The Florida Museum of Natural History Nature & the good life

Experiencing the Museum of Natural History and Reflecting on the meaning of nature in my life

Hanna Harwood

Nature on Display

For me, the entrance to the butterfly exhibit was the most appealing aspect of design. Right away it captured my attention with the realistic 3D scene of butterflies on the ceiling. The lighting made it quite spectacular and feel almost as if you were on a theme park ride, but also as if you were walking along a path at dusk with a swarm of butterflies making their way through the sky above you. Through this medium I learned how beautiful a group of butterflies could be. Before, I had only seen a singular butterfly in a place, but this exhibit gave an inside look to what it feels like to be surrounded by many butterflies; This was something I was about to experience in the Butterfly Rainforest.

Nature and Ethics

I chose the Life Cycles in your Garden exhibit as a display of Nature and Ethics because it made me realize how close I am to such a beautiful nature process. This exhibit made me feel responsible for the nature around me, the soil, the plants, and the air in my backyard as that is what allows butterflies to produce offspring. If we do not take care of our earth and give animals a place to live and grow then we are responsible for their ultimate decline and extinction. This feeling stayed with me throughout the entire museum, as I was able to see butterflies in almost a natural habitat and all the many species that exist all around us. The realistic stages of both butterflies' and plants' life cycle and how close they can be to us humans emphasizes the importance of conservation.

Nature and the Human Spirit

A butterfly happened to land on my arm...

Although the University of Florida is a beautiful campus, it is very hard to find a place similar to the Butterfly Rainforest in one's every day life. I enjoyed being able to take a break from the stress of my day and spend a little bit of time among the appealing flora and unique butterflies. The Natural History Museum was a nice step outside of my ordinary life. It is someplace I hope to return to in the future when I am looking for an escape from homework, exams, and all the other craziness we endure as college students. When visiting the Butterfly Rainforest I was able to feel the majesty of the natural world and I hope that these photos display it. A butterfly landed on my arm and another on my shoulder, which allowed me to feel extremely connected to the environment in this natural setting.

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