The Butterfly Rainforest is a beautiful representation of nature, like a tiny piece of paradise. The design is appealing because despite being enclosed, it feels like you are truly in a "rainforest." The sounds of the running water are soothing and help create this illusion. The paths that wind throughout the exhibit are naturally integrated rather than appearing alien or industrial. The exhibit helped me to understand the relaxing air of being in nature and coexisting with creatures like the butterflies. Overall, the exhibit is beautiful and inviting with the bright, vibrant colors of both the butterflies and the flowers.
The Natural History Museum allows you to experience nature as "members of the biotic community" as Leopold recommends by allowing you to coexist with the butterflies and plants. The butterflies freely roam as if the spectators are not there. The strict regulations barring people from touching/interacting with/feeding the butterflies assist with this, because their patterns cannot be interrupted. The exhibit was relaxing and the beauty and air of playfulness that the butterflies has is brightening to the mood. The most striking experience I noticed another person having was a little girl telling her father that she "wanted to be a butterfly." It reminded me of the innocence of childhood and also allowed me to think about the wonder I would have had coming to the exhibit as a young child. The experience reminded me of my responsibility to nature by helping me recall the feeling of being in nature. It could have been more effective if there was more information provided in the exhibit about the endangerment of nature, to add urgency to the issue.