Nature on Display
My trip to the museum began with a jaunt through the butterfly garden. This exhibit stuck out to me the most. The garden was beautiful and unlike all the other exhibits, the animals were alive. The butterflies were floating through the air so peacefully. There was absolutely no sound other than the running water in the exhibit. The butterflies were so ubiquitous I had to be very engaged with the exhibit so as to not harm one of them. They had so many different colors, patterns and sizes it really spoke to me about how beautiful the natural world can be.
What also stuck out to me about this exhibit, was the amount of butterflies hiding in the bushes. It felt like I was completely surrounded by the little sprites. The winding path to follow further added to the natural feel of the exhibit. Slowly winding through the trees gave one the impression of finding a path through the woods. Overall the exhibit was a great way to fully submerge people in nature. Through any other medium I would not have understood how graceful the butterflies were. The butterflies in glass cases outside the exhibit did no justice to the real thing.
Nature and Ethics
The museum had many great exhibits that made me feel very much like a member of the "biotic community". One such exhibit was an enlargement of a marine ecosystem. Seeing the ecosystem that close up really made me appreciate its beauty. The blue lights shimmered down from the ceiling like light through water. Since it was a tunnel I felt completely inside the ecosystem.
One of the people I was touring the museum with reacted much differently to the exhibit than I did. He was much more fearful of the exhibit than I was. I found beauty in the marine life, he found terror in the massive crustaceans. For me though, I found respect for these usually small creatures. It led me to desire more for them than i had before. Life is life no matter how small. This exhibit definitively instilled upon me a respect for the life we rarely see.
Nature and the Human Spirit
The museum has an exhibit specifically about the ancient peoples of Florida and how connected they were to the land. Seeing lifelike representations of the Calousa reminded me of where all humans came from. All we see today are images of people living in a digital age of political intrigue and high stakes capitalism. This exhibit helped me to step outside that life and see what people used to live like.
There is so much to appreciate in the natural world that we rarely see. The fossils at the museum is a wonderful example of this. Earth has been around so long, it is ignorant to think humanity has defines the natural world. Seeing the skeletons of massive animals from long ago made me feel much smaller. There is so much that has happened in the natural world we cannot see. We can only dig up the past and its many mysteries. That was one of the highlights of the museum.