Nature on Display
This exhibit, depicting a customary welcome of a visiting leader by the Calusa tribe stood out and captured my attention because of its attempt at immersion into the culture. The picture on the right shows the entrance to the exhibit, decorated like the straw huts of the time. As soon as you walk into the exhibit, the music of the tribe fills your ears and the darkness of the hut overwhelms you. As you see the scene of the leader of the tribe greeting a visitor, you truly feel as though you are surrounded by the culture, and in that way, the exhibit teaches you about the culture of historical tribes in Florida without even having to read extra information. In that way, I learned more about the customs of the culture more readily than I would have in another exhibit, because it was presented to me in such a different way-through the music and atmosphere-rather than words on an information plaque. That experience also made my experience at the museum more enjoyable by presenting me with a different environment and allowing me to learn more about the history of Florida in a way other than the traditional museum exhibit.
Nature and Ethics
The idea of nature and ethics talked about by Leopold can be seen in full in the Butterfly Rainforest. Because the exhibit is so open and immersive, the viewer is truly able to appreciate nature while being members of the "biotic community," as Leopold recommends. When you walk into the exhibit, you feel as though you are part of it, as you are completely surrounded my nature. Butterflies fly above your head and there are no walls to come between them and you. They even perch themselves along the walkway, completely blurring the line between exhibit and viewer. You feel a sense of community as you walk through the exhibit; there are benches (like the one pictured) that allow you to sit and reflect on your experience, practically becoming part of the exhibit. As you walk, other visitors look equally immersed, as they follow the butterflies with their eyes as they fly overheard, and stop to appreciate the ones perched on the leaves. In other exhibits, the visitors read the information plaques, fully engrossed in the information they are learning. The museum allows you to connect with nature by becoming a part of it; by experiencing the rainforest firsthand and seeing the work that goes into its uptake makes you think about the impact humans have on nature. It instills in you a desire to give back, to more actively participate in the nature around you, as Leopold suggests.