Living in Nature A Visit to the Florida Museum of Natural History


I had visited the FLMNH once prior to this trip for What is the Good Life? Being able to have a more thorough engagement with the museum itself and the exhibits therein helped me see how much the university provides us.

NATURE ON DISPLAY: I found the frog section to be a particularly appealing exhibit in the museum, as I'm a fan of the fine little amphibian fellows. It captured my attention by providing ample lighting and cool scenery to act as the frog's ecosystems. These set ups were really well done. What I able to learn is how these frogs live, something that if I was out in the wild I might never notice. I found it to be quite enjoyable as it was a simple space to examine a species I find interesting.
NATURE AND ETHICS: I do think the museum allowed me a means to interact with nature like Leopold suggests, and this exhibit I found showed an interaction between two Native Americans that was of trade similar to the way we should find our own interaction with nature. As I went through the museum, I felt a sense of serenity and awe with the world around me, especially considering nature. It made we want to run outside and go to Lake Alice! My friends had similar feelings as we went through the exhibits. I feel like the museum succeeds at getting people to rethink how we interact with nature and how we need to have compassion for other life in this world.
NATURE AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT: The famous butterfly garden certainly is able to allow one to transcend and be touched by nature in a way like any other. I picture I was able to get was outside of the garden when I visited, as I thought the pictures of the monarch were beautiful and the butterflies didn't want to come out much when I went outside. I feel like the museum allows us to step outside of our ordinary lives by being a means of having nature be up close to us in ways that living in a dorm or walking around campus doesn't allow, because nature is subtle. With the butterfly garden especially, we are able to be deposited into a paradise, one that harbors imagination and connection to the living, breathing world.

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