Nature on Display: I personally enjoyed the butterfly exhibit at the Natural History museum. I thought that the design was very creative, because it not only gave you an inside look into the world of the butterflies, but there was also an outdoor section where you were able to see them in their natural habitat. The exhibit had a very open floor plan and there was extreme detail on a multitude of butterflies. The photographs of the butterflies showed how vibrant the colors were and I could see how much detail they had on their wings and antennas, rather than just assuming what they look like from afar. These enlarged photos really captured my attention and after looking at them more closely, I see them as much more interesting and beautiful creatures. It was also a very interesting experience to see the butterflies in their cocoons and to visualize how their life cycle progresses. I had learned about the metamorphosis of butterflies in school, however I don’t think that reading about it without witnessing it was a very good learning experience. When I saw how this process worked in the exhibit, rather than reading about it, it seemed much different and more significant in my eyes. I found this experience at the exhibit to be very inspiring and educational. I see the world as more of a whole now and can visualize better how everything is connected. I think that many of the things I had learned in school at a young age made more sense after seeing it in an actual natural setting.
Nature and Ethics: The Natural History museum allowed me to experience nature in a new and exciting way. Many of the aspects of the museum were interactive, such as walking through the butterfly rainforest and viewing the butterflies more closely under microscopes. In addition, in the frog exhibit there were screens where you could learn about how frogs leap, about their diet, and a few other things. With these hands-on activities, I felt immersed in the nature and I had a better understanding of it. With these realizations, I felt more connected to and protective of the nature, rather than seeing it as something that is there for my benefit. I learned that nature is its own entity and I gained a new respect for the world. Especially, after learning how the Calusa people lived off the land that we often take for granted. Now we have safe and sturdy houses, but they lived under the comfort of palm fronds. As I walked through the museum I felt a new admiration and I could view everything differently. Learning how the Calusa people cherished this land and preserved it made me want to work more towards conservation and protecting our environment. I started to view little things like the grass and certain bugs in a new light and it helped me to learn to cherish the smallest of things more. Everyone that I passed by was very occupied with some aspect of an exhibit, whether it be the butterfly rainforest or listening to the history of the many fossils that were featured. I didn’t pass by a single person that seemed uninterested, it was all very educational and intriguing. The many exhibits truly allowed you to connect with nature because every area immerses you somehow. From the huge life-like exhibits of the Calusa colonies to the voice overs that described how life used to be. After my visit to the museum and hearing Leopold’s words I do feel a new sense of responsibility to nature and my environment. I no longer view it as something that is just there, but I consider the meaning and beauty behind nature and what impact I can make on helping to sustain its quality and beauty.
Nature and the Human Spirit: - The Natural History museum helps us to take a step back from reality and look at the bigger picture of life. Before I had gone to the museum I didn’t really have an appreciation for nature and its beauty. Although, with how interactive the museum was, I felt completely immersed in history, culture, and the simplest forms of nature. Sometimes it is hard to take a step back from the bustle of our crazy lives with work, school, homework, and relationship problems. However, the Natural History museum helped me to realize that the world is bigger and has larger problems than studying for a midterm. It made me appreciate my life a lot more and ever since visiting the museum I have been more focused on stressing less over the little things. Going to this museum was a stress reliever, school had been consuming all aspects of my life and I was finally able to look back and admire something with more meaning and beauty. This made me realize more about myself and that I needed to work on calming and stress relieving methods to live a better and healthier life. Through these realizations, I have come to appreciate the mystery and the majesty of the world. No matter how large and complicated the world seems, it can really be broken down into simple and understandable terms and this helped me to make my “huge” problems much smaller. By learning to appreciate our natural world, I came to value my life and the beauty of nature much more than I used to.