Bell Museum; "Flatwoods Salamander" - Janisse Ray; "Caribou Moss" - Sigurd Olson

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Today was the first time I have been to the Bell Museum and it was really beautiful and perceived the habitats accurately, in my opinion. I really enjoy seeing nature exhibits like that, because I love nature and seeing animals. I mean it is not as good as being out in real nature and seeing live animals, but I did like seeing the great detail that went into creating these pieces. I especially liked how the artists created pieces that were actual places out in nature somewhere. I have not been to any of those places they recreated, but I am sure they are accurate. My favorite piece was the whitetail deer exhibit, mostly because that is my favorite animal and I love seeing bucks. I also really liked the bear exhibit, I liked it because they had a lot of little cubs wrestling around and playing. Another one that I thought was funny was the one that had five little owls. One of the owls was on the branch lower on the tree and the four others were all sitting next to each other staring at you with their big yellow eyes.

Tanner

Bell Museum
Today was my first day visiting the Bell Museum at the University. I enjoyed walking around the museum and viewing the different species within the museum. The part of the museum that I enjoyed the most was the touch and see portion. I enjoy seeing live animals. I also enjoyed looking at the bigger animals like the bears, coyotes, and moose. I like bigger mammals better than smaller animals such as birds and squirrels. I find the larger ones much more entertaining to learn about rather than the small ones, they are much more intimidating as well. The one animal that really caught my attention was the beavers’ I have seen beavers before but haven’t seen them that close. I never have really looked at them as in depth as I did today. The interesting thing that I noticed was the webbed feet of the beaver and the “leather” like paddle tail. It is interesting to see the adult beavers tails compare to the young ones and compare them by size, it is odd to think that they grow longer and wider while looking like “leather”. The Bell Museum really opened my eyes to other species that I don’t immediately think of.
Kassy

The Bell Museum provided many examples of wildlife that lived all over America. From bears to beavers, this museum had everything. I enjoyed looking at the live snakes in the touch and feel section of the museum. Snakes have always intrigued me because they seem like such mysterious reptiles due to the fact that they are hard to find in the wild.

Reading "Flatwoods Salamander" by Ray J really opened my eyes about the struggle that the smaller animals of the Earth go through. I never knew that in just ten generations that a species population could drop by 99%. The essay interested me.

"Caribou Moss" by Sigurd Olson taught me about how great of a resource a common lichen can be. I had no idea that people could boil moss and eat it, or that it could grow on just about anything that was rough. Caribou moss is generally undisturbed due to its location on the Earth.

Bryan

This was my first visit to the Bell museum, and I would have never thought that something this would even be on campus. I learned a lot from going and was open-minded to everything partially because I kind of didn't know what to actually expect and the other half because I wanted to learn more about animals that I don't get to see often. Being from Michigan, and specifically the part of Michigan that I'm from, there aren't very many types of animals that I'm exposed to. Just seeing that Minnesota has all these kinds of animals that I'm only able to see on animal planet is pretty cool. It makes me want to actually go see them in person if I can. I actually liked going to the Bell museum and might go back with maybe some friends next time.

The Caribou Moss piece of writing was very descriptive. It painted a clear image in your head of what the environment it like where the caribou moss grows and the caribou moss itself. This piece of writing kind of helped me understand how I can write my natural history paper and gave me some ideas on how descriptive I can be. Same with the Salamander writing. I think they're both good guidelines or examples to sort of follow when writing our essays.

I thought the Bell Museum was very interesting, it was the first time I have ever been to a place like that. I loved how real everything looked, I felt like I was physically in the real life scene with the animals. The landscapes behind the animals were so perfect and had to take a lot of time to make them look so flawless. The Bell Museum in my eyes is not only a natural history museum but an art museum. There was just as much time taken to paint and create the landscapes as there was to configure the animals. The Bell Museum also had a touch & see portion with live snakes and turtles! I loved that part. The Bell Museum made me think of our reading 'Caribou Moss' and how the descriptions of the animals by the diagrams were like the reading. The reading had good detail and expressed the Caribou Moss so well that I could picture it perfectly. The reading 'Flatwoods Salamander' also related to the Bell Museum because if the Flatwoods Salamander was to go extinct like how the writer made it seem like at the end of the reading, we could have a flatwood salamander exhibit that would always keep exactly what the animal looked like and what the habitat looked like. The Bell Museum was an eye opener today because I have been to many museums but never to that one combined both nature and art in such an simple way.

