"Florida Museum of Natural History." Florida Museum of Natural History - Visit Gainesville - Florida Vacation Destinations. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.
Nature on Display
As you enter the mammal exhibit, feels as though you are walking through a real-life representation of how species have evolved on Earth.
The display I felt that perfectly represented the immersion of nature was the mammal exhibit at the FLMNH. The mix of huge skeletons of past mammals and figures that represented mammal behaviors in the wild made the exhibit come to life and feel like a relic of a past time. It wasn't just looking at pictures or dull diagrams; instead, you could feel the scale of these animals and understand how small we are in comparison. I felt as though I was really among these creatures and gained a better sense of how they moved and behaved in the wild. As I walked through, there were narrations playing as well, adding to the knowledge of these animals and and giving background to the impressive figures that stood before me.
Nature and Ethics
I felt that the Nature History Museum did provide the opportunity to experience nature the way Leopold recommends. While the butterfly exhibit itself is a man-made area and thus "conquers" the land, it instills the sense that you are part of the butterfly's land rather than the other way around. When I walked in, I had to act as if I was part of their forrest and respect the boundaries of the butterflies as they were truly the owners of this area. I couldn't move more than 3 feet without butterflies fluttering all around me and enhancing the feeling that I was in a real outdoor area where nothing was contained. I could tell others felt the same way as they walked very cautiously and only stopped to take in the scenery and capture pictures of the butterflies doing what comes naturally to them. The whole area felt very undisturbed in the best way possible; I really felt as though the butterflies controlled the exhibit and everyone inside was there to observe and respect nature. Going through the butterfly rainforest, I gained a new appreciation for the beauty of nature and allowing nature to be rather than tampering with it to fit what man wants.
Nature and the Human Spirit
Exhibits like this of a Native American habitat makes one step out of ordinary life and experience things in nature than would never be experienced on a daily basis.
Going from tradition Native American homes to dark caves to the feeling of being with huge underwater creatures really takes you out of daily living to experience feelings not normally felt in places like a college campus at UF. Going through the Nature History Museum took me out of my element and brought me, even if just for a couple hours, to a variety of different and interactive ecosystems. You normally don't get to go through such deviating experiences and see nature come to life in this way. The museum put into perspective how important conservation is of these majestic habitats as once they are gone, all the different species go along with that. They seem like almost mysterious habitats that we have yet to fully explore and losing them early would be tragedy for not just nature but humanity as well.