Jungle today, next is deserts

While waiting to start a year of movies, I now watch Planet Earth II. Today I saw Episode 3 – Jungles, and it was an incredible masterpiece in photography, storytelling and sound. Well worth a watch.

Maybe center stage today was taken by the sounds of the jungle. Most surprising was all the little noises of bugs and other creepy-crawlies. Perhaps I have gotten used to equipment that doesn’t capture these noises, or maybe the makers of this program have added sound effects later. Regardless, I was surprised when the centipede (or was it a millipede?) clicked across jungle debris with the clear sound of all its feet. Just to name one example. And many of the insect noises were helpful in communicating the lives of these little jungle dwellers. Creepy, yes, but also the sounds of life.

The episode also conveyed the message of how jungle habitats are rapidly disappearing, leaving some species with much less available territory, without belaboring the point. Elegantly done.

An episode I wholeheartedly recommend.

So instead of the show going on about deforestation, I will. A little.


This photo shows the Amazon Rainforest. Photo by NASA and it is in the Public Domain.

This is what NASA says about the above picture.

The Amazon Rainforest appears to have been colored solid with a green crayon in the western portion of this true-color image of northern Brazil captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on July 1, 2002. The Amazon River flows into the scene at the center left edge, a meandering brown line that widens as first the Rio Negro joins it from the north and then the Madeira joins it from the south. The Amazon flows eastward, eventually spilling its brownish, sediment-laden waters out into the Atlantic Ocean.

At bottom right and bottom center, deforestation and cultivation are evident by the regular, rectangular shapes that delineate plots. Fire is a common means of clearing land and this type of slash-and-burn agriculture is having a devastating impact on plant and animal communities as well as people who are native to the forests. MODIS has detected numerous fires (red dots) and thick smoke is visible at bottom left.

Once an impassable jungle, the Amazon is now crossed by at least a few roads, which make pale green lines across the dense forest. Cross hairs extending outward from the road may be a harbinger of future development.

Source for image and quote: NASA’s website

Tomorrow it is time for the episode about deserts, and here is a sneak peak.

Photo on top of the post shows the Amazon River flowing through the Amazon Rainforest. Image by NASA and it is in the Public Domain.

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