The Good Life Nature Activity at the Florida Museum of Natural History By: Clarissa Palmer; Image: Taken by Clarissa Palmer in the Butterfly Garden at FLMNH

Images: Taken by Clarissa Palmer in the Butterfly Garden at FLMNH; The Florida Museum of Natural History allowed me to become immersed in nature. As I entered the butterfly exhibit, I was overwhelmed with the beautiful trees, butterflies, and other aspects of nature I never really paid attention to. The butterfly exhibit was the most interesting exhibit out of the whole museum because it was so interactive! A butterfly even flew onto my hand for a few seconds! The layout of the butterfly exhibit was also very appealing. There was a trail through the whole exhibit, which consisted of a pond area and benches. In each area, I saw unique butterflies. If I saw diagrams and pictures of butterflies in a museum, I would not be as intrigued to learn about all the different types of butterflies. All in all, my experience in the butterfly exhibit was enjoyable because I truly got to see how nature can be so beautiful when it is not tampered by humans. This is why I believe an interactive garden is the best medium when learning about nature and the animals, insects, and plants within.
Image: Taken by Clarissa Palmer at "The Calusa: People of the Estuary" Exhibit at FLMNH. In the above picture, I am standing in front of an exhibit that mirrors the values and beliefs of Leopold. Through this exhibit, I was able to experience nature in the ways that Leopold suggests. The exhibit features a hut that resembles what the Calusa Indians lived in during the sixteenth century. The Calusa Indians lived in a rich environment, what are now called estuaries. The Calusa Indians truly respected and admired the land they lived on. The Indians prospered from the immense bounty of their subtropical coastal world along the Florida Gulf coast. The Indians used what the land gave to them, such as fish and materials used for building. They did not take for granted the nature around them, nor did they abuse nature. In today’s society, we take nature for granted with all of our pollution. Viewing this exhibit, I felt selfish as the Indians respected and loved the land they lived on more than we do today. My experience at this exhibit has instilled in me an ethical responsibility to recycle and respect the world around me. I feel that many people had the same reactions. I think that seeing so many beautiful aspects of nature in a museum made myself and other visitors connect with nature in a unique way. Nature truly has a beauty that many do not recognize. After viewing this exhibit, I now know to love, respect, and admire our land just like Leopold suggests.
Images: Taken by Clarissa Palmer at the "Indigenous Women's Festival Wear from the Andes" and the "Giant-Sized Pitcher Plant" exhibits at FLMNH. Looking at multiple exhibits in this museum, I was able to recognize the mystery and majesty of the Universe. The Natural History museum helped me to step out of my ordinary life by presenting me with plants, objects, and cultures I have never seen before. For example, this photo of me next to a dress allowed me to learn about the Andes culture. Shown is Indigenous Women’s Festival Wear from the Andes. On special occasions, women would wear clothing pieces such as this. This exhibit taught me that there is beauty and fashion in history and in other parts of the world. In addition, I also found this plant exhibit very insightful. It is a giant-sized Pitcher Plant. I found it very intriguing that these plants can trap insects with their hairs and then decompose them. Viewing these exhibits, I was able to better understand that the natural world carries so much beauty. Mystery intertwined with majesty makes the natural world so exquisite. In fact, there is nothing comparable to the beauty of natural world.

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