Nature Activity at FLMNH Spark Story by Jesse McElveen

INTRODUCTION: I am a big history museum person. I'm not sure why but I love looking at fossils and skeletons. When I was little, I went to The Met and I am dying to go back. I think it's a good opportunity to step back and look at all the wonderful things around us. For a short period of time, we are able to forget the outside material world and just be one with history and nature. It also gives us a chance to see how far we've come and how much we've overcome.

NATURE ON DISPLAY: I especially like the lighting in the exhibit because I think it helps draw the focus to the center of the room. The layout of the fossils also helps to express what it would've been like to be around one of the creatures at the time. It's interesting to see what animals were around hundreds of years ago because you can see how their ancestors are some of the animals we have today. It would be hard to correlate this without pictures but the replicas make it more immersive and more interactive. I also really liked the giant tortoise in this room. Every time I walked past it I just felt so small and I was almost scary how big it was. I can only imagine what it would've been like to be face to face with a live one.

NATURE AND ETHICS: This was in the Native American exhibit and I really think it encompasses ethics and nature. This little replica of the Calusa people fishing gives a viewer the chance to see things from a bird's eye view. From the descriptions around the glass, it explains how they used every bit of the resources they gathered and used as much of the world around them as they could. In the rest of the museum, there were many rooms that were designed to engulf you in the environment. This allows you to feel submersed in whatever the exhibit may be about. It helps you connect through yourself instead of just putting things out for show. I think going to this museum helped me to recognize how good nature is. It makes me want to do more to help the environment and to try to preserve what is left. At the end of the exhibit with the fossils, they show a wall with extinct animals. There's a sign that asks which ones have gone extinct in your lifetime. That was kind of shocking because I did know of one or two that had gone extinct. I think that was what motivated me the most to want to save what's left of nature.

NATURE AND THE HUMAN SPIRIT: Normally, I am not to keen on being this close to a shark's teeth, but these are one of my favorite things to see in museums. I can't even imagine the size of this thing when it was alive. I think sometimes we need to take a step back and realize that we aren't the only ones on the planet. It helps to have some perspective and I think when we look at the grand scheme of things, we aren't as great as we think we are. We can step out of our ordinary lives and look at everything around us. It gives us a chance to absorb everything the world has to offer. It's amazing to see all these creatures around us and think we are sharing a backyard with them. Sometimes we take the fact that we're not alone for granted. We try to control the planet when really, we're just living in it. We can gain a better understanding and appreciation for nature just by taking a minute to realize just how amazing it is.

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