The butterfly exhibit was one that captivated my attention. The exhibit was set up as a meandering path taking the observer through a mystical jungle filled with butterflies. The design of the exhibit takes the observer on a path around a square semi-outdoor room. The path runs over rivers and ponds filled with koi fish and turtles. Above the observer the sounds of birds chirping can be heard as the birds dance over the observers head. The exhibit captured my attention by being so diverse. There were not only tons of species of butterflies but also many species of plants, fish, and turtles. The sheer mass of all of the life was awe-striking and commanded my attention. I learned through the exhibit about the fragility of nature, and how humans can create the beauty of nature, but also destroy it. I couldn't have learned this through other mediums such as a photo or a video. I found the museum so enjoyable because it had so much information to be learned in it. As an environmental science major I love nature and the history of nature, so thats why i loved the museum so much.
The museum, although very educational, was not a way to experience nature in the way Leopold urges us to, because the reality of the situation was that i was in a building. I wasn't outside truly learning about was real nature has to offer. As i walked through the exhibits i felt inspired. Inspired to go out and make a difference to stop others from destroying nature. Other visitors were just as inspired and amazed by the exhibits as I was. The museum allowed visitors to connect with nature in a sort of pseudo-nature setting as we saw life-like replicas of nature, but from the safety of the indoors. The museum strengthened an already strong ethical responsibility for the protection of nature that I feel.
I've included a quote from the museum by the Roman poet Cicero that i thought was very profound.
The museum helps us step out of the mundane routines that we go through everyday and transports us into a vibrant world of excitement and learning. I takes us to a place we don't normally get to enjoy due to the stress of our modern lives. It helps us better understand our roots and where we came from. It was not too long ago when we still lived off the land and lived in nature. It helps us appreciate the subtle beauty of the world around us that gets lost in translation as we live fast-paced lives.
This is a picture of me with the gulf coast habitat, as I was born on the gulf coast.
Monarch Butterfly from National Geographic Kids. http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/monarch-butterfly/#monarch-butterfly-grass.jpg