November Footage Highlights

Aerial shot of an open mine pit and processing plant, Spain

Aerial shot of an open mine pit and processing plant in a copper mining and hydrometallurgical process plant complex, near Gerena, Seville, Spain. Filmed by Milan Radisics in August 2018.

Milan commented:

“I was really amazed and surprised at the huge size of the open pit, and also by the patterns created by the definite lines of slopes. It was the most elaborate open pit I’ve ever seen.
Photographing mines I’ve learned much about this industry. Processing from ore to the final product is so amazing, and humanity needs the final products, but the process also delivers many side effects polluting our planet. It is hard to find the right balance.”

Although the production phase started in June 2009, the project itself began in 1992 when exploration started. The project site straddles the municipalities of Gerena, Guillena and Salteras in the province of Seville, in southern Spain, and occupies 946 hectares including both the mine pit and the processing plant.
The expected annual production averages 72,000 tonnes of copper, equivalent to 25% of Spanish internal demand. The total for the entire 15-year operating period is estimated at 1 million tonnes of copper. Spain is the fourth largest consumer of copper in the European Union, and 14th in the world.

 

Two male Southern Pacific rattlesnakes fighting, USA

Two male Southern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus helleri) fighting during mating season. This behaviour is known as a “combat dance”, and is used to determine dominance and the right to mate with a nearby female, Southern California, USA. Filmed by John Chan in March.

John said:

“Regarding snakes in general, they usually avoid human contact, and when there is that awkward encounter, they usually give us a wide berth and just head for cover. Photos are possible, but video is much harder to attain unless you shoot handheld.
During courtship and mating season though, as with many species, they become preoccupied with the task at hand and seem to become oblivious to our presence.
This clip is one example of the strong natural drive to reproduce and survive. As I understand it, there is a female nearby, waiting for the victor, hence the competition. This obviously occurs frequently in nature, but observations are rare.

I look for this behaviour every year but have witnessed it only twice. Filming is relative straight forward, but finding the opportunity is mostly a matter of chance. The location is Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve. In Southern California, the season is usually mid to late summer. I have another clip that was shot during this encounter where a very large gopher snake comes cruising out of the brush and just slides past this combat dance. The rattlesnakes paid it no mind, and the gopher snake seemed uninterested in the competition.
It is at times like this, or shortly thereafter, that one realizes the grand plan of nature, the individual struggles, and the importance of preserving the environment that sustains us all.”

 

Timelapse of climbers making their way to the summit of Cotopaxi Volcano, Ecuador

Timelapse of climbers making their way up to the summit of Cotopaxi Volcano (5897m) after a heavy snowfall,  Cotopaxi, Ecuador. Filmed by Morley Read in December 2018.

Morley noted:

“Cotopaxi Volcano, 5897m tall, is only an hour’s drive from my home and is one of the highest active volcanoes. It has good road access and tourists can drive up to a car park on the slopes – from there a zig zag climb leads to the refuge at 4,800m altitude. I normally avoid Cotopaxi at weekends, but I thought I might find something interesting after the recent snowfall. Instead I was surprised to see how many people, mostly locals, were struggling up the slope in the thin atmosphere.”

 

Slow motion clip of Amur falcons congregating at a roost site, India

Slow motion clip of Amur falcons (Falco amurensis) congregating at roost site during their migration from Siberia to Africa, near Doyang reservoir, Nagaland, India. Filmed by Sandesh Kadur in October.

The Amur falcon is a fascinating migratory raptor. Every year, the small, resilient birds make a daring voyage from breeding grounds in Russia and China to winter in southern Africa. It is believed that the falcons cross the Arabian Sea during their migration (the longest regular over-water migration of any bird of prey), but much is still unknown about the exact paths of their estimated 22,000KM (13,670 mile) migration.