Flying into the Good Life By: Emma Berckman

Nature on Display

The frog exhibit, "Frogs! A Chorus of Color" was the most appealing to me. This caught my attention mainly because I love frogs. It was well designed because it broke up the information panels with the opportunity to actually see the animals that you were learning about. This exhibit helped me learn about the frogs because if they were not physically there then I would not have been able to grasp the size of them and would not have spent as much time looking at them and thinking about them. This museum was enjoyable because of the live aspect of it. Although there was still information and opportunities to learn, you also had the living nature, such as the frogs and the butterflies there for you to experience.

Also, the frogs pictured here show the journey to the good life, which the end destination is the light above their cage. This represents how people can follow the same path and reach enlightenment, but at the same time they can take different journeys and be just as successful.

Nature and Ethics

The Natural History Museum provided a look into the Native American culture, which embodies many of the ideas that Leopold shares. Going through the museum, it was easy to sense how historically, before the colonization of America, the Native Americans used the land, but did not abuse it, and celebrated nature. As time progressed, it was evident the lack of regard for nature and the destruction that the development and large populations effected the environment negatively. Near this exhibit, there was also a view showing the sediment of the land, and how only the very top layer from the major development of Florida had trash in it, with the lower levels coming from only natural, decomposable debris. The museum allows visitors to connect with nature by having them see displays as well as to see and appreciate some of the living aspects of nature. My experience at the museum reminded me of the footprint that I am leaving on the Earth, and also influenced me to look at my own impact so far and what I can do to improve this.

Nature and the Human Spirit

The Museum helps us to step out of ordinary lives in multiple ways. Most people throughout the day are very busy, and don't take time to look at their surrounding environment. They're passing through but not considering the plant and animal life, even if it might be small. Going to the museum puts a pause on this fast paced mentality and forces you to slow down and actually look at things that you might not normally see. Also, being in a city environment, the exhibits also bring to you aspects of nature that you might not get to see on a day to day basis if you were not actively traveling and seeking out different plants and animals in nature. This allows us to better understand who we are because it gives a time for self reflection. Looking at the butterflies, you can get a sense of how free they are and see aspects of that in yourself. At the same time you can also see that they only have the illusion of freedom and are literally trapped by the glass ceiling. Being surrounded by nature can give you a new perspective on your own life. By looking and taking time to think about plants and animals, it can start to lead to a greater appreciation of all nature, and we can come to recognize the value of the mystery and majesty of the natural world.

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