Nature on Display:
I really liked how this cave exhibit was set up. When you walked inside the cave you could hear the dull sounds or water dripping, insects chirping, and the structure of the cave had intricate designs. Bats were hung in corners of the cave as well as on the ceilings, and insects seem to be crawling the walls. There was a small part of the cave which you could crawl through and view the bugs. The floor of this part was soft and squishy to depict the real inside of a cave, and I lied down to get a real feel for it. I was drawn to this exhibit because of how life like it looked. The cave was so realistic looking, and I felt the need to go inside of it. Unlike the other exhibits with glass panels this cave was interactive and i could feel the outline of it. I have never been inside of a real cave, honestly I would probably be to afraid to even step inside of a real cave because of all the creatures that lie within its depths. With this exhibit I was able to experience and learn about the nature of caves, the deposition with the rocks hanging from the top, the slimy creatures crawling around, and the screechy bats were all at my fingertips. I am a child at heart, and I love that this museum is kid-friendly. It is fun and allows for young minds to wander at the exhibits. Even at the entrance the large fossil captures your eye, old and young alike.
Nature and Ethics:
The most nature appreciative part of the museum was the butterfly garden. I soon as I entered I was overwhelmed by the colors and vast amount of butterflies flying around me. I was breath taken by the flowers surrounding the garden, the variety of foliage growing around, and I loved the addition of water into the garden. This space allowed me to just take in nature and really feel part of the garden. The garden was busy with people, little children holding their parents hands laughing at the butterflies and an adorable older couple just sitting on a bench their heads stuck looking up at the butterflies. At the 'releasing' of the butterflies each new butterfly was given the change to fly free in the garden the first time. I was in simutaneous awe with the crowd as a the box opened and a little swarm flew out. One butterfly attached itself to a young girls belly and stayed there the entire presentation. Her younger siblings were thrilled and couldn't stop giggling, and the young girl's face was over taken by her smile. Her mom excitedly snapped a few photos, the moment being captured forever. After visiting the garden, and seeing the beautiful flowers I started bringing flowers into my dorm. Sadly, I do live in a dorm so I couldn't have and live potted plants, but the small vase of fresh flowers every week puts a smile on my face. Now whenever I walk through campus I take it slow and appreciate all the nature around us.
Nature and the Human Spirit:
Sometimes being a student at a University, coming from a urban area I forget about the people who were here before us. We are evolving everyday in our way of living, improving everything to make life a luxury for us. Then at the museum I am reminded of the natives, or just of history in general. The native inhabitants of Florida appreciated every part of Florida. They used its resources, they did not take advantage of them like we do, but instead integrated them into their worlds. This museum allowed me to take a step back and appreciate where we came from. It helps me visualise everything by being reminded of the history behind us and what makes us us. Life is a precious and beautiful thing, and each reminder of that is a good thing.