Introduction: I walked into the Florida Museum of Natural History, thinking that i had already seen "Nature-ey" things before, and that i was going to be unimpressed. I'm so glad that i was 100% wrong! The FLMNH is beautifully set up with fantastic displays and information that i was dying to read! The entire museum was interesting and fun, and the experience was like nothing i've ever done before because i learned so incredibly much! I walked out with new facts and a fun story to share with anybody willing to listen; for most of the time i forgot i was supposed to even be there for educational purposes and i ended up learning more than i ever have on a "school" trip.
Nature on display: When exploring the museum, all exhibits were appealing, but for me i found animals the most appealing. My favorite display was a swampy/ marshy section because i didn't realize how little i knew about the subject. My attention was caught by the reality of it all, i couldn't believe how real everything that was depicted looked (I even asked one worker if this one particular owl was real and she actually laughed in my face--sorry for the tangent). The natural world in the swamp is actually so much more than we interpret it as. To me, being an original floridian means that i've been around swamps and marshes my entire life, and i've always associated them with being grotesque or unnecessary. Reading what i did, and looking closely at what all lives their was amazing because i was able to realize how important all the organisms that live their are and how much bugs and plants need some aspects of this terrain. I was able to basically fix this broken idea of this type of territory in my head and it was nice to learn something that i originally thought was so useless.
Nature and Ethics: As i was traveling through the museum, I constantly said "wow" in my head, or "oh i didn't know that". They seem like such bland sayings, yet it's amazing to even yourself when you catch yourself internally exclaiming the same thing every 2 minutes. When i eventually tore my eyes away from all the displays and watched other people, i saw how equally amazed others were. They were pointing and gasping and telling their family and friends to look. The air around smelled like excitement and wonder. It was easy to sense a feeling of amazement and curiosity; everybody in the museum was their with one common purpose: to learn. Walking through the exhibits agrees with Leopold's view of appreciating the land for more than its economics because it we are taught about how nature does things and what it accomplishes, not what we can produce and accomplish through it. Some exhibits had auditory aspects to hear while others were hands on, and let you explore what something created or what may be underneath a certain tree trunk in certain areas. The museum definitely made me appreciate nature as itself and not what it can provide for me, which helps me to relate to what Leopold believed: that we must become a part of nature and learn to respect and love it.