change.

Florida Museum of Natural History - Sea Turtle/barrier reef Exhibit (own image).

Nature and Ethics

The images depicted below, just like the ones above, are meant to arouse in people a feeling a guiltiness for what human beings have increasingly destroyed. The Giant-Sized Pitcher Plant from Malaysia, which goes by the scientific name of Nephentes, is considered to be critically endangered by the World Conservation Union. This is in part due to the loss of habitat as well as cutting down the species. This gives rise to the question: do we have the right to complete obliterate this or any species? In my opinion, displays like these only motivate me to fight in the name of endangered organisms, to be able to admire the land, as Leopold states. In many cases, the displays on extinction also angered me thoroughly, because it made me realize what a huge role humans have played in the demise of so many species.

Giant-Sized Pitcher Plant from Malaysia Exhibit - Florida Natural Museum of History (own image)

Nature and the Human Spirit

The three images below represent different aspects of the human spirit. The first, of the Butterfly Rain-Forest, represents human resilience to preserve endangered species and foster safe environments for these. This helps us step out of our ordinary lives by being in a bubble where these creatures are able to live safely and without worries, thanks to us. It is ironic that little creatures can make us feel just as small, within the scope of a much bigger and dangerous place. For the second image of the Calusa Hut, it reminds us that humans can live and prosper in many diverse places, such as a desolate shore on a beach surrounded by salt water - an adversary that is capable of giving life as well as taking it away, making one appreciate the beauty of the natural world. For the third and final picture, artifacts from the surrounding areas of Gainesville, near the Suwanee river and the Tumucuan natives, reminds people of the power of human ingenuity even at times where technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is today, but that they were still able to persevere in an entirely natural world along with wild animals and raw resources; something majestic all on its own.

Butterfly Rain-Forest Exhibit - Florida Museum of National History (own image)
Calusa Hut - Florida Museum of Natural History (own image)
Tumucuan Natives - Florida Museum of Natural History (own image)

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