Good Life Nature Activity at FLMNH By: Alexsis kirkhart

Nature on Display

When I entered the butterfly exhibit, the walls were covered with shadow boxes full of various species. As I walked through the rainforest, the beautiful landscape design caught my eye: tropical plants and flowers, waterfalls, stone walkways, small ponds filled with fish, birds, and hundreds of butterflies fluttering through the air. There were many different feeding stations with butterflies huddled together feasting on bananas. This was by far my favorite exhibit in the museum. It was fascinating to see more than 60 different species in the rainforest and have the opportunity to observe the many vibrant colors and patterns on their wings. If you stand very still in a sunlit area, the butterflies will land on you. According to the guide, "if you put out your finger for the butterfly to land, it will actually think you want to eat it." I personally enjoyed this exhibit the most because I was able to interact with nature rather than viewing a virtual display of it.

Nature and Ethics

When I walked into the museum, I was greeted by a large skeleton of a Columbian mammoth. I felt like an ant compared to the size of this creature. Without this true representation, I would've have a tough time admiring and appreciating the sheer size of this mammoth. As I made my way through the museum, I felt like I was experiencing the history and nature within the exhibits. The lighting and sound effects in the marine life display made you believe you were underwater swimming with the sea creatures. I saw children running through the museum, touching the displays, and awing in amazement. The others read through the research framed on the walls, took pictures, asked questions to the employees, or starred intently at the displays. I believe the museum experience gives a more thorough understanding of history rather than watching a documentary or reading about it in a textbook. It provides a visual image, details/research, and real life representations that allow you to respect and admire the land as Leopold imagines. My trip to FLMNH reminded me how dull life would be without nature and how it has shaped us over time. It is up to us to preserve this beautiful land and appreciate its history.

Nature and Human Spirit

Calusa Earthworks

When I studied the exhibits, the history seemed to be captured within the displays and made you feel as if you were there. As depicted in the picture above, Calusa Earthworks, you can see that their life style was much different than ours. The family is walking around half nude, barefoot, outside of a hand-built hut that they call "home." The Natural History Museum makes us realize how much our "ordinary lives" have evolved over the years. Humans once lived a simplistic life, yet fought for survival each day. Today we probably couldn't survive without technology readily available at our fingertips. When I visited the museum, I couldn't help but to think "its no wonder we miss the beauty of the natural world," we don't take enough time and opportunities to appreciate it. Yet its amazing to see how our lives have transformed. The photos above exemplify this change I speak of and give us a better understanding of who we are and where we came from.

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