Nature and the Good Life A Visit to the Butterfly Rainforest

Introduction

When I entered the Florida Museum of Natural History, I did not really know what I was getting into. I had heard about the experience from other friends, but never really looked into the museum with much detail. To say I was please with my visit would be an understatement. The butterfly rain forest is one of the coolest things I've seen and going through it was very enjoyable.

Nature on Display

The butterfly rain forest thrusts you into nature as soon as you walk into the exhibit. You are surrounded by trees, flowers, and plants and butterflies are absolutely everywhere you look. The pathway dips down into a little stream that is set up and the sound of flowing water is very relaxing. As you walk down the path, you get more and more immersed into nature. Sunlight shines through the cracks of leaving and provides a very heavenly feel. I found this exhibit so appealing because unlike some other exhibits at museums, you are actually in nature. It really feels like you're in a rain forest and it completely immerses you. I really learned a lot about butterflies such they're flying patterns, how they eat and feel, and how they live together. Learning this would have been possible through reading about it, but it was much more interesting actually seeing it. All these factors together made this exhibit very enjoyable.

Nature and Ethics

Leopold calls on us to “love, respect, and admire” the land, and he asks us to start viewing ourselves as members of the “biotic community” rather than as “conquers of the land.” I think this exhibit lets you do exactly that. You are only supposed to spectate the butterflies, the care keepers of the exhibit make it clear that you are not supposed to touch the butterflies or mess with the plant life. I felt good as I walked through the museum as it was a unique experience to me. I felt a sense of being one with nature like I never had before and I thought what a new perspective this was. I think this perspective instilled somewhat of an ethical responsibility in me to help conserve our nature and the Earth. I think this attitude was somewhat adopted my peers as they all had similar reactions to me.

Nature and the Human Spirit

This museum helps us step out of our everyday lives by putting us in a situation that would probably never happen normally. Not everyday do you get to walk into a forest filled with butterflies and examine their natural habitats. This experiences helps us appreciate the majesty of nature and allows us to look deeper into our lives. I really enjoyed my visit and I've gained a whole new perspective on nature. I would definitely go back again!

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