They Make Us Look Alien

This remote wildlife camera footage from Canada’s Banff National Park is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a while.

The humans who pass by are such a shocking contrast to everything else, with their helmets, bikes, gear, and skis. We like to think we own the planet, that our big brains allow us to conquer the elements, but when I see something like this, all I see is our fragility.

Has our advancement made us fragile? Or have we always been?

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12 thoughts on “They Make Us Look Alien

  1. It is cool!

    I have seen a fair amount of astonishing footage taken with trail cameras, this one is interesting as it shows the four seasons and the ‘humans’ well that is comedy at it’s best. Your right, we are fragile in comparison to the Natural World. We think we can control it, We think we understand it. We think we can live on it and off it. Yet, it can snuff us in a heart beat.

    There were some nights scenes in this video and absent from the night scenes were the people. Human’s are still afraid of things that go bump in the night. In my early twenties I portaged 4km from one lake to another at night by myself. That was probably the most unnerving, scariest thing I have ever did -talk about feeling fragile. The bush is never more alive then it is at night. Words fall short of describing the feeling of hearing the sound of a moose running through a swamp then across the trail in pitch darkness. Branches and twigs snapping as Critters of all kind go about their nightly foraging. I will always remember the howling of a wolf pack a mile away. Their howls echoing off the rocks seemed to linger indefinitely in the darkness. I have never felt as small nor more alive.

    • A comedy indeed. And you’re right – to truly understand nature at night, you have to experience it. It’s a thrill. Don’t expect to get much good sleep. We had a skunk walking along the edge of our tent one time. He didn’t spray, but you could smell him coming, and wow was that a tense few minutes until he left.

      As teenagers, we’d ride the four-wheelers deep into my grandpa’s land in the dark of night. Then we’d cut the headlights and the engine and see who could last longer sitting still in the dark. You could hear the deer closing in, curious. When we’d turn the headlights on, there they’d be, a whole group of deer, yards away. They were more curious than afraid. They had the upper hand, and they knew it. It’s a humbling experience. It would do a lot of people some good to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere at night.

      Thanks for your comment. I’m so glad others can appreciate this. This planet is a gift to us, and I wish everyone could see it.

  2. I found this very fascinating.
    Being a city girl who was not introduced to the pleasures of wandering in the woods,
    in any season, I find that footage like this gives me a taste of what I have missed.
    I could not get enough of watching and like Hudson above, I notices the lack of humans
    at night. I read with interest what Hudson said about the forest being alive at night…
    lots to think about…will be back and watch again.
    ☮ ♥. Siggi in Downeast Maine
    http://www.siggiofmaine.wordpress.com

    • Hi Siggi. Thanks for stopping by. A city girl here, too, but I was fortunate as a child to have a relative with property in the country. And I’ve been able to vacation in the wilderness whenever I can. Maybe if you and I grew up in the country we’d be more interested in city life? You always want what you don’t have!

  3. This was great to watch. I did grow up on the northwest wilderness of Maine very close to the province of Quebec. I saw deer, moose and everything else you can see in the beautiful countryside often. When you grown up with it, it is a natural part of your life. Until you leave and head to a different part of the world, you don’t really know the beauty of what you had. I miss it and everything that comes with it.

    • What a great place to grow up. I envy you. Children thrive in the outdoors. I think as we grow, the primal need to be part of nature is rubbed out of us. We learn that 70 degree conditioned air is normal. The 90 degree heat of summer is a shock to our system, more brutal than it should be. Concrete is smooth and clean. Grass is wet and tickles your feet. It’s really a shame. Nature becomes a bother, something to be taken only in small amounts, or to be avoided all together.

    • Something I didn’t think about and it’s so true. These animals share. They don’t build fences. Did you notice how a few of them had a taste of that carcass before the bear took it away? I’m sure when they encounter one another it might get ugly, but at least they figure it all out. Wouldn’t that be something – for the camera to catch a brawl?

  4. Kind of surreal at the same time. In the U.S. there is a movement being passed around city planning nerds called smart decline, whereby cities shrink in a planned fashion since a lot of industry has moved away. It’s been implemented in the Rust Belt here and there. The idea is that those shrinking portions of the city get returned to nature. I always thought it would be fascinating to have a state park dedicated to keeping a portion of the city intact and in the middle of this returned wilderness to allow people to see how nature reclaims man-made structures.

    That’s my rather random rant for the morning. Enjoyed,
    D

    • Wow. So, an abandoned part of the city gets converted into a state park, and it’s just left as is, for nature to reclaim it? That is fabulous.

      And it’s funny you mention this just today. Yesterday, on my daily 15 minute walking commute through the city, I saw a baby tree, growing in the crack of the sidewalk next to a cigarette butt. A sad sight, yet also a happy one. We trash nature, but nature prevails.

  5. The best long term trail camera video I have seen to date. The diversity of wildlife at this one location is impressive, and the seasonal pulse of the natural world is made incredibly apparent.

    The fragility of humans is not surprising. It simply accurately portrays of position in the natural world, a species outside of its own element.

    Great Post. Thank you.

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