The Good Life Nature Activity at the FLMNH Hamza Silmi

Nature and the Human SpiritAt first going to the tour of the Harn museum of art and then right after going to many of the exhibits in the Florida Museum of Natural History, did seem like way too much work. One of the many nice things about good life is that students are forced to do things they may have not even thought twice about doing. The minute I entered the FLMNH it stopped feeling like work and I started to really enjoy my time there, I also was very lucky to go on a day when there was a flee market inside. In all seriousness time flew by, my friends and I spent quite some time in the butterfly exhibit and I cant wait to go back when I get the chance. Something many of my friends know about me is that I love fun facts and I love adding fun facts to my collection. The museum gave me tons, I don't think I skipped a plaque. I almost forgot to look back at the assignment and see what three things this class wanted me to really think about, the three being Nature on Display, Nature and Ethics, and Nature and the Human Spirit. As one will see later on, I truly love nature. This was one of the easiest assignments because I enjoyed going to the museum and taking away many things I could have never seen had I not been forced to go. In the end a lot of good came out of this experience, many of these things has to do with the three concepts good life presented.

Nature on Display

The image above is a picture of myself next to the fish pond in the butterfly exhibit.
The image above is a picture of a butterfly in the butterfly exhibit, the picture was taken in order to display the spectacular colors and patterns that can be found in nature.

There are a lot of things that can be said about nature on display. One cannot truly appreciate nature until they witness its majesty in person. Watching a video about butterflies is one thing, but being in an environment surrounded by them is a whole other thing. When I entered that exhibit I was a little taken away, it had been the first time I have ever been in such a situation and I can only hope that everyone can experience what the florida museum of natural history has to offer. It may have been the first time I went to the butterfly exhibit but it won't be the last while I am here at the university of florida. A big reason why I appreciated this exhibit and why I chose the photos above to represent nature on display is because it literally was nature on display, one can walk into that exhibit and see hundreds of amazing butterflies flying all around them. For me the biggest thing that I learned has to deal with color. I learned just how many different shades can be displayed on one butterfly, and how nature amplifies the feeling that these colors evoke. When i was in the butterfly habitat with the waterfall running and the butterflies flying everywhere, I felt bliss. By that i mean I felt relax and completely forgot that I was trying to complete an assignment. I have always enjoyed nature at its most basic level, I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, ect. This experience only gave me a new perception, now when i go hiking or camping i will be sure to look for the color, and try to focus on the journey versus the destination

Nature and Ethics

The image above is a picture of me standing in front of the shark exhibit, with all of the species on display being extinct with the exception of the great white shark.

Leopold was one of the most influential people in regards to our modern outlook on nature, and its conservation. He built the foundation for our modern ethical outlook on wilderness and the animals that reside there. The florida museum of natural history (FLMNH) in many ways has embraced the same ideas that Leopold catalyzed. It is sad to say that in 2016 we have any creature under the threat of extinction. It is sad to say that humans have caused the extinction of a countless numbers, of a wide spectrum of animals and or species. The museum provides a wake up call to its visitors by putting both species that have already gone extinct, and animals that are still around today. While walking through the museum I and others would unfortunately have to imagine just how some of these extinct species looked. I would like to think of myself as an environmentalist, but the magnitude of that question alone makes me want to do more. The fact that I will never be able to see many of the animals in the museum walk or swim on this earth evokes only negative emotions. The museum makes visitors ask questions and use their imagination while giving them all the facts. It definitely evokes a new form connection to nature, whether one were to go into the butterfly museum or view the wonders of the world. I chose to display the photo above because Sharks are one of my favorite animals. I was extremely excited to see this exhibit because it put both extinct and currently alive species of shark on display. This particular exhibit also fits within this section because the sharks that are still around are endangered, due to human interference with nature. One of Leopold's first environmentalist ideas related to the preservation and protection of predators. This idea gives a new perspective on these species, because predators are essential to the balance of nature as a whole. The FLMNH instills these same ethical perspective that Leopold had, to its guests, myself included. In the end the FLMNH added to my already ethical views of nature and led me to embrace a new found ethical responsibility to nature.

Nature and the Human Spirit

The image above is a picture of me in the florida cave exhibit.

I have always thought everyone should get out of the box that a city and or urban life puts around you. Nature is an outlet in which people can step out of the box that is ordinary urban living. When visiting the museum of natural history I found that it can take people away from the urban/ concrete world that is the university of florida. The museum in my opinion does provide an accessible medium for people to immerse into nature. The reason why the museum is able to take visitors out of their normal life is because almost every exhibit is interactive, from the butterfly museum to the caves of florida exhibit. As I have said before I have always tried to embrace nature as much as I possibly can but to be honest I didn't find myself stepping out of my ordinary life and into nature, the closest I got to this feeling was in the butterfly exhibit until I realized how artificial it really was. Of course this doesn't necessarily mean that I didn't gain new experiences and or enjoy many of the exhibits I went to. In fact I was able to take away a lot of knowledge and the appreciation for the colors that can be found in nature or the many different animals out there. The museum enhanced my ethical perception of wilderness as well, but it was difficult for me to feel as though I was in a natural medium. I have many experiences in nature at its most basic level, and the museum was only able to represent and put it on display. This is just me of course, I do think that for many of the visitors it does enhance their perception and take them out of their urban box. The image above is a picture of the museum artificial florida cave, a place of mystery and life. I thought it made a good representation for the the mysteries that lie in nature, and I have to make the point that although it didn't feel real, it definitely has made me want to experience more. It has given me a drive to experience more of the mystery and majesty of the nature as a whole.

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