NATURE ON DISPLAY
Butterfly Exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, FL. Image by: Katherine Sartz
The Butterfly Habitat was incredible to experience. I've been to a butterfly house near my home a long time ago, but it was not the massive scale of UF's Museum of Natural History. I loved this exhibit because it was an open air exhibit. You could smell the fresh air and vegetation of the plants. The sounds of the fountain in the far corner was also very soothing to listen to. The vibrancy of life and the sheer amount of butterflies in the exhibit caught my attention. I was not expecting so many butterflies to be in the exhibit. The butterflies also kept landing on me and wouldn't let go making this experience quite memorable. I enjoyed this little piece of tropical paradise in the midst of Gainesville.
NATURE AND ETHICS
Screened-in exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Image by: Katherine Sartz
The Florida Museum of Natural History definitely served as an opportunity to appreciate nature and the land for matters more than simply making a profit. As a geography major I already have a great respect for nature and living things, and this museum only refined that care for the place that was here before humans first began traversing and destroying the Earth. As I walked through the museum I was impressed with the different displays, especially the Northwest Florida Emerald Coast display as that is where I am from. It was interesting to see some of the research ongoing about sand dunes and sea turtle nesting in my local area on display in a museum halfway across the state. This made the university feel a little closer to home. The museum allowed visitors to connect with nature by having displays that resemble the sand dunes of Northwest Florida as well as making the butterfly display walkable. However, the museum failed to allow visitors to connect with nature as visitors are only able to see the butterflies in captivity. Though the screened-in habitat had amble space for the butterflies to reside and thrive, this fabricated environment does not simulate a typical habitat in nature in that there are no natural predators and therefore allows for the thriving of the few butterfly species. This is a great for visitors as it allows them to see more butterflies in a small, confined space of the screened-in display, however I believe animals should not be confined to man-made boundaries and kept within the screened in areas when their own natural habitats are much larger. All in all, the beauty of the multiple plant species within the butterfly display instilled in me a renewed sense of responsibility to defend and protect the environment that gives us life and provides humans with clean air.
NATURE AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT
Reaction to a butterfy landing on my leg. Photo by: Katherine Sartz
The Natural History helps us to step out of our daily lives simply by doing something different. In this picture a butterfly had just landed on my leg and it was tickling me and I was laughing. That doesn't happen everyday, especially in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the semester and life on campus. By doing something new and different each day, we can flex our minds, explore new experiences and learn more about ourselves. I think nature has this affect on the individual that no motivational speaker can have. It inspires us to step out of our everyday routine and sets a fire in us that desires to never stop exploring. There is so much of the world to be seen and enjoyed as well as protected so that future generations can relish the Earth's beauty as well.