My walk through Nature By: Leann browning

This was my second time going to the Florida Museum of Natural History, but I will confess that the first time was for a project too. Although I may not go often, both times I have gone, I tell myself I'm flabbergasted I don't go everyday because of how amazing it is. From the huge dinosaur fossils, to the Native American articfracts, to the rainforest(!), the Florida Museum of Natural History has a lot to offer. I was very excited to go to the museum again and went with my friend kelly this time, which was much more enjoyable than going alone.

The butterfly rainforest was by far the most appealing exhibit to me and that is no surprise considering that it is one of the biggest attractions at the Florida Museum of Natural History. The design of the exhibit was amazing because going through the two air pressurised doors, you feel like you are entering another world. And when you open that last door, it does seem like you are in another world. The sound of rushing water and the noise from the animals creates a very realistic feeling, you almost forget you're at the museum and feel like you're in an actual rainforest. It's so colorful in the exhibit and lush that your eyes are drawn everywhere. The butterflies captured my attention the most however. When you see so many beautiful creatures so close up, it almost surreal. To be able to see the interactions of butterflies with each other really helped you understand their nature regarding their mating and flight patterns that you wouldn't have been able to witness through a textbook. I love being outside so this little space of beautiful nature mixed with loads of butterflies was like my heaven on earth. I spent about an hour at the museum and 50 minutes of that in the butterfly exhibit, it was truly amazing.

The butterfly rainforest exhibit is possibly one of the best examples for Leopold's beliefs. When you walk in, you don't think about the utility of the space they're occupying or how much the upkeep of the exhibit costs, all you think about is the beauty. I am an environmental science major so this is right up my alley and I completely agree with Leopold's theory. People will always love money, and they place a high value on it. If we showed people to love the outdoors ad protect things like this then maybe our environment would be as protected as our banks. Other people in the exhibit didn't talk much, but you could sense the calmness and joy they felt from the exhibit. EVeryone was walking around with little smiles on their face that they couldn't suppress, occasionally taking a picture, but really just absorbing their surroundings. Most people will never be able to go into an actual rainforest, so that might hinder their drive to protect these rainforests. The museum allows them to experience the beauty of the rainforest, and see its natural function. I already have a moral obligation to nature in my everyday life but I could see how this exhibit would definitely instill that in someone who was lacking it before. Seeing the beauty of something and knowing that it is untouched by humans and is so breathtaking naturally, it really makes people stop and think about the choices they make and the consequences those choices have on the environment. The first step in the fight is passion. Once people get passionate about the environment and its beauty, that's when they'll start saving it.

The museum helps you step out of your day to day life in the modernized world we live in and kind of experience something untouched by humans. It makes you realize that humans are not the only beings on this planet, and most certainly not the only ones who are capable of exhibiting beauty. The museum helps people appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world through its diverse displays. People are shocked by the size of the dinosaur fossils, and thrilled at the frog exhibit. I love nature, but for some reason could never make myself be okay with frogs. I don't hate them, but something about them really freaks me out. I decided to go into the frog exhibit however and it gave me a new appreciation for them. Reading the facts about their lives and histories and seeing how diverse they were in size and color, it made me realize that they were actually beautiful! The exhibits help people witness things about the natural world that they may have not been able to in today's industrialized world.

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Leann Browning
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