Papilio pilumnus by SarahIlana Rosner
Nature on Display
Personally, I really liked the Butterfly Conservatory. It was really nice to be surrounded by butterflies. They were real life animals flying gracefully through the air. The butterflies would come so close to you that you could almost grab them. Unfortunately, there are strong rules against capturing the butterflies and they are too quick to be caught. The hardest thing that a museum of history must overcome is reality and the present. History Museums tend to focus on the past and it is hard to study the past without experiencing it. This issue is not present in this exhibit. The butterflies are real. This exhibit is a hands-on activity. You are put in an enclosed place that looks similar to a rain forest. The conservatory is subject to normal Florida weather conditions. The plants are all real. There are seed eating birds and salamanders. Scattered around the conservatory, there are bananas and grapefruit for the butterflies. It was advantageous to see a butterfly in a natural habitat. I was able to see how the butterflies reacted with the plants. I saw two butterflies from the same family or species playing with each other. They would zoom across my face just like two kids playing tag on a lawn. The butterflies were so fast that you are almost sent into a hypnotic state. They capture your attention for so long. If you just blink, you might miss them. This is what makes this exhibit extraordinary. You have to be present. You can't come into this exhibit and move through the signs and take pictures. You have absorb all that is around. Nature is the art of the world. Just like Winterson said, you must spend time with art to truly appreciate it.
Idea leuconue by SarahIlana Rosner
The Nature of Ethics
According to Leopold, we must learn to "love, respect, and admire" the land. The butterfly conservatory helps us to learn to love and admire the land but not respect it. Personally, I think the attraction entitled "Living with the Land" at Disney's Epcot teaches everyone to respect the land better. Butterflies are cute to look and at. They also capture your attention with their grace and beauty. The conservatory focused its attention on educating those about butterflies. There were signs to learn more about their feeding and drinking habits, reproduction, and even the land that they lived in. However there was no indication of what has caused the butterfly population to decline significantly. It is important to note that a conservatory puts the museum goer in a sort of rosy colored glasses. They see this environment where butterflies thrive, however it does not show the real situation. It does not show people that we are in the situation where we have to have conservatories because we are cutting down rain forests. Rain forests are the home of butterflies. My visit was a unique experience because I was there when an older lady and her husband were there. The older couple knew everything about the butterflies in the conservatory. As I walked around the conservatory, I was amazed by how many different types of butterflies and moths there were. This isn't even all species of butterflies that exist. It was so cute to see a little girl get excited to sit next to a butterfly that landed on a bench. It just shows how exciting the exhibit can be. If it can capture the attention of a four year old, it can capture the attention of anyone. The Butterfly Exhibit doesn't instill the idea of ethical responsibility that Leopold describes. I think is because it doesn't show the destruction that we have contributed living the way we live. Instead, it paints a pretty picture adorned with butterflies.
Morpho amathonte by SarahIlana Rosner
Nature and the Human Spirit
The Natural Museum of History helps us to step out of ordinary lives by transporting us to a time before we were alive. In the middle of the museum, there is a huge dinosaur. The dinosaurs are not in our everyday life. They are extinct. However, we do encounter their descendants in our everyday lives. It is not ordinary to see a dinosaur walking down the street or flying in the sky. The museum also showcases a display of fossils from over 65 million years ago that were found in Florida. While the museum mostly focuses on the past, it also highlights the future. FLMNH features an exhibit on the future of Florida's energy. There is so much about the Earth that we still don't know. The museum helps to learn how to better ourselves and to enjoy the majesty and magnificence of nature. We are overwhelmed and in awe as we roam through a land before time. It makes you feel so small and insignificant in comparison to the earth. Due to this, we should protect the Earth in order to be able to appreciate all of its glory. The joy that museums bring to young children's faces are something to be celebrated. Museums provide educational resources for everyone. In addition, museums allow older generations to reflect on how time has changed during their lifetimes. The world has changed dramatically and immensely during my lifetime, and I am only 19 years old. It shows you how fast the world can change. If we don't protect it, it could vanish within a millisecond of earth's lifetime.
SarahIlana with Butterflies by SarahIlana Rosner