Nature on display- Being a Gainesville resident all my life, or an ACR as the elitist locals prefer, I have been to the butterfly gardens many times. However, it never fails to be wondrous and stunning upon entry. It isn't an experience that can be replicated without careful construction, the ability to walk through a private oasis filled with the most beautiful plants and butterflies. Catching a glimpse of ten butterflies flying in a spiral upwards towards a shaft of light is surreal. If one stops to read the laminated booklets on the side of the path, there is a plethora of knowledge about these plants and butterflies that is available along with the live creatures.
Nature and Ethics-The exhibit of extinct creatures and their skeletons, particularly my giant sloth friend, was actually the one that made me feel the most part of a natural community. It showed me that we are just one part of a long chain of evolution, that we are merely a droplet in the vast river of life. All of these creatures had their time in the sun but were inevitability drove to extinction and ended up in a museum. They ended up their due to natural circumstances though, this exhibit helps instill the knowledge that humanity has done much to put creatures in museums who's time in the sun was not yet done. This instillment of a "natural community" was certainly facilitated by this exhibit.
Nature and the Human spirit- Nothing is better inspiration for wonder in the museum than the jaws of the ancient Megalodon. The massive teeth emphasize how truly small and frail we are, that we can construct buildings and fight wars all we want, but at the end of the day there was a creature on this planet that could swallow ten humans without even chewing. It puts every individual who sees it back in their place. The Majesty and raw power of nature is on display with this fearsome creature, which may still be around if you were to believe some recently released documentaries.