Florida museum of natural history Michelle Ruggiano

Nature on display

Scenes depicting nature throughout the museum.

The History Museum presents nature in a way that shows how nature was used in the past and how it was a part of cultures early on. It also shows nature in its purest form, from woodlands to aquatic environments. One of my favorite ways that nature was shown in the museum was through presenting the Butterfly Rainforest. This was something so cool to be in because you could see all the different types of butterflies in a habitat that represents their real one. I got to see how they interact close up which is something that I wouldn't have been able to see on a daily basis. They had waterfalls and an abundance of plants to make it feel like a real natural garden. The exhibit caught my attention as soon as I walked in the door because everything was bright and pretty with the different flowers, plants and butterflies flying around. It was relaxing just watching the butterflies float around and was exciting to turn the corners of the pathway to see what kind of butterfly you would see next. I learned the names of many different butterflies that I saw in the exhibit and also saw one of the largest species of moths in the world. There were different species of butterflies that I previously did not know existed and saw some of the most beautiful creatures I have personally ever seen. I did not expect to learn much but I learned more about these butterflies, about what plants they are attracted to and what kinds of fruits they like, which I never would have learned if it were not for going to the museum and experiencing this spectacular exhibit.

Nature and ethics

Nature as represented in the lives of the Calusa people.

As Leopold stated,we should think of ourselves as part of the "biotic community" rather than conquering it and that is exactly what the late Calusa people did. The Calusa people were natives in Florida and lived lives that make respecting the earth and its bounty very critical. They used much of nature to their advantage such as plants and perhaps the most important, water and fish. The people did not seek out to conquer the land and change in it order to fit their needs but rather adapted to the land in order to live off of what it offers. This is something that Leopold would have wanted others to do, because while they are using nature to survive, they did not take advantage and disrespect what it had to offer them. As I went through this exhibit, I got the feeling that I was not doing enough to respect my environment and make sure that it is thriving aw well as I am. The lives of Calusa reminded me that I should be taking care of the environment and nature just as it takes care of every person on earth. We all have a responsibility in this world to take care of it and treat it with respect in order to keep it thriving because it is what keeps us alive The museum does a wonderful job on allowing its visitors to see nature up close and personal from representations of environments, showing how people and animals survive off of nature and even showing fossils and information of extinct species from the past.

nature and the human spirit

Photos from the fossil and underwater world exhibits.

By going to the Natural History Museum, I was able to get away from my daily life and reflect on the past and what it held and still holds today. All of our ordinary lives and day to day routines can have us thinking about the same things all the time. When you go to the museum, you think about how nature and earth has changed over time and visitors are able to recognize what an impact we have on earth. Many people can go to the museum to see all the nature and reflect on themselves in order to seek out who they want to be and what impact they want to have on nature or even other people. We have a chance to see how much mystery is involved in nature. We begin to ask ourselves questions like; why did species die out suddenly in the past when they seemed to be doing fine? Or, how does nature play a role in the past for other cultures and tribes? Many of the questions can be answered by going through the museum and taking a moment to really absorb the information that is presented. I found that by going to the museum, many of my questions were answered but still some were left the same. By going to the museum and taking the time to read the facts, you could come out with answers but also more questions on the mysterious nature of our world.

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Michelle Ruggiano

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