Nature on Display
One exhibit that was particularly appealing to me was the butterfly exhibit. I found the exhibit to be appealing because it was very interactive. Since the butterfly exhibit was a garden where butterflies roamed freely, it was interesting to see how the butterflies interact within their natural environment. I also loved how beautiful the butterfly exhibit was. There were various species of flowers and plants, some that I have never encountered before. The small waterfalls and little ponds gave the exhibit a tranquil feeling as well as a place to be reflective. Learning about butterflies through a textbook and being in their natural habitat does not compare. I felt as if I learned more about the butterflies’ habits and actions just by observing rather than reading facts. For instance, I found the butterflies to only stay in one location for just a little while. Just by observing, I could understand that the butterflies would rather roam around than stay in one place. This made it hard for me to take a decent picture of one. I found the butterfly garden to be enjoyable because I have always found enjoyment in experiences with nature. I appreciated the beauty of the garden and the different species within.
Nature and Ethics
I believe the Natural History Museum did provide me an opportunity to experience nature in a way where I could “love, respect, and admire the land.” As I mentioned before about the butterfly exhibit, experiencing the natural habitat of the butterflies gave me insight into how the butterflies live as well as insight into the sacredness of their habitat. Also, the exhibit on the Seminoles tribe allowed me to reflect on how America has treated land. For instance, the Native Americans were here on U.S soil first, yet Europeans came to take away their home, their natural habitat. As I went through the museum, I thought about how I could not imagine my home being taken away from me. I thought about how the actions of humans destroys the natural habitats for different species of plants and animals around the world. We tend to not think about the harm we are causing because we like to believe that plants and animals do not have feelings. Moreover, I found the museum to be designed to inform people on the importance of Florida wildlife to Florida’s ecosystem as well as how we can make small changes now to create even bigger and better changes in the long run. From what I could tell, other people in the museum seemed to be interested by the information. Some even went on tours to learn more about the different exhibits on display. People also seemed to be interested with how they could connect and interact with nature in the butterfly exhibit. The butterfly exhibit seemed to be the main attraction because of the chance people got to be up close with another species. My experience in the museum did happen to instill an ethical responsibility to nature within me. The information I learned helped me see that I do have a part in preserving nature and what makes it so beautiful.
Nature and the Human Spirit
Being that I am a college student, constantly focused in my studies, it is not every day that I get the opportunity to interact with nature. The butterfly exhibit at the Natural History Museum gave me a chance to step out of my world of books and computers to the real and natural world. I think the museum helps us remember that humans are not the only living organisms on this planet Earth and that we need to be consciously aware that we are living amongst other living organisms and sharing the planet with them. Humans love the beauty of nature but neglect nature simultaneously.