The FLMNH Dylan Stavitsky

Nature on Display: The exhibit "Welcome to the Age of Mammals (65 million years ago)" is the exhibit that really caught my attention and interested me most. The thing that caught my attention most from this exhibit was the name of it and all the history that followed behind it. Walking through the exhibit and literally passing thousands of years of history and seeing right in front of my eyes how much we have evolved was eye-opening and amazing. The exhibit caught my attention with the amount of contrast in the area from the dark and intense blues and black lighting matched with the bright white bones on display. I was also very amazed with just the feeling that i got as i walked through the exhibit. A sense of wonder and amazement flooded through me as i walked through the exhibit, feeling a connection to strangers and friends alike as i realized that we were all connected to these mammals and history. I think that viewing the history this way through this medium was especially helpful in learning about the natural world because everything was very visual. I got to see these mammals and creatures that once ruled the world right in front of me as just bone and extinct. It made me think of the day when humans are going to be extinct and really helped me grasp the thought of these creatures as real things instead of just a concept. The most enjoyable part of this exhibit was just how eye-opening everything was. Before visiting, i didn't think much about the history of our world or the impermanence of life. It really put things into perspective and how much happened before this lifetime, and how much will continue to develop after it.
Nature and ethics: Going through the florida museum of natural history, and the butterfly rainforest specifically, i absolutely think it helped me experience nature in a way i never have before. School can be very stressful and i've been uptight and anxious recently, but the moment i stepped into the butterfly rainforest everything changed. I automatically felt an overwhelming sense of love and peace. surrounding me. There was just so much life and happiness thriving and growing, i looked around and was immensely inspired by it all. I think that today, so many people don't view nature for what it is. They view the trees and water and flowers as a business deal or economic tool instead of seeing the earth as our home. We constantly take from the environment without asking ourselves what we can do for it. Going through the rainforest, i felt connected with nature. I didn't feel a sense of empowerment or like i was better than my surrounding area, instead i felt like the Earth and I were one and that we were living life together side by side instead of taking from it. I felt a sense of peace and community as a butterfly landed on my hand or i picked up a fallen leaf. It was very clear to me too that the people around me were filled with amazement and awe. It was evident with their big eyes staring off for minutes at a time, then looking over to their child or significant other with nothing but love in their eyes and smiles painting their faces. I think the butterfly rainforest allows people to connect so well with nature because there's freedom to it. Instead of a zoo where people are viewing things in cages and boxes, we are instead walking through nature as it isn't affected by us at all and get to watch it be beautiful all on its own and in it's natural habitat. This connects us more by not acting like it's an object, but acting like nature itself is on the same level of importance as we are. Going through the rainforest instills the ethical responsibility Leopold imagines by just reminding us how extraordinary and beautiful our planet is. It made me think why we would ever want to change something that is so great on its own and made me want to care for it so much more.
Nature and the Human Spirit: Coming to the Museum of Natural History, i felt like it was something that really helped me step out of my ordinary life and see the world with new eyes. I think so often, people don't think of the world and earth as things that are beautiful. We go out day by day, working, going to school, and hanging out with friends. Everything is so go, go, go that we don't ever stop and just breathe in and out and open our eyes and really look. To be honest, i didn't think that i would have been moved or changed by visiting the museum today. But i was, and it was something i think i needed. I actually looked at the nature, appreciated it for what it was, and felt amazement by something so simple yet so powerful. The butterfly rainforest and museum in general helped me better understand who i was and better appreciate the majesty and mystery in the world more than i could have ever imagined coming into this. I felt connected with nature, and it made me think about how I have a right to be on this earth just as much as that flower or this insect. It put into perspective my purpose here, which i think is to just coexist gracefully with nature and everything around me. It also really made me shocked as to think how all of this nature and beauty exists, and how there has to be so much more out there that is just as or even more beautiful that we don't know about.

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