Florida museum of natural history Emily Thach

nature on display

The Blue Morpho butterfly is my favorite

The Butterfly Exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History was one of my favorite aspects of the museum itself. The exhibit itself is outside, and when I entered the Butterfly Garden I felt as though I was transported to another place. The various plants and animals (including the butterflies) were what I feel a true animal exhibit should be, observing animals in their habitat with care and consideration. I loved how we were immersed in the butterfly habitat by being surrounded with beautiful scenery, and that we were in their home, not vice versa. I learned that the natural world has beauty and can bring joy. Anyone could have read about butterflies in a textbook, but this exhibit allows people to actually appreciate the existence of a butterfly, and observe how they behave and how they move. I could have easily spent hours watching of all the diverse species of butterflies just existing, just living. I was captivated by how each species of butterfly floated and flew differently throughout the air, and it made me appreciate the beauty of nature, even in the most minuscule of animals.

Blue morphos feeding on oranges and bananas! WOw!

Nature & the human spirit

this diorama of the calusa people embodies the human spirit, because they adapted to the nature around them that ultimately shaped their way of life.

Entering the museum allows us to be completely immersed and educated in the natural world around us. For the moments that we wander around various exhibits, we step out of our ordinary lives by becoming students of the earth. We let go of our trivial worries and just allow ourselves to be curious and explore. We learn about plants and animals that existed before we did, as well as ones that are still around today. The Natural History Museum reminds us that although we may be at the top of the food chain, we still belong to the natural environment. The museum allows us to appreciate Mother Nature and acknowledge that without her, we would cease to exist.

Nature & ethics

The museum truly allowed me to experience nature the way Leopold would have imagined. Walking through the museum rekindled my childhood wonder and curiosity, I stopped at every exhibit and read as much as I could (it's safe to say I have more information about frog species than the average person now). It was so satisfying and enjoyable to see other people, of all ages, so excited and so curious as well. The design of the museum allows people to walk around and be immersed in nature. For example, for the aqueous habitats, and the Calusa villages, the exhibit was designed to where they could walk through and see what it would be like to be surrounded in that environment. The Calusa room was round with a pathway cutting through the marshy landscape, with sounds of birds and a replica of what a Calusan hut looked like. The museum reminded me of how important it was to conserve and protect the environment that took care of our ancestors. When I left the museum it made me feel even more responsible for the condition of the environment, especially under the current political regime. We must be stewards of the Earth, if not for us, then for future posterity.

Credits:

Created with images by Kristina_Servant - "Nature"

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