The History of Nature journey through the Florida museum of natural history by: Kevin naughton

NATURE ON DISPLAY: I have been to the butterfly exhibit at The Florida Natural History Museum twice in the past school year. The first time I went, the whole room was beautiful as there must have been thousands of butterflies swarming around me. I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of butterflies and the vibrant colors presented to me across the exhibit. I remembered how butterfly species worldwide are quickly going extinct due to climate change and change in temperatures and I was excited for what The Florida Natural History Museum was doing. The second time I arrived, the experience was not enjoyable at all. It was extremely cold and I only saw at max five butterflies. This experience did not ruin my time in this exhibit because of what was below me. In the pond below the butterflies were koi fish swimming freely with no possible harm in this enclosed environment. These fish and the butterflies that were right in front of me brought a sense of nature that I could never feel through a computer monitor.
NATURE AND ETHICS: Going through the underwater display and many other nature displays at The Florida Natural History Museum, I felt a great sense of fear for planet Earth. I believe that the environmental protection efforts in the United States and worldwide are not efficient enough to really safe the environment from the damage humans have already caused. Plastics, increasing temperatures, and changes in climate are sever issues that can destroy habitats and environments due to the lack of human protection. Leopold states that we need to "love, respect, and admire" the land and I wholeheartedly agree that environmental protection agencies should be a priority over money. The underwater display was short but at the same time lovely. I was fictionally shrunk down to the size of the sea creatures on the sea floor and I could see the environment close up. My friend that tagged along with me to the museum was not nearly as intrigued as I was walking through the exhibit. The Natural History Museum allowed me to see a little bit of how large the world really is by showing me the history of life throughout many places on the planet. My experience in the museum reaffirmed my position as one to help save habitats across our globe.
I felt a sense of calmness in the butterfly exhibit in The Florida Natural History Museum. I realized that these creatures are across the globe just as many people like I are. I felt like an ant in the middle of an anthill the size of a skyscraper, insignificant and powerless to the grand scheme of things. Besides these feelings, I felt relief that I am not pressured everyday to help keep my family out of poverty, that I was lucky to be born with the privilege of living in a first world country. I knew that billions of people suffer problems much different than me being bummed out that there were no butterflies in the exhibit the day after a rain but I never really understood what that meant to me. The natural world is huge and us humans are slowly but surely destroying many aspects of nature even though we should instead be helping to solve the problem of ourselves. I feel that even if none of us start movements to save the environment, we should all at least stop littering and do what we can in our communities to help the environment.

"Florida Museum of Natural History." Florida Museum of Natural History - Visit Gainesville - Florida Vacation Destinations. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017. <https://www.visitgainesville.com/attractions/florida-museum-of-natural-history/>

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Kevin Naughton
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