What is the Good Life? Florida Natural History Museum Tour by: Kayleigh Ratashak

nature on display

The exhibit I found most appealing was the Florida Fossils and mammals exhibit. When I walked into the fossils area (left picture) I thought it was very well displayed and decorated. They had placed the fossils of the animals as if they were on an island of some sort. The lighting was also cool because they used lots of blue and white lighting that left the effect of water being close by or being a part of these animals' environment. I have always found fossils fascinating, and the way they displayed the fossils within what would have been their natural environment of the time is a creative way to explain a part of our past.

Nature and ethics

This exhibit featured a Native American tribe and described how they worked together as a tribe and lived one with nature. This exhibit perfectly fits in with defining the good life through conservation and respect of nature because this population of people believed that man did not own nature, but that nature cared for and worked with man. The Native American culture is truly representative of a "biotic community" rather than conquerors. Seeing this exhibit reminded me of our gruesome past and how we really took advantage of this population and now currently exploit the Earth and its resources. I am someone who believes strongly that we should take better care of the world we live in. I think that to truly experience the good life, you must be at peace with nature and have a strong 2 way relationship with it, rather than just a selfish relationship.

nature and the human spirit

The butterfly exhibit was part of the Natural History museum that I was most excited for because I knew it would have actual live animals and plants. The staff was very careful with making sure that every visitor was respectful towards the butterflies and their habitat. It was beautiful to see so many different types of butterflies and plants that I hadn't seen before. While I was visiting, I paid attention to how other visitors were reacting to the mystery of this natural phenomenon. There were a few small children that were extremely amazed and excited at every butterfly and flower on display. I found it interesting that it was also fairly quiet in the exhibit. Even the young children were trying to appreciate the nature around them and everyone seemed very enthralled with the beauty. To be honest, when I came to the museum I was very stressed out due to just my daily college student life, but being in the butterfly exhibit was very calming and I really enjoyed taking a step away from campus and my computer to take in something as simple as a few butterflies.

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