Florida Museum of Natural History Avi Dahan

Nature on Display

Me at the Rearing Lab Exhibit

The Rearing Lab Exhibit was very appealing to me because it opened my eyes to the process of raising butterflies and moths. I had very limited prior knowledge about the development of pupae but reading the description and looking at each stage of the process inside the lab expanded my awareness about the process. This is important because understanding and appreciating this natural process is a prerequisite to maximizing this nature experience which made my experience much more enjoyable. This exhibit captured my attention because there were real pupae and butterflies emerging and drying, and some even moving. One important thing that I learned about the natural world, and the local environment of Gainesville, is that the various exotic butterflies, moths and their parasites can damage the local environment which is why the USDA regulates all the insects inside the exhibit.

Nature and Ethics

Me at the Wall of Wings Exhibit (left) and the Rearing Lab (right)

The Natural History Museum did provide me an opportunity to experience nature parallel to what Leopold advocates for. The picture on the left at the Wall of Wings Exhibit shows dead, real-life butterflies and acts as an educational resource to viewers in helping them understand different types of butterflies. As mentioned earlier, on the right is the Rearing Lab with real life butterflies emerging and drying from their cocoons. Both of these pictures mirror Leopold's "appreciate the land" belief because they both act as an educational reference as well as ensuring the preservation and development of various species of butterflies. This made me feel valued because it is clear that a lot of work has been put in members of the Florida Museum of Natural History to make visitors' experiences very appealing with the potential of having repeat guests. From observing other visitors, it also seemed like they enjoyed their time at the museum. The museum effectively used the outdoor Butterfly Rainforest to connect visitors to the outside world and give them a taste of what goes on daily. Overall, my experience at the museum made me realize that I have sometimes taken nature for granted and that I should appreciate mother nature more often and take care of it.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Me at the Butterfly Rainforest

The Natural History museum helps us step out of our ordinary lives through the Butterfly Rainforest in a few different ways. On the walking path there are various sections that provide some educational material for visitors. Pictured on the left is a plate with orange and banana slices for butterflies to stand on and drink from. Seeing this is something pretty unique and not something you see everyday. Furthermore, the picture in the middle is the "Coloration" section which details the fact that various colors provide a unique benefit to a butterfly. For instance, dark colors help butterflies warm up and various colors/patterns help butterflies blend with their environment which help them hide from predators. This section leads into the last topic which is reproduction. After mating, eggs are laid on leaves where eventually a caterpillar emerges. This unique process offers insight on how everything works and shows how incredible mother nature is and the world we live in.

Credits:

Created with images by FreeWine - "Butterfly"

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