Nature on Display: I liked the design of this exhibit because it was made so that visitors had to move through a path that would encompass everything that the exhibit had to offer. This included a variety of butterflies and several different types of greenery. In addition, I liked how the room was filled with natural light because it made you feel like you were really in their habitat rather than a man-made enclosure. The diverse range of colors represented between the butterflies and the flowers captured my attention throughout the entire visit. I was able to witness a butterfly drinking nectar from a flower, which I wouldn't have been able to see outside in nature. The aspect of the museum that I enjoyed the most was how comfortable the butterflies were with humans. Since they were accustomed to human interaction in the Butterfly Rainforest, they were willing to let me get close to them and experience their environment like never before.
Nature and Ethics: Like Leopold, I see nature as valuable and I believe humans should learn to appreciate it instead of conquering it. The Natural History Museum somewhat provided the opportunity to experience nature the way Leopold would like us to. Although the butterflies seem to be treated with respect and care, they were still kept in an enclosed area. As you can see in this picture, the ceiling is fairly high and gives the impression of a spacious room. Despite its appearance, the room was rather narrow. After conducting some research, I discovered that butterflies sometimes travel hundreds to thousands of miles around the world. This leads to the ethical dilemma of keeping the butterflies confined in the Butterfly Rainforest. Even if they are released every few years, this could still be considered unethical. Even for the brief period of time I visited the exhibit, I felt somewhat cramped as I had to scoot past the large amounts of people that decided to visit at the same time. This made me wonder how the butterflies may feel after living in here for their whole lives. Despite this ethical dilemma, the employees did make sure visitors were respectful of the butterflies and the environment by telling us to watch where we stepped and to not touch the insects. Overall, the other visitors seemed to enjoy observing the butterflies and being able to immerse themselves in a different environment that isn't easily found in Gainesville. My experience in the museum made me more aware of the ethical responsibility we as humans have to preserve nature.
Nature and the Human Spirit
Nature and the Human Spirit: The Natural History Museum helps us step out of our ordinary lives by allowing us to gain a new perspective on nature than what we see in our day to day life. We are living in an era of urbanization that sometimes leads us to forget about the beauty of nature that is right in front of us. The Natural History Museum gives us an opportunity to be reminded of this through its various exhibits that showcase the small parts of nature that we take for granted, like butterflies. In my opinion, having an escape from our routine life, like visiting the Natural History Museum, is a good way to connect with with the Universe and reevaluate our mindsets.