Nature Activity Madeline Chmelir

Source: Bahng, Ryan. Maddie and a Scary Blue Butterfly

Nature on Display: I found the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit to be a particularly captivating display of nature for the pure fact that it was the authentic. Rather than reading panels and reimagining plastic molds into living beings in my mind, I actually stepped into wildlife in this array. The butterflies specifically stood out for their obvious large quantity. The social creatures on display were unafraid of their audience (me), often causing scurrying feet as one would try to make its land. While maybe this new revelation should have been revelated at a much earlier age, but before entering through the glass doors, I was unaware of just how unattractive the flip side of a butterfly is. As a tactic to scare away predators, this winged metamorphic might flash its more frightening underwings and, in the case of the butterfly I accidentally got too close to, I can affirm that it works.

Source: Bahng, Ryan. Jellyfish

Nature and Ethics: The exhibit South Florida People & Environments showcased an underwater walk-through, displaying the organisms that help sustain the estuary. This walk-through placed me in a visual scene where I felt as if I were in fact a part of the "biotic community" put on stage around me. I was symbolically a small fish surrounded by much larger animals, like crabs and jellyfish. I saw the exhibit as a point to display that we are a member of the environment just as much as this tiny fish we symbolically portray on this walk. Just as these aquatic animals sustain their environment, we must sustain ours too.

Source: Bahng, Ryan. DINOS

Nature and Human Spirit: The Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life & Land exhibit captured the mystery and majesty of nature through its walk-through time display. The display took me through a journey of animal evolutions. It is hard to imagine a world that does not directly mirror our own. A distorted form with giant bugs and even larger aquatic predators shapes up to be my personal biggest fear. But while the ancient animals are anything but appealing, the history and evolution behind what our species look like today is captivating. As humans we know we were not always this way and we will not always be this way. Our species is always evolving, just as the animals around us and their species are constantly evolving too.

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