Good Life Nature Activity at FLMNH By Jacob Bauman

Nature on Display: A natural history museum is a scientific institution with natural history collections that include records of animals, plants, fungi, ecosystems, geology, paleontology, climatology, and more. I find this type of museum to be the most pleasurable of museums to observe because nature is exotic and vast. These walk through museums allow me to feel apart of nature and its history in a more enjoyable way. Usually I am bored at many exhibits; however, at the Florida Museum of Natural History there were many intriguing exhibits. One showcase that immediately caught my attention was the Butterfly Rainforest. This attraction was extremely appealing to the eye, primarily because it was outdoors and it was 85 degrees. It is nice to apprehend new information in a completely different environment than a classroom. Getting involved with nature helps me comprehend nature through a new medium. I think this is because it is more peaceful and it is a first hand account of the event. The Butterfly Rainforest contains various living organisms. Some of these organisms include hundreds of free-flying butterflies and birds. In addition, to being followed by butterflies, I was greatly entertained by the various turtles, fish and large assortment of plants/trees. Not only is this exhibit scenic to the eye, but this exhibit taught me a lot of interesting information about butterflies. One interesting fact I learned at this exhibit is that moths and butterflies have better sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch than humans. I also learned that butterflies have various colors and patterns in order to attract a mate. People often take advantage of everything that nature provides us. So appreciate and be apart of nature.

Nature and Ethics: Throughout history individuals and large corporations tend to exploit natural resources/nature in order to achieve monetary gain and technological improvements. Society is constantly changing and people feel like they need to keep up with these changes. This interferes with the good life because one must be one with nature to truly appreciate the world we live in. However, I am a large proponent of conserving nature. For example, I don't litter and I have my own water bottle rather then overusing the plastic from water bottles. Also I have been on an African Safari which allows me to appreciate the natural world to a whole new level. You are isolated from civilization and forced to adapt to the life of the African grasslands. Leopold states that we have to “love, respect, and admire” the land. I believe that the Florida Museum of Natural History was able to provide us with this experience. As I traveled through the museum, I felt apart of nature. This museum contains millions of artifact's and specimen that connect the observer with the natural world. The museum gave me as well as many other visitors a first hand experience with nature by incorporating the butterfly exhibit into the museum. Hundreds of butterflies and birds were flying freely. The fact that they were touching us made the experience so real. The butterflies show us that we should be comfortable with nature just like they are with us. The butterflies flying freely is symbolic of how we should feel with nature, liberated. Unfortunately, we won't always be able to appreciate the beauty and peacefulness of nature because of the destruction and exploitation of natural resources. Young children responded to this exhibit fairly amused. They got to run around, in a scenic environment, touching and playing with living organisms. Finally when they got tired of the beautiful weather, they were exposed to the cool dinosaur/fossil showcases. My trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History has made me a stronger advocate of the conservation of the planet. I hope to share my beliefs and teachings with those around me.

Nature and the Human Spirit: Nature contributes to the good life because it instills beauty and peace into our lives. It focuses on simplicity, Walden, and we should appreciate all the resources it provides us with. I believe it is extremely important to connect with nature daily. Even if it is simply getting up from your seat and taking a walk. Being a student at the University of Florida, I am constantly surrounded by vast plant life and gators at Reitz Union. My trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History allowed me to step away from reality for an hour. The second I arrived, I immediately forgot about all my priorities and tasks that I have to do prior to spring break. Usually I am stuck in class all day or in the library. The fact that I got to experience the Butterfly Rainforest and many of the other exhibits doesn't seem real. I had the opportunity to observe butterflies, birds, turtles, fish and a large assortment of plants on one of the nicest days of the semester. This opportunity allowed me appreciate the beauty and peace that wildlife has to offer. It also showed that a simple organism such as a butterfly is much more exotic and complex then I thought. There are millions of species each containing there own complex pattern and colors. I also got to learn about the Indian people. One of the indoor exhibits taught me about the lives of Indian Tribes and Indians that currently live in South Florida. I can successfully say I left the museum with a greater appreciation of the mysteries of the nature world. Earth has been a giving planet to the civilians that inhabit it. Everything we have/own is because of our planet earth. For example food, water, medicine, materials for shelter, and even natural cycles such as climate and nutrients. So give back and appreciate the value and beauty of our earth.

Image Citations: "FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - LKC Creative ┃ Multimedia Design Production." FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - LKC Creative ┃ Multimedia Design Production. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

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