Nature on Display
One exhibit that I found particularly appealing was the Frogs: a Chorus of Colors exhibit which showcased a large array of different types of frogs. By setting up the exhibit in a dark room with the only light coming from the frog cases themselves, you become immersed in the exhibit and feel like you are in the frog's habitat. What stood out to me in this exhibit at first was the fact that they had real life frogs on display. This is what initially attracted me to the exhibit, but by having living frogs in the display I was able to better understand frogs than I would have in another medium. By having living frogs you get a true sense of the gentleness and intriguing nature of these amphibians that just would not be understood by looking at pictures or reading about them. What made my visit to the museum enjoyable (the frog exhibit exemplifying this idea) was that you truly became immersed into the worlds of different animals and places in nature.
Nature and Ethics
The museum did allow me to view nature in the way Leopold advises because of the immersive nature of the different exhibits. As I went through the museum I was acutely aware of the feeling that I was a part of bigger picture because the diversity of the world around me. I sensed that although nature is all around me, I often do not realize all the beauty I am missing out on. Other people in the museum seemed to have similar feelings, and I especially noticed how younger children were very curious about the natural world. Although the children more physically expressed their curiosity, I too found myself being curious about my surroundings. Probably the best way the FMNH allows people to connect to nature is the butterfly sanctuary. The sanctuary allows people to literally be inside the homes of the butterflies and helped me understand how beautiful these insects are. Leopold was right in his assertion that immersing yourself in nature would make you have more ethical responsibility to protect nature, because after seeing all the butterflies I understood the need to protect them.
Nature and the Human Spirit
The FMNH helps us to step out of our normal lives by showing us the wonderment that is the world around us. Whether it is through the natural phenomenon, or by showing the rich history of the land we now inhabit, these exhibits almost feel like another dimension away from us because of how immersive they are. The museum shows displays on the Calusa society which allowed me to better understand who I am as a person. The Calusa society seems like a mystical place, but in reality it was made up of people similar to you and me. This helped me understand that humans and nature are all interconnected. From marine life to human history we are all living beings which makes all of us beautiful. By being able to see all these exhibits I can see now that we as humans are made up of not just ourselves, but of the world around us.