Jenni

As I was walking through the museum, I found the dioramas fascinating. A specific one that stuck out to me the most was the Dalls Lamb diorama. The lambs looked sad and perplexed because their surroundings that once flourished with food and trees look like barren wastelands. I noticed this same issue with other dioramas as well. These intricate and delicate dioramas were thought provoking, too. I felt that they conveyed messages within them. One even had a question, "Why study birds?" I thought to myself for migration purposes. That may be true, but there may be other underlying factors into why we study plants and animals. Similarly, with the Caribou Moss reading and discussion in class, the question was posed: why is Caribou Moss important to study? The answer was right in front of us, and it is because it is the pioneers to our ecosystem. At the time, however, I didn't think about it because maybe I was too tired, or maybe I didn't read carefully, regardless of the excuses, I think that there should be more studies on different plants and animals. It was brought to my attention, and it made me appreciate the visit to the bell museum more.
Anushka

This is the first time that I have been to the Bell Museum. It was a very special feeling to see all different types of animals which looked so real in front of me. The background paintings were also amazing. Time was stopped, and I suddenly went back to the time while the bears were playing around, while deers were running,while the birds were singing. I felt the comfort from those scenes of nature; however, I also felt kind of sad at the same time when I thought about the polluted environment. Inside of the museum, there was also a small area with many plants, and they were very beautiful which reminded me the readings. Sigurd Olson not only described the caribou moss very well but also make it very interesting. Even plants like caribou moss are so alive, and every plant has its story behind. Same as the Flatwood Salamander, the author used a different style of writing to describe salamander, but it grabbed my attention by starting her paper like a story and lead the reader to the object that she wrote about. It’s fun to learn some new knowledges about these little plant from a natural history paper which also gave me some ideas about how the natural history paper should be like.

Sherry

We visited the Bell Museum yesterday and it was very interesting. The exhibits were very realistic and very life like. It was enlightening because there were some animals there that even I had never seen. Seeing the animals in a display of their natural habitat is very eye opening. As for Sigurd Olson's "Caribou Moss", I really enjoy how he describes the area. His description makes it easy for me to almost picture it perfectly. He talks about climbing up on the ridge and seeing the lake and the rocky islands, along with the caribou moss, which he says haven't been disturbed. He talks about how the rocks and veins coincide with each other and how the minerals like feldspar lace the borders of the moss. How he describes the small area and then the whole area makes its seem more beautiful and gives his writing more power.

Going to the Bell Museum for the first time was a fun and educational experience. All the exhibits seemed so realistic; like the animals were going to come out of the displays. The detailing is amazing, every aspect of the animal’s habitat was there; it made you feel like you were there also. A memorable animal was a deer species, because their displayed showed how the forest was being cut down and how they looked really lost and confused. The touch and see section was really interesting, because you get to touch animals you would never touch in real life. I would never go try and try to touch a bear in real life. The Museum gives you a replica of the real animal so you can see what it would be like to be up close and touch the animals without being in harm’s way. Having the Bell Museum and other Museums are good because they preserve and remind us of important artifacts and relics that are old, gone, or might be forgotten about. “Flatwoods Salamander” by Janisse Ray was interesting to read about because Ray pulls you in by making it sound like a story while giving you facts about the salamander. Then later on turns it into an experimental paper. Whereas the “Caribou Moss” by Sigurd Olson is like we are being taken on the journey with Olson observing the caribou moss, and then we get a history and facts on how caribou moss was used. The museum and writing on all species is to keep them alive in some form, so when or if they do become extinct we still have a recollection of them.
Gabrielle

I found the Bell Museum very interesting. The amount of species of birds was incredible. I can't even imagine that actual amount of species throughout the world. I also really enjoyed the touch and see section. You could see the different parts of all sorts of animals that you normally wouldn't notice. There were turtles, fish, and all sorts of other smaller animals. My favorite part of the museum was the bear section. In a part of the section there was a board that you could press different buttons that played bear noises. Each bear noise represented a different emotion the bear is trying to express. I think it's crazy that we understand what the bear is trying to do by a noise.
"The Flatwoods Salamander" gave many facts about how the salamanders life has changed throughout the years. The author discusses how the salamander population has greatly decreased in recent years, and is in danger of going extinct. "Caribou Moss" was written so that you could picture what caribou moss looks like. I found that interesting, I like being able to picture what I'm reading. The reading also contrasted the "Flatwoods Salamander" story because in "Caribou Moss" it talked about how the moss is undisturbed because of its location. It's also cool to think that even if any of these went extinct, places like the Bell Museum could preserve them.

