Nature Activity at the Florida Museum of Natural History Gabriella faria

Upon entering the Museum, I immediately walked towards the Butterfly Rain forest. Before entering, I saw the overwhelming size of what I later found out to be the American Mastodon. Already I was awe-inspired by this museum, and the insight it gave me on the wonders of flora and fauna that covers the earth.

Nature on Display

Walking into the Butterfly Rain Forest, I was immediately struck by the beauty of my surroundings. Trees that stood tall and swayed in the light breeze, the vibrant colors of all of the flowers, and of course, the different butterflies that flew wherever they pleased. What immediately caught my attention was the sense of peacefulness that overcame me, even though I went during the busy period. I found that the butterflies maintained their daily routines, despite all of the human distractions. I found that all these butterflies did not coexist with each other naturally, that they were raised together in captivity. Although this was an artificial version of nature, I think it did an excellent job in allowing us to appreciate nature.

Nature and Ethics

Walking through the exhibits, I found the South Florida section, where they put natural environments and habitats on display. It showed the beauty of the land in an artificial way, and made me begin to think about how the construction of new architecture was destroying our land. It seems arbitrary, but seeing synthetic environments made me open my eyes to the destruction of the natural land. Leopold asks us to “love, respect, and admire” the land as well as to start viewing ourselves as members of the “biotic community” rather than as “conquers of the land,” which is ironic to me, because in one of the exhibits, Native Americans are on display, a people that were conquered and killed. Native Americans had the most insight on the land, living with nature instead of against it. They were the epitome of what Leopold stood for, living with the land instead of conquering it. While moving through the South Florida exhibit, the people who stood with me were mostly parents and their young children. I do not believe that the children related to the exhibit or thought about the deep meaning behind it as I did, only because I remember when I was their age, I would only point out the pretty things because of how they looked and never really delved into the factual information behind them. The museum allowed visitors to connect with nature by giving detailed information about each of its exhibits, and by allowing an up close and personal look at each exhibit as well. My experience instilled an ethical responsibility to nature in me as Leopold said should happen.

Nature and the Human Spirit

The deep sea exhibit took me out of my ordinary life by giving me the chance to see all of the different shark teeth fossils, as well as the different types of underwater creatures. The ocean and the deep sea intrigued me even as a young child, and I was always full of random facts about the topic, but walking through this exhibit, I realized that there was still a lot I did not know. What I love the most about the deep sea is that there is little to no information about it at all. It helped me put my life into perspective, as prior to this, I believed that close to everything was discovered about the world. Human are tiny compared to the vastness of the sea and the millions of creatures that live beneath its surface. That is why this exhibit in particular made me greatly appreciate the mystery of the world I live in, as well as the beauty of it.

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