July Footage Highlights

July Footage Highlights

Our July footage highlights features selected video clips added to our site in recent months. There is no particular theme here, just individual clips that appealed to our team!

You can also see a gallery of our Spring 2020 footage highlights here.

Timelapse of a passion flower opening

Timelapse of a passion flower (Passiflora edulis) opening, Dominica, West Indies. Controlled conditions. By Derek Galon.

Derek commented:

I moved to the Caribbean to be closer to its nature, and of course film it. One of the things I love to film and photograph are plants. And a big passion flower grows just behind my home – an easy task. Filming these huge flowers opening in real time and as time-lapse is real fun. But what surprised me most during this work – was to see the insect which is the “perfect match” to pollinate it! Giant tropical carpenter bees (sometimes called here Cigarons for their size), about 2 inches in length squeeze-in to drink nectar – picking pollen on their backs. Nature’s perfect solution for huge flowers – huge bees!

Humpback whales bubble-net feeding

Drone shot of four humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) bubble-net feeding, cooperatively hunting krill (Euphausiidae), Antarctic peninsula. By Richard Sidey.

I’ve photographed humpback whales bubble-net feeding before, but I was not prepared for the overwhelming beauty presented when observing it from the air for the first time, via a UAV. As a designer I am familiar with the golden ratio and Fibonacci sequence, and here I was seeing it in real time mysteriously appearing out of the ocean right beside me. 
This is a learned behaviour which only some humpback populations demonstrate. In this scene we had up to five whales working together to form a single next of bubbles to trap krill, who then took turns to feed. The behaviour was repetitive for a number of hours, with a new net formed ever few minutes.
This video also demonstrates two great advantages that filming from a UAV presents- great behavioural observations and minimal disturbance.

Timber rattlesnakes at nest site with young

 Timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) at nest site with young, Pennsylvania, USA. By John Cancalosi.

For the last 16 years I have traveled to a remote woodland site in Pennsylvania where timber rattlesnakes gather to bask in the sun, and give birth to their young, en masse, in a reptilian version of a crèche. I have seen as many as 40 females give birth to dozens of young, which the females collectively oversee for the first few weeks of the newborn’s lives. It is a scene rarely witnessed by humans and I consider it my obligation to document these events in photos and video. I have loved snakes since childhood and the snake-lover in me hopes that by showing the public these unexpectedly tender scenes it can help raise awareness of and appreciation for these oft misunderstood and maligned creatures. Whether my motives are virtuous or not, I am passionate in this pursuit and have been known to suffer for the cause. As I write, I am nursing a shattered shin and numerous cuts, bruises, insect bites and stings, a touch of poison ivy as well as a bit of exhaustion from my most recent trip.

Goldenrod spider eating hoverfly

Close-up of a female goldenrod spider (Misumena vatia) on annual honesty (Lunaria annua) flower, feeding on hoverfly prey, Bristol, England, UK, April. By Michael Hutchinson.

For 11 days during lockdown, this female Misumena vatia took up residence on my honesty plant. Having the time to just observe and photograph her over several days, which I did with zero manipulation at all, was brilliant. During this time she changed colour from yellow to white. Taking the time to watch invertebrates and their behaviour reveals them as individual characters that are exquisitely adapted. In this clip the female has more or less finished feeding on the fly and  the way she coordinates her legs to rotate and explore the prey for any remaining morsels shows the refinement of these mini animals. Some days she caught nothing, other days she caught 3 prey items. I built up a lot of respect and admiration for this little spider. Dedicating several days to watching her felt very worthwhile.