I found the Bell Museum very interesting. The amount of species of birds was incredible. I can't even imagine that actual amount of species throughout the world. I also really enjoyed the touch and see section. You could see the different parts of all sorts of animals that you normally wouldn't notice. There were turtles, fish, and all sorts of other smaller animals. My favorite part of the museum was the bear section. In a part of the section there was a board that you could press different buttons that played bear noises. Each bear noise represented a different emotion the bear is trying to express. I think it's crazy that we understand what the bear is trying to do by a noise.
"The Flatwoods Salamander" gave many facts about how the salamanders life has changed throughout the years. The author discusses how the salamander population has greatly decreased in recent years, and is in danger of going extinct. "Caribou Moss" was written so that you could picture what caribou moss looks like. I found that interesting, I like being able to picture what I'm reading. The reading also contrasted the "Flatwoods Salamander" story because in "Caribou Moss" it talked about how the moss is undisturbed because of its location. It's also cool to think that even if any of these went extinct, places like the Bell Museum could preserve them.

I really enjoyed visiting the Bell Museum. There are a lot of animals that you don't get the chance to see when you live from central Minnesota down. The Bell Museum gives a great opportunity for people to see these animals. I was also really impressed with the backdrop of some of the exhibits. The museum did a great job places animals in natural habitats that fit. The bear exhibit was one that caught my eye the most. The cubs in the exhibit gave a good idea of how little cubs really act.
When reading the two articles I was impressed at how clear of a picture you could create while reading each article. "The Flatwoods Salamander" article had a lot of good facts. I was shocked at how fast a species can go from in good condition, to near extinction.

I really enjoyed visiting the Bell Museum. There are a lot of animals that you don't get the chance to see when you live from central Minnesota down. The Bell Museum gives a great opportunity for people to see these animals. I was also really impressed with the backdrop of some of the exhibits. The museum did a great job places animals in natural habitats that fit. The bear exhibit was one that caught my eye the most. The cubs in the exhibit gave a good idea of how little cubs really act.
When reading the two articles I was impressed at how clear of a picture you could create while reading each article. "The Flatwoods Salamander" article had a lot of good facts. I was shocked at how fast a species can go from in good condition, to near extinction.

We visited the Bell museum yesterday and it was a very cool experience for me. Being from Idaho i have not seen a lot of the animals that were displayed at the museum. I was also facsinated with the touch and feel section just seeing how big the animals actually are like the brown bear.
reading the articles one thing that stood out to me was the details they used to paint the picture in your mind it really was easy to picture the enviroment. The Salamander was i quick turn one minute the species is thriving the next it is close to exstintion it is just interesting how the wildlife is a rotation of numbers.

It was my first experience visiting Bell Museum. I saw many kinds of animals that lived in the northern part of Minnesota. It was an interesting experience, since I used to live in tropical country that has completely different kind of animals characteristic. I found the moose diorama was the most interesting one, I had never imagine that moose can grow that huge. The other part that also took my attention was the rainforest room, where the actual plant was there. I was familiar with those plants, and I think I had seen each of them in my country, even I had several of them planted in my house. The other diorama also interesting, It was hard to imagine people had the ability to create such condition that imitates the real scenery in the nature in early 1900s.

I enjoyed visiting the Bell Museum on Tuesday. I don't mind animals but I don't spend time learning about the history and details of a specific species so the visit was an eye opener for me. I never knew that so many kinds of animals can live in one area like the midwest or the northeast because you don't see them all. I found an interest in reading the description of the animals behavior and habitat because I often don't think about where animals live. In Minneapolis I often see the city and there are no animals around besides squirrels or birds. The Bell Museum is a place I may visit often because it is captivating to see what other life is around the Midwestern area that we also consider part of nature.

