Natural disasters have always been a huge fear of mine. Top of the list being tornadoes. I remember having nightmares about them as a child. I am still terrified of them and am trying to learn more about them. I hope having an understanding of how they form will help my fear when a thunderstorm starts. I don’t think I have much longer of getting away with playing in the basement while I got the weather network on TV and radars up on my computer screen without my kids being worried or catching my fear. I REALLY need to get over this fear.
Since my fear has also given me a fascination with weather I was really excited to get the chance to go see the Canadian Museum of Nature’s special exhibit Nature Unleashed. Tobei had to burn off some leave days so took the day off work for a 3 day week-end. We pulled Big Brother from school for the day and off we went to the Museum of Nature. (Side note I LOVED this museum growing up and still do, top of my top 3 list of favourite museums in Ottawa).
This was my first time here since they had finished their renovations and I must say GORGEOUS job on the renos.
I headed up to the special exhibit excited to spend a lot of time there soaking it all in. In fact I headed up ahead of my family who were still having fun in the dinosaur part. Oh speaking of the dinosaur part they had begun a really cool voting process called Dino Idol . They have removed 5 plaster jackets containing mysterious dinosaur contents and we the public get to vote for which one we think they should open for their next research project. We all cast our vote while we were there. You can too until March 17th, 2013.
Where was I? Oh yes, so I headed up to the Nature Unleashed exhibit armed with my camera and excitement. I was greeted by this sign as I entered the exhibit. Enter sad face.
Since I can’t share pictures with you of this amazing exhibit I have to tell you GO SEE IT! I was expecting to learn lots about natural disasters and I did. I learned how tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes are formed. I only wish it wasn’t so hard to hear the video on tornadoes. Right near the video of how a tornado forms they have this really cool set up where you stand in a circle of screens. The screens show you what it is like to be in the middle of a tornado. It is a video of a camera that was set up and a tornado was recorded going past it, it ended up being right in the middle of it. Totally cool but loud so was hard to hear the how a tornado is formed video which is set up right near it.
What I didn’t expect was how touched I would be by the exhibit, to the point of having tears. They had items that had been ruined by a tornado which I know was a devastating one but memory fails me at this moment on which it was. I want to say Joplin but please don’t quote me. The items were sitting in front of pictures of where they were found. A chill came over me seeing these items.
Another touching moment that had me in tears was the exhibit on hurricanes which had a heavy focus on Katrina. They have a spot set up with pictures on screens of survivors. There is a bench you can sit on and hear them tell their stories of Katrina. Very moving and powerful. The part that got me the most may have to do with the fact that I am a mother. They have letters and pictures up that children who had survived Katrina had done. I could barely see through my tears reading them.
I went to this exhibit because of my fear/obsession with tornadoes. I walked away touched, moved, informed and awed. Nature Unleashed is an incredible exhibit and so well put together. I strongly encourage you to see the exhibit if you have the chance. It is at the Canadian Museum of Nature until May 5, 2012. My 2 pieces of advice for you. 1) There is a 3D movie that you can buy a ticket for called Tornado Alley. I was VERY excited to see it. However when we arrived shortly after lunch on a Friday we were told it only plays on week-ends. So make sure you look into that and maybe call if you would like to see the movie. 2)Leave LOTS of time. Visiting the museum itself takes a few hours for my family with so many hands on things for the kids, add at least another hour for this exhibit. Or do what I did and send your family ahead while you stay behind.
Disclaimer: I was provided with passes for my family to attend the Nature Unleashed exhibit. As always all opinions are 100% my own.