Monday, June 05, 2017

Always Listen to Your Mother

Some time back, my mother told me about how she had, to her own surprise, been captivated by a nature series about birds that she happened to see on TV; as she put it, she practically doesn't watch TV, and she doesn't particularly care about birds, but she just loved it. The topic came up again when she was here in April, and she asked me if I would see if it was available on DVD, so that she could see it again and could also share it with others (starting with me). I looked into it, found that it was a BBC production called Earthflight*, and yes, it's on DVD. Sometime after that, I got around to ordering it.
*That link is to the BBC page, but the Wikipedia entry has good info on each episode all on one page, if you want to know more; I found that easier than clicking around the Beeb site.
The weekend before last, I watched the first few minutes of it when I was in a bad mood; I found some of the shots of tons of birds taking off dizzying, and then the squeak of bats in one scene creeped me out, so I stopped. Fortunately, I tried again when I was in a better mood, and (although I still had to look away from the motion now and again, and I don't like the sound of bats, or starlings as it turns out) it truly is amazing. I caught up with it on non-hockey nights (yes, hockey is still going on, but it's the finals, so there's a day or two between games, of which there at most four left.)

Random thoughts:
  • Each episode looks at one geographical area (North America, Africa, etc.), and they follow a few different bird species as they move around their areas, or migrate, or sometimes just as they're interacting with animals or sea life, and wow. 
  • The photography is stunning.
  • The way some of the birds work in concert with animals on land or sea, the hazards that they face ... it's simply amazing.
  • I loved the dance of the flamingos, and also the rays doing back flips.
  • My personal squick-o-meter did not go into the red zone, though it flicked into yellow a few times. Hey, it's nature, nature can be gross.
  • And yes, you do see some birds get caught by animals, or the birds catching and eating fish, or whatever. It's a touch upsetting, but not heartrending. (On the other hand, I have completely blocked out such scenes from The March of the Penguins, as Mary Ellen reminded me, so my perspective on this may not match yours.)
  • It's narrated by David Tennant, whose voice I love, although since he didn't use his natural Scottish accent when he was Doctor Who, it is a little surprising sometimes.
  • For the American audience, you can catch certain non-American terms, which is a chance to widen your perspective on a very small scale. For instance, I didn't know that what we call "the wave" is called "the Mexican wave" elsewhere. And noting a feral cat is not your typical "moggie" is not something I'm used to hearing.
  • The final episode, a behind-the-scenes about how they got the shots they did, is fascinating.
In Conclusion:
The moral of the story is, of course, listen to your mother.

1 Comments:

Blogger Suburban Correspondent said...

You had me at "David Tennant."

11:44 PM, June 05, 2017  

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