I visited the Florida Museum of Natural History on February 19th, 2017. Above is a picture of me in the Butterfly Rainforest.
Nature on Display
"Frogs! A Chorus of Colors" Exhibit
The limited time exhibit when I visited the museum focused on frogs in their natural habitats. The exhibit mixed displays of live, colorful frogs, with informational touch-screens and signs. The set-up was very effective in delivering the information in a comprehensive, visual way. Each sign talked about a different concept, such as tiny frogs found in high treetops or colorful, poisonous frogs, and then right next to it was a display of a frog with those characteristics. For example, the frog that I am standing next to is an example of a frog that does not live in water. Compared to most other exhibits I have seen, the "Frogs!" exhibit presented facts in a way that made them accessible and easy to absorb and visualize. It was the perfect mix of displays and information, and the exhibit was interesting and enjoyable.
Nature and Ethics
The Tomato frog display in "Frogs! A Chorus of Colors"
In the "Frogs!" exhibit, one sign talked about the pet trade. Many frogs, like this tomato frog, are attractive pets, but this human activity is endangering the lives of these animals. Seeing the frogs in this exhibit made me feel the danger they are in, and the need to protect them. Hopefully, others will react the same way, and may even think more carefully before getting a frog or another animal as a pet.
Similarly, the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit made me appreciate the natural rainforest and the habitat it provides for animals like the butterflies. Deforestation is a serious issue, threatening the butterflies and other animals. The people in the exhibit all around were taking pictures with family and friends, and some even sat in the exhibit for a long time taking in the scene. They were able to be immersed in nature, and seemed to enjoy it greatly. The way I and other people reacted to the simulated rainforest makes me hopeful that by visiting natural history museums and other similar places, people will become more mindful of the importance of natural conservation.
Nature and the Human Spirit
Entrance to the "Florida People and Environments" Exhibit
This exhibit portrayed native Floridians living their life in harmony with nature. The boy in the picture has just returned from a fishing exhibit. What is not visible in the picture is another scene of people living in huts made out of straw and rocks, and using animal fur as clothing. The people are living off the land.
The Natural History Museum allowed me to step out of my life and appreciate all the times that nature touches my life. It helped me dive deeper into the animals and plants around me that I often overlook. We are a part of this nature, and connecting with it reminded me of who we are and where we came from.