Nature on Display: The exhibit I found most appealing was the Butterfly Rainforest because I loved being able to become fully immersed in the exhibit and enjoy the exhibit to its fullest extent. As soon as I walked into the exhibit, I was immediately greeted by fluttering butterflies and a vast array of tropical plants. It was breathtaking to see the variety of colors reflected in the butterflies: bright blue, vibrant orange and stick brown. The intricacy of the designs on the butterflies was amazing and I loved walking around the exhibit to see the variations between the different species of butterflies. Going through this exhibit made me appreciate the natural world around me that I would not have obtained elsewhere. The natural world is so beautiful and we often do not take the time to explore it. This exhibit allowed me to learn about butterflies in new and interesting ways through the information plaques and the museum workers who facilitated the release of the butterflies while also providing many facts about the creatures that were surrounding us. Because the Butterfly Rainforest was the first exhibit and I had such a wonderful time, I feel that the experience set the stage for the additional exhibits I viewed, making my experience better and allowing me explore with an open mind. My experience at the museum was so enjoyable because I loved the different designs of the exhibits and being able to explore each one at my own pace.
Nature and Ethics: The Natural History Museum provided me with multiple opportunities to experience nature in ways that Leopold recommends by allowing me to "love, respect and admire" the land in which I live. I feel that the best way to embody this ideology is to learn and appreciate the past and what the future holds. Going through the South Florida People and Environments exhibit, I really felt as though it embodied Leopold's ideology about conservation efforts. Being from South Florida, I was able to connect and appreciate the exhibit more knowing I was learning about the history of my home and the people who inhabited and thrived in the area hundreds of years ago. Walking through the exhibit, I thought about how amazing and ingenious the people were as they lived off the land efficiently using all of the resources they had access to at the time. The exhibit itself allowed me and the other visitors to connect with nature by having very realistic exhibits replicating the environment, community and life of native people in South Florida. Other people appeared to react to the exhibit similarly to myself as they were in awe of the extraordinary customs and creations the native people were able to create and develop. One of my favorites was the hut which provided information about the uses and customs the natives had involving these beautiful structures. Seeing how the indigenous people lived in South Florida and their symbiotic relationship they had with their environment really highlighted the fact that we can live as a "biotic community" with nature by respecting and loving it without creating a detrimental impact. Seeing how much they respected and loved their home really makes realize how little we do as a community to create that same relationship and respect for our own environments. We always take from our environment, but it seems as though we rarely see ourselves as a biotic community like the South Florida people. The exhibit instilled in me the want to respect and love nature in all of it beauty and wonder without appreciating the land for its economic values.