Surveying Natural Historyan exploration of uf's nature museum
The nature on display at the museum was presented in a very immersive, hands-on way that made it fun to tour. I felt like I was involved in the nature rather than looking from the outside in. The Butterfly Rainforest particularly stood out as an exhibit that felt like stepping into a completely different world. It was magical to be so close to the vividly colorful butterflies and the bright foliage. Surrounded by wildlife, I could see how this cool exhibit would be appealing to both adults looking for a relaxing and educational experience and kids looking for a fun exploration of nature!
My experience at the museum definitely reminded me of the importance of nature in securing a good life for all living things on Earth. Living in modern society, it is easy to neglect the beauty and grace of the natural world in exchange for the excitement of technology, but it is always good to go back to our roots (literally) and appreciate the miracles that Mother Earth has produced. Too often, our interactions with the environment are selfish and manipulative, stripping the land of its resources and slaughtering animals for our own gain, but like Leopold argued, we need to take a step back and think about the many facets of the natural world that we take for granted. I got the chance to see this cute little birds resting on a tree branch, and to learn about different butterfly species from the exhibit manager. Perhaps allowing visitors to participate in nature like this strengthens our ethical attachment to the wildlife and reminds us to fight for and preserve it.
I watched in awe as the tour guide handled the delicate butterflies, releasing them one by one onto this nearby tree. Beside me, others excitedly asked questions about the different species, peered close to get a better look at the intricate designs on the wings and eyes, and audibly reacted with glee when a new beautiful specimen was produced from the box. I was particularly touched by a brother pushing his sister through the museum in her wheelchair; though she was disabled, they were able to share this experience as part of their good lives. The human spirit intertwined with the nature at the museum, and I was reminded of how lucky we are to have such a beautiful and diverse planet, and that we need to work towards sustaining it.