The Cave exhibit that was in the Northwest Florida: Waterways and Wildlife area really caught my eye and gave me something to always remember. The design of this exhibit was appealing because it allowed you to see up close what a northwest Florida cave looks like on the outside and on the inside. The exhibit looked extremely realistic and made me feel like I was actually inside a real life cave which made the journey through it so much more memorable. I was first attracted when I walked by the exhibit and saw this huge display with plants and animals covering it and a pathway leading into the cave, upon following the pathway, I was hooked. This exhibit in particular allowed me to voyage through a realistic cave without the danger that comes with exploring a real one and have the experience of knowing what caves look like both inside and out. I also was able to learn animals that reside in the cave (woodrats, camel crickets, gray rat snake, etc.), what the animals in the cave eat (dead plant and animal matter), and how plants cling to the rocks of the cave (roots grow into small cracks and down into the floodplain soils which splits the rocks as they grow allowing soil to fill it to house plants). The realistic element of the cave, seeing some animals and insects up close, seeing the foils of certain animals, and reading all the facts about different species is what made this trip to the museum fun and memorable.
The Natural History Museum allows for its visitors to appreciate nature and get a true love of the land and become one with it, just as Leopold would want. This was especially true of the Butterfly Rain forest, it allowed you to adventure through a butterflies natural environment without keeping them caged in so you get a true up close look. I felt truly apart of nature while exploring through the exhibits and felt that I was one in the same with the animals and insects that surrounded me. I had a great sense of serenity to be able to explore and become apart of such a magical environment and it made me feel comfortable being able to learn more about species and environments out in the world around me. I was thinking about how blessed I was to be able to have such an amazing experience right on my college campus and see and learn so many things I haven't been able to before. I felt that the people around me reacted much like I did, with fascination and genuine interest in all the exhibits. This was especially true of the Butterfly Rain forest which I personally believe was everyone's favorite since it places you directly in the butterflies environment with little restrictions. I believe everyone will go home and remember this wonderful experience forever. The Museum does not set up barriers (except for the frog exhibit) so it truly places you in the center of nature. Also, when you walk through the museum, the realistic nature of the displays allows you to make a connection, see up close, and learn about some species and environments you might not get the chance to in real life. Visiting this museum made me want to become a better person and do more to save our environment before it's too late, it made me more interested than ever in conservation methods and getting involved.