Due to the weather on the day that I attended the museum, the butterfly rainforest was not an option, as none of the butterflies were out. In lieu of that, I instead explored the other exhibits and found myself most drawn to Florida Fossils exhibit.
The exhibit that was most interesting to me was the exhibit pictured above, the Florida Fossils exhibit. I think I found this exhibit most appealing because it told the story about animals that lived on our same planet but so many years prior. It caught my attention because so many of the animals seem like they could live in our modern world, and it made me wonder what happened to them that they don't. Did they evolve? Did they become extinct? If so, why? This exhibit showed me that change is inevitable and no matter how intelligent a species humans are, we can't control every aspect of the world around us. I found it enjoyable to see all the different kinds of animals, and the giant land sloth (pictured above in the background) particularly caught my eye.
The museum definitely provided me the opportunity to experience nature in the ways that Leopold recommends. As I went through the museum, I saw many different exhibits and different things throughout the exhibits that remind us to appreciate the land. For instance, though I'm not particularly fond of frogs, seeing them in the frog exhibit (pictured above) gave me an opportunity to appreciate them in a way that I would never have before. As I was shocked at the variation of frogs, I noticed a few other museum-goers were as well. Often I think of frogs as disgusting, to be honest, but it gave me a chance to see how incredible it is that there are so many variations of the same species. The museum allowed us to connect with nature in a way that we wouldn't necessarily be able to otherwise. In the instance of the frogs, I personally would have no desire nor no way of going out in nature and finding all these different frogs that possibly hail from many different parts of the world. The museum brought them all together for us.
Nature and the Human Spirit
I think what's most important about the natural history museum is that it helps us step out of our ordinary lives by reminding us that there were things before us and there will be things after us. In other words, it puts into perspective how we are just one small aspect of the whole existence of the world.