All photos included were taken by me at the Florida Museum of Natural History on January 27, 2017. I was overall most emotionally and mentally influenced by the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.
Nature on Display
I took this picture of a screen that displayed hundreds of butterflies in their natural habitat. The Butterfly exhibit design was appealing due to the presence of an environment (that mimicked a natural environment such as the one above) combined with human interaction. The environment not only included butterflies but also surroundings that would be accompanying them if they were to be free in the wild. Birds, lizards, insects, trees, and flowers encompassed the exhibit, as well as yourself as you entered. I may not have understood the importance of these surroundings to the life and environment of butterflies if I were studying a different medium. I was overjoyed by the physical interaction between myself and exhibited nature, especially when I watched two butterflies harmlessly and comfortably land on my arm.
Nature and Ethics
I think this photo showcases the relationship between nature and ethics. Walking out of the exhibit it hit me, why can't these butterflies leave, why are these butterflies kept in captivity, why don't we "love, respect, and admire" nature at it's most natural ? Nature is beauty in it's purest form. The capturing and imprisonment of these beautiful butterflies is an ethical conflict. This entrapment solidifies our mindset of "conquers of land" instead of Leopold's call for us to begin seeing ourselves as members of the "biotic community". As I looked around I caught the feeling that the other visitors also felt uncomfortable with the troublesome image of multiple butterflies clinging on to the entrapping screens.
Nature and Spirit
The Natural History Museum helped me step out of my ordinary life by emerging me into a place full of easily accessible information on wildlife and history. Considering I'm a freshman in college, it's recently been really easy for me to get caught up in the materialistic, academic, and social aspects of the world. Henry Fieldings quote, "all nature wears one universal grin" popped up in my head as I waltzed through the museum. All the different exhibits and information they had to share were differently connected, or "universal", through nature, beauty, life, and death. By emerging yourself into a place that evokes such alternative feelings than what our materialistic world evokes you begin to understand yourself better. You appreciate the universal connection and beauty between everything that the exhibits showcase and yourself.