Nature Activity at FLMNH By: Matthew Galluzzo

NATURE ON DISPLAY: I've been to several nature exhibits in my life, and the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History surely had to be one of the best. The ability for an exhibit to capture such natural beauty in such a small enclosure was magnificent. The informational signs that were placed along the trail throughout the exhibit helped me tremendously with learning about the living behaviors of the many butterflies present. Learning from first-hand experience and interacting with nature teaches much more than a textbook or video presentation would. One thing that did catch my attention was the plethora of colors. Both the plants and butterflies showed a wide diversity of colors and this was very pleasurable to look at. My experience at the museum was enjoyable because it allowed me to reconnect with nature and reflect on different things going on in my life, such as school and family matters.
NATURE AND ETHICS: I didn't feel that I was able to experience nature as best as I could in the exhibit and museum. A confined location such as the Butterfly Rainforest isn't the most natural environment to truly experience nature. I live by the Everglades and have had a better connection with and appreciation of nature by going fishing and boating through there. I understand that many people aren't blessed with the opportunity to be close to nature such as myself, and I could certainly tell by some of people's reactions around me. The younger children were amazed by what they were experiencing because they have probably never been exposed to nature before. As I walked through some of the exhibits, many things came across my mind. I was particularly amazed at what creatures used to roam the earth and are now extinct. This notion instills the sense of ethical responsibility that Leopold imagines and makes me want to conserve more species of animals in the world.
NATURE AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT: When I departed for the Natural History Museum, my mind was thinking about the various tasks and assignments that I needed to do for the week. Entering and touring the museum helped me escape my daily grind and gave me time to enjoy everything else that the world has to offer. Going to the museum helped me understand that there is more to life than just studying and doing work. Balance must be present; and to live a healthy life, it is important to reconnect with nature and learn about all the great things that it has to offer. There are certain things that I will never be able to fully understand in nature, such as how the Megalodon managed to go extinct and how it evolved to become such a large creature, and that is just one example of the eternal beauty and mystery of nature.

*all photos were taken by myself at the Florida Museum of Natural History*

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Matthew Galluzzo
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