On Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 immediately after I explored the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, I traveled next door to the Florida Museum of Natural History. During my experience, I visited unique exhibits that exposed the significance of nature, its beauty and the influence it has on our world. In this spark story I will cover three mains components: Nature on Display, Nature and Ethics, and Nature and the Human Spirit.
Nature on Display
This is me right before stepping foot into my favorite exhibit, "Frogs: A Chorus of Colors".
A secret about me is my weird obsession with frogs. The first thing I did was see if my favorite species was displayed, and it was! This is a picture of a Smokey Jungle Frog.
As soon as I entered the museum and saw the frog exhibit I cheered with joy. Since I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me the saying that FROG stands for "Forever Relying On God" and from that point on frogs became my favorite animal. I found the exhibit so appealing because of the all the unique colors that filled the dark room. Every different station had a different frog species and also a display of interesting facts written in neon letters. The exhibit captured my attention from all the different types of frogs located all throughout the room which I thoroughly observed because I love them so much. Something I learned through the natural world that I might have not understood through another medium that it is okay to sit still. As I walked around each station analyzing the frogs, I noticed most of them remained still and calm. I think it is important to set aside time each day as humans to be still, take a break from our hectic lives and reflect on our achievements. During my time in this exhibit, I found a wall where you wrote your favorite story relating to frogs. I happily wrote about the time I saved a tiny frog drowning in my pool. This was the most enjoyable part of this experience for me.
This is the wall where you wrote and stuck your favorite frog story!
This is a picture of myself pointing to my own favorite frog story!
Nature and Ethics
This is a picture of the beautiful butterfly rainforest at the museum!
Showing my excitement because I just love being surrounded by butterflies!
The Natural History Museum did provide me an opportunity to experience nature in ways Leopold recommends. Leopold describes that we should love and admire nature and consider ourselves a member of the "biotic community" instead of "conquers of the land" and I believe this is correct. As I walked around the butterfly exhibit, I focused on the different plants, ponds, rocks and other biotic factors that were present and felt as if I was imposing on their home. I began to sense that as humans we believe we have all the power since nature can't physically speak to us but in reality they have every deserving right to remain happy just like we do. As I continued through the museum, I thought this exhibit displayed beauty that cannot be expressed through words but only truly through experience. There was a sense of grace that filled the air you could only understand if you were present. Others reacted to the museum I believe in the same way I did. I watched other individuals begin snapping photos of the beautiful scenery just like I was. The Natural History Museum allowed visitors of the museum to connect with nature by letting us get as close to the exhibit as possible. For the butterfly exhibit in particular, they had us physically go outside where we could hear the waterfalls, smell the flowers and have the permission to take photos of everything we saw! My experience in the museum did instill in me an ethical responsibility to nature as Leopold imagines because after walking through the butterfly rainforest I developed a need to protect nature for more than I ever desired.
Nature and the Human Spirit
I took this picture because I loved the quote written at the top by William W. McGuire stating, "Our greatest challenge today is the preservation of the Earth's biodiversity."
The Natural History museum helps us step out of our ordinary lives and realize we live in a world far more complex and diverse than we ever imagined. In the image above is a picture of our Earth. When I glanced at this picture I reflected back on all the unique kinds of organisms and nature that make up our world. I believe having the luxury of living in such a diverse world does help us better understand who we are and better appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world. Since we are exposed to so many different kinds of nature, I believe as humans are ability to find inspiration is limitless. I believe it is crucial to have a source of inspiration to generate goals in our lives and having the knowledge to understand the value of our world is a gift.
Cheesin' because I am feeling extremely blessed and happy with the beauty of our world!