Nature on Display
This trip to the the Butterfly Rainforest was not my first and it certainly won't be my last! Being a history museum, most of the exhibits consist of artifacts, models, and replicas which is why the butterfly rainforest stands out as an exhibit. As opposed to the display of what nature once was, the Butterfly garden gives visitors a look at nature alive and in full swing with beautiful exotic butterflies circling the air. The fact the the exhibit was outdoors was very impressive and the size of the enclosure was surprising. It would have been impossible to study the nature of butterflies through photos alone, seeing them in their 'fabricated' natural habitat allows me to get a better understanding of how butterflies survive. Be butterfly rainforest is a reminder that just how the butterflies are vibrant and alive now, at one point, so were the creatures displayed all around the museum. Natural history continues to be made everyday but the butterfly rainforest, to me was the most physically and poetically beautiful part of understanding natural history. Everything even the beautiful butterflies we are fortunate enough to see today, will eventually become history in some way.
Nature and Ethics
Both of these exhibits do an excellent job of taking visitors through the several different landscapes that existed and continue to exist in these regions of our beloved state. As I went through both of these exhibits, I noticed that the focus was primarily on the near identical replication of the outdoor environment and educating people about them rather than focusing on the humans that inhabited and encountered them. These exhibits focused primarily on the landscape and environment in which the natives lived. Because of this i was able to appreciate the nature for what it was rather than how it benefited humans. I was able to read about the natural importance of each landscape unrelated to how it impacted humans which is, perhaps, the museums way of conveying the importance of a biotic community. By focusing on nature and not humans, the notion that humans were the supreme 'conquers of the land' is eliminated and the museum can serve its purpose: to educate people on the NATURAL history of Florida.