I visited the Florida Museum of Natural History on February 23 2017. I visited during another school's field trip to the museum, so the museum was much more crowded than I anticipated. I was still able to enjoy myself during the experience, and would return to the butterfly exhibit again.
Entrance to the Florida Museum of Natural History (Photo from visitgainesville.com)
Nature on Display:
I enjoyed the Frog Exhibit in the Natural History Museum. I don't know exactly why, but it was a nice exhibit which taught visitors about frogs. The exhibit also had various displays of frogs. From this exhibit, I was able to learn how frogs survive and how they contribute to the environment. Reading information online is vastly different from reading information at a museum exhibit in that museums often have displays of the topic available to reinforce the information that a visitor just learned. In this particular exhibit, the museum had displays that showed information on frogs juxtaposed with the actual frogs themselves, and this makes it easier to learn. I just enjoyed being able to observe live specimen while learning about them.
Nature and Ethics:
I believe that the Florida Museum of Natural History succeeds in providing the opportunity to experience nature as if we are members of the "biotic community." This is best achieved through the butterfly exhibit, which I go into further detail on the next page. I believe, however, that the exhibit on indigenous attire and accessories also contributed to experiencing nature as if we were in the "biotic community," as Leopold believes. These exhibits on indigenous wear remind us that other communities still live in the land as a part of the "biotic community." It shows us, who are disconnected from nature, that other humans are still much more connected to nature, and it reminds us to be ethically responsible for the environment. Although this visit to the Natural History Museum will not persuade me to "return to nature," it definitely will remind me that we have a responsibility to protect the environment, as Leopold suggests.
Indigenous Women's Festival Wear from the Andes
More Indigenous Clothing and Accessories
Nature and the Human Spirit:
The Natural History Museum is unique in that it allows us to temporarily step out of our world and into a peaceful one. I cannot put into words the peaceful aura that engulfed the entire Butterfly Rain Forest. Although it was outdoors, all outside ambient noise, such as from traffic from the roads nearby, were drowned out in a peaceful environment. There were vibrant colors everywhere, from the flora to the butterflies flying around. This exhibit from the Natural History Museum allowed us to appreciate the beauty of the natural world by putting us into an area secluded from our normal lives which was engulfed in nature. In the end, we are also a part of nature, and being able to return to nature, even if it was an "artificial" form of nature, reminds us who we are.
Butterfly Resting on a Leaf
My experience at the Florida Museum of Natural History was a relaxing experience. I really enjoyed the butterfly rain forest due to the peaceful nature of the exhibit. I would recommend returning to this museum, specifically for the butterfly exhibit.