Florida Museum of Natural History Delaney raymond - iuf1000 hodge 04g1

My trip to the Florida Museum of Natural History was a memorable experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the diverse exhibits and displays such as paintings and fossils as I gave myself a tour of the museum. I feel that I have a greater appreciation for life here on Earth and I appreciate the history that has shaped how things are today. The various exhibits also allowed me to see different perspectives and learn about events and places that I have never even considered.

Nature on Display

The Butterfly Rainforest

A butterfly perched on a leaf

I found the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit to be the most appealing out of all of the others. The design of this exhibit was structured in a circle, allowing for a lot of open space and even a wide area where a bridge was placed over a flowing creek. I think that this allowed for the nature to be more appreciated. No structures, pillars, or walls were there to take away from the calming atmosphere of the plants and butterflies. The exhibit capture my attention through its bright colors and signs about butterflies that were posted around the enclosure. Through the medium of self learning through submersion in the butterfly rainforest combined with the informational signs, I was able to understand how animals in the environment coexist. This way of learning was more interesting than just reading a textbook, which is something that can also be appreciated. I especially enjoyed the calming atmosphere of the enclosure. Combined with the bright flowers and free roaming birds and butterflies, it was enjoyable to walk through this exhibit.

In regards to the museum as a whole, the museum is structured in a circular pattern, allowing for the customer to experience all exhibits without have to go out of the way to go to, for example, different wings of the building.

Open spaces and a deck to maximize the experience of the roaming birds and butterflies.
Learning about butterflies through simple yet informative facts on signs posted throughout the exhibit.

Nature and Ethics

Crafting Ethnic Identity in the Andes and Mesoamerica

Exhibit Title

In regards to Leopold's recommendation for experiencing nature, I think that this museum, especially this specific exhibit, captured that. When I came across this exhibit, I couldn't help but admire and as a result, love the artwork reflected in the clothes of the indigenous people. I felt a sense of happiness when looking at this exhibit due to its bright colors and I found myself appreciating the long and tedious work of crafting these fabrics. My favorite was the black and white bag with a horse on it, which made me think that the person who crafted it, incorporated their culture and way of life into the design.

As I went through the museum, I respected the various items on exhibit. I found myself staring in awe at every exhibit, due to the history and culture that came along with each one of them. I was anxious to experience every exhibit that the museum had to offer. Other people had the same reaction as me; all eager to read the signs, press the buttons at the interactive exhibits, and see things such as fossils and live frogs. The Natural History Museum allowed visitors to connect with nature by offering such opportunities such as live animals and interactive exhibits. This keeps people entertained and allows for the visitors to connect on a more intimate level with the nature, as opposed to just reading signs or books. My experience experience did instill me in an ethical responsibility to nature as Leopold imagines because I found myself appreciating, admiring, and thus loving the nature that was offered at each exhibit. I felt connected to nature and felt a responsibly to respect and love things rather than conquer and make nature how humans see fit.

The black and white bag with horses on it was my favorite.
An indigenous woman's dress made for a special festival or occasion.

Nature and the Human Spirit

Fossils and Caves

Extinct Sharks
Deep Dark Caves

The Museum of Natural History allows us to step out of our ordinary lives due to the fact that a lot of stuff on display is either extinct or is in remote areas of the Earth. Our ordinary lives do not consist of fossils, bats in caves, rainforests, and seeing every butterfly found on Earth. Although we read about things in textbooks, this museum actually allows us to step out of our ordinary lives and be able to see up close and personal structures and artifacts. This helps us better understand who we are and better appreciate the mystery and majesty of the natural world by learning about things that we may have been interested in but could not fully appreciate until we come face to face with them. Humans in general have a lot of questions and having a lot of them answered because of this exhibit allows us to understand who we are and what we like and dislike. The mystery of the natural world will always remain but clarity is offered for some concepts, resulting in pure fascination by the onlooker.

The dark caves with bats.
The mystery of extinct species.

All photos were taken by me, Delaney Raymond.

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