Unusual Travelogue

Last night was the monthly travelogue. The topic was Yellowstone National Park and most of us had a ho hum attitude toward seeing yet another picture of Old Faithful.

The lecturer is a friend of a man who shoots film in Yellowstone National Park 363 days a year. She didn’t explain why he takes two days off or which two days those were. She told him she wanted to do a film told from the viewpoint of the animal families who live in the park but she’s not really a wildlife photographer. He told her to use his footage for her program which is what she did.

The entire film was shot from the viewpoint of a family of river otters who live in a big lake in the park. This lake has hot springs in it and the springs have eruptions (similar to Old Faithful). One erupts every 20 minutes and is known as the otter jacuzzi. These hot springs keep small areas of the lake from freezing over during the winter.

We also saw bears, bison, wolves, coyotes and antelopes as well as bald eagles and other birds. The narration was in the voice of the animals on the screen. For example, in one section a bear and a wolf were trying to move the carcass of a moose. The lecturer would say, “Let me move that out of your way,” as the bear tugged at the carcass in which a bison was showing interest.

The photographer who shot all this film has a million feet of footage. He has been shooting in the park for 50 years! She says he now has one lens which will let him take “okay close-up shots” from a distance of a half-mile. That lens cost him $50,000. Of course, he didn’t have that kind of equipment when he started but as cameras and lenses changed, he kept up to date.

It was a most unusual program. I’d rate it one of the best of the season.

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