As I wandered around the Bell Museum, I searched for a diorama about human evolution. After not being able to find the exhibit after 15 minutes, an employee informed me that there wasn’t one in the building. What kind of natural history museum doesn’t have any information on evolution? I wondered about this because I want to write my natural history paper on a species of monkey, and write about human evolution.
Janisse Ray tells us how the Flatwoods Salamanders evolve over time. Ray cleverly words her writing to make you think she is sharing a story when in actuality she is attempting to show facts about the salamanders.
I went to Ely as I was on my way to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, but didn’t have a chance to go exploring there as much as Olson did. I learned from Sigurd Olson that caribou moss is able to grow on any rocky surface that is rough enough for spores to cling on.

After my first visit to Bell Museum I have to say that I found many things to be intriguing. I appreciated how much effort the museum put into to satisfy our needs. There was a lot of unusual animals I haven’t heard of I found interesting and there was lots of beautiful tropical backgrounds the artist created. I found the touch and see room to be very interesting especially with the grizzly bear. I was very amused with how big the bear was it was way different than how I would picture it. This exhibit surprised me because I wouldn’t expect all these different types of animals to be found in the Midwest. Although there wasn’t any lions or tigers that I find real interesting on display I feel like these animals roughly describe Minnesota and other Midwest states.
Gulaid

When reading these two articles I payed a lot of attention to the way it was written rather than what exactly was being said. Both authors did a great job at describing what was going on or being observed. It made me feel like I was there or connected somehow and was a great tool in helping me figure out what exactly was going on. I especially love this technique because it somewhat lets the reader experience it themselves rather than just read about facts. When visiting the bell museum I wish I had more time to pay attention to those small details. By just buzzing through it I didn't get as good of an insight. I also found it interesting the way the authors approached these articles. Rather than telling us facts about the animals they gave insight on the species life. It was sort of like telling their story from a linear perspective in comparison to just straight up telling what was going on. Both of these articles were great examples of writings and great tools to use for our upcoming paper.

Reading about the flatwoods salamanders were pretty interesting. I found it really interesting how they travel to specific spots just to meet others to breed with. This kind of reminds me of a Hmong celebration every year. There is a Hmong new year in which Hmong people from all over America come to attend. This meeting place is like a reunion but more. Similarly to flatwoods salamander, during the Hmong New Year, people come to see other Hmong People and possibly meet or obtain a significant other.
Also, what really got my emotions going for the flatwoods salamanders were the huge decrease in their population to an unknown reason. One main thought in the reading was because they travel based on the memory of their surrounds and because their migrating surrounding had changed, they lost sight of their trail. I feel sympathetic for the animal because of the extinction in their "race", but also because in the reading, it doesn't state that its the surroundings that causing it, but rather its a suggested reason.
Upon reading about the Caribou Moss, the facts and insights given did not stir up any interest in mind. In my opinion, the reading was quite boring. But the facts like how it looks like a rock tripe or where it lives on just about any crystalline structure are good indicators about how I should structure my research paper. These ideas bring up ideas to right about like, location, physical appearance, lifestyle, etc. Basically, this reading gave me more of an insight on how to begin brainstorming ideas about my research paper

Michael

As I read through chapter four from Life of Pi written by, Yann Martel, I couldn’t help but picture dorm-life, “Consider: the guests never leave their rooms; they expect not only lodging but full board; they receive a constant flow of visitors, some of whom are noisy and unruly”. Being part of the maintenance staff at a dorm would be a difficult job because of all the rowdy students making a mess in the bathrooms and in the dining hall. The way that Martel describes working at a zoo to be a nightmare, which it would be even worse than working as dorm or hotel upkeeping.
In David Samuel’s “Wild Things” Joe Briller worked night shifts at the Bronx Zoo, which in his opinion, was a better idea than being out on the streets at night. Joe remarked, “Animals eat better than us”. Briller doesn’t mind having to deliver food to the animals and doesn’t see it as demeaning.
There is a big difference between animals that are bred in the wild and brought to the zoo versus raised in captivity. When animals are born in the wild, they adapt to the wildlife and must be mildly tamed before brought back to a zoo, whereas an animal raised from inside the zoo will be extremely tame because there are so few things it must do to survive.
Dave

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This page contains a single entry by Capper Nichols published on September 17, 2013 1:09 PM.

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