*Cristina Ferrante gives permission to use her hand in this photo*
NATURE ON DISPLAY
One exhibit that was particularly appealing to me was the Butterfly Exhibit/Garden. This was a beautiful exhibit in that it was outside and I could actually observe and learn "hands-on" about the butterflies, not just look at pictures. The green plant/flower life that surrounded me added to the aesthetics of the garden and allowed me to see certain parts of nature, such as camouflage and feeding, that I could not experience inside a building, and this definitely captured my attention and taught me about the natural world. I found this all particularly enjoyable because I hadn't been to a butterfly garden since I was a little girl, and I truly appreciated the different colors, species, sizes, and types of extravagant butterflies and plant life that were showcased here.
NATURE AND ETHICS
The FLNHM allowed me to experience nature in the way Leopold recommends, especially when I passed the many signs regarding climate change and our impact on it, as this is a growing issue in society today. I felt/sensed an urge to help and continue to nurture, rather than destroy, the incredible earth that houses everyone of us. Other people around me reacted to the exhibits with interest and observation, as they likely appreciated and understood the importance/relevance of everything as I did. The Natural History Museum allowed visitors to connect with nature in that each exhibit provided extensive research/facts about the topic at hand, whether it be extinct animals, frogs, butterflies, fossils, or Native Americans. The butterfly/frog exhibits provided live animals to view and the fossil and extinct exhibits provided bones/fossils. My experience at the museum did instill an ethical feeling of responsibility to nature, not only individually, but as a human species; especially with climate change, many of these acts need to be a large group effort, and one person can start to make a difference.
NATURE AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT
The Natural History Museum allows us to step out of our ordinary lives for the time being by showing us what came before us, what is occurring with other species around us, and showing us that we are just as much a part of this ecosystem as everything else is, and it is our job to help protect it. It helps us better understand who we are by exhibiting how everything works around us and our contributions to this earth, in addition to the magic and beauty that continues to awe me everyday. The FLMNH helps us to better understand and appreciate the majesty of the world, for example, in the frog exhibit; it may seem like just an exhibit that shows different species of frogs, but if you observe deeper, it shows the incredible acts of camouflage and other survival instincts that not only these animals have, but humans do, as well.