CM . . . .
Volume V Number 20 . . . . June 4, 1999
The many splendours of the mountains deserve our commitment to protect and preserve them. It is the birthright of wild animals as well as our own.So ends a video about the "different parts of the [Rocky] mountains. . .their formation and the life they now support." This video is not presented as an entreaty for conservation but allows the history of the mountains and the interdependent systems of life that survive there to speak for themselves. Mountain Splendour starts with the birth of the mountains some 10,000 years ago and quickly skips forward to present the arrival of a new spring. The video covers the mountain regions from the valleys and rivers to the alpine heights, presenting a view of a complex world made up of all kinds of animals, birds and insects.
Mountain Splendour goes through one calendar season in the mountains, visiting the same ecosystems season by season to demonstrate the changes that each will go through in terms of animal and plant life. Time is also spent demonstrating how these regions developed. Fields of broken flint and fossils demonstrate the area's distant past as a sea bed. Viewers are also reminded that avalanches and glaciers continue to erode the landscape today. The areas teem with wildlife: bears, moose, mountain goats, birds, fish, wolves and wolverines are just some of the animals which populate the areas and that illustrate the different life cycles found in the various regions.
Instead of jargon or technical terminology, the language is very poetic and serves as a suitable accompaniment to the breathtaking nature photography. This video would serve as a valuable illustration for a discussion about ecology, ecosystems, life cycles or changing biospheres.
Betsy Fraser is a librarian with Calgary Public Library.
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