Riding Into The Good Life Abby Solomon

Nature on Display

The design of the exhibit that showcased water life was fascinating to me. It reminded me of walking through a tube tank at an aquarium. When I first walked in, that is initially what I thought it was because of the design. It really immerses you in the exhibit and makes you feel like you are underwater, from the lighting to the decor to the sounds of nature as you walk through it. Giant fish models like the one in the picture below helped me understand what they looked like better than an actual-sized model would have.

Nature and Ethics

As I walked through the butterfly exhibit, I was in awe of the beauty of the foliage. However, although there were gorgeous plants and a nice little body of water to emulate a river in the exhibit, this was contained within glass walls. It really made me think about whether it is ethical to trap animals and insects — even if they are just butterflies — in cages for human entertainment.

Next to the butterfly exhibit, I saw an extremely small container with a lot of butterflies. Granted, I'm not sure what the circumstances are as to why the butterflies are there. For all I know, they might have been sick, or they might have been recently caught and about to be placed in the exhibit. Nonetheless, I couldn't help but think even more about the ethics of butterfly exhibits and places like it, such as zoos and aquariums. Shouldn't we allow butterflies and all animals to live in their natural habitats, undisturbed?

Nature and the Human spirit

Putting all ethical questions aside, the butterfly exhibit was fascinating. I had been to butterfly gardens when I was younger but I didn't recall them that well. I remembered being nervous that a butterfly would poop on me, but that's about it. Being surrounded by so many butterflies at once in a beautiful setting was amazing. In my ordinary life, I would never be surrounded by so many butterflies and it truly helped me appreciate nature more than ever.

Other than the butterfly garden, the museum as a whole helps us step out of our ordinary lives. It helps give us a perspective on the history of Florida, how we came to populate this area, and how everything has evolved since then. It is an enlightening experience with so many different types of exhibits that do a great job of educating people.

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