Florida Museum of Natural History Bianca Gavaller

The Butterfly Exhibit, Florida Museum of Natural History. 2017.

My favorite area of the Butterfly Exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History was a little corner of the exhibit that you find almost immediately after walking in. I liked this corner because it had a bench where you could sit and just take in the views in front of you. Additionally, behind the bench was a nook, where there were many tree branches. And if you looked closely, you could even spot a little blue finch eating peacefully. Once I saw the little bird, I wouldn't have minded just sitting there watching the bird go about its way. The calmness and tranquility of that corner was the most appealing aspect of the exhibit. The rest of the exhibit had a lot of little children running around and many adults chasing after them, but this corner was peaceful. From my spot on the bench, I could really take in the nature around me and appreciate how so many species of butterfly could be found in one walk around the exhibit. From letting nature come to me while I sat on that bench, I learned that you can discover and enjoy the natural world just as much, if not more, than when you're actively seeking something. That realization is one of the more impactful lessons I gained while at the museum.

The Butterfly Exhibit, Florida Museum of Natural History. 2017.

The Natural History museum gave me the opportunity to experience nature in the ways that Leopold recommends. Being in the Butterfly Exhibit allowed me to immerse myself in the abundance of nature that surrounded me. The exhibit seemed like it was a world separate from what was outside the enclosure. Going through the exhibit, I felt a sense of contentment and curiosity. With the set-up of the museum, there were so many plants and so many butterflies were around me, that I felt compelled to discover them myself. Like I saw most people doing, I intently gazed at the plants, hoping to spot a butterfly. Once I did, a feeling of joy and satisfaction washed over me, which at first seemed strange when all I did was find a butterfly. However, this simple joy held a deeper meaning: enjoying the nature around us creates more inquisitive minds and a stronger appreciation for the world around us. This realization did enforce an ethical responsibility to nature in me. It is our duty to preserve the beauty around us, just like the museum was doing with the Butterfly Exhibit. We have a responsibility to uphold what came before us, and to value nature for what it gives us. We cannot aim to monetize nature, or even forget about it as it truly is what makes up the world around us.

The Butterfly Exhibit, Florida Museum of Natural History. 2017.

The Natural History museum helps us step out of our ordinary lives by surrounding us with nature. Everywhere we turn while we are in the Butterfly Exhibit, we are enclosed my nature. Trees, waterfalls, flowers, and butterflies are all around, contrasting our ordinary lives that include being surrounded by people, cars, noise, and stress. The exhibit allows us to step into a much more tranquil world. It helps us better understand our role in the world as well. While being inside the Butterfly Exhibit, I got the sense that there is much more out there than just me and my life. The museum makes us realize the world is larger than just our lives, and our impact spans farther too. The museum helps us appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world around us. For example, when I saw this green camouflaged butterfly, I thought of its life. Its colors help hide it from prey, while also acting as a warning sign for its toxicity to other animals or insects. It leads an obviously different life than mine, but that doesn't make it less valuable or important. Each living thing in nature has a special purpose and an importance to everything around it, which is the lesson the museum taught me.

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