Nature Activity in The Florida Museum of Natural History By Christopher Hundley

A picture of me inside the butterfly exhibit with a butterfly on my right arm

Nature on Display: The Butterfly Display definitely piqued my curiosity. It was the most appealing exhibit to me since it was outdoors and there were real live plants and animals on display. The design was absolutely beautiful. There were streams, rocks, flowers, and plants of all colors, shapes, and sizes. The exhibit captured my attention due to all the people going to see it. It was incredible seeing the majestic creatures fly around me. Butterflies landed on me several times which was very cool. This display was the most interactive of all the displays. I learned about butterfly behavior since I got to be up close and personal to so many of them in such a short period of time. Usually in nature I wouldn't get to see so many butterflies in such close proximity to one another. Overall, the museum was very enjoyable because it allowed me to learn about nature and history in a non-classroom setting. It was a nice change.

Native American Display at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Nature and Ethics: The Native American display at the museum helped illustrate Leopold's ideals of respecting and loving naturing. In short, he believed we should work with nature instead of against it. The Native Americans embodied this belief in their everyday lives. They lived off the land in every regard. The displays discuss how Native Americans utilized animals, plants, rocks, and the natural landscape to thrive with nature. The display promoted love and respect for both nature and culture and teaches us to be more like the Native Americans in the sense of seeing ourselves as members of a "biotic community" rather than as "conquers of the land". It does't use those words, but it does promote that ideology. The museum allowed people to connect with nature in several ways - visually, kinesthetically, and sometimes through sound as well. Ethical precautions were clearly taken to ensure the museum's credibility. My experience did help instill an ethical responsibility in me because it gave me a greater appreciation for nature.

Shark Jaw and Teeth Fossil Displays at the Florida Museum of Natural History
Recreated Caves on Display at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Nature and the Human Spirit: Certain displays really amazed and surprised me. There's something inherently mysterious about both of the displays pictured above. Sharks embody power and leadership in a the oceanic world that we truly don't know that much about. Sharks behave in ways we don't understand, as do many other oceanic creatures. Their massive jaws and teeth make us question what else is out there. They also make us question whether or not we as humans are truly at the top of the food chain. Caves help us understand that there are hidden parts of the world created by interested processes that often take place over the course of hundreds or thousands of years. This helps us connect with the eternal aspect of life and the universe. Inspiring these types of thoughts helps us escape the rut and routine that so many of us get caught up in. Stopping to appreciate nature and its beauty is a great way to help us self-reflect and consider the bigger picture of life. The museum promotes this appreciation and reflection that's necessary for the good life.

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