Mark Twain once said, the Mississippi River is a “wonderful book with a new story to tell every day.” Well, Nat Geo WILD spent an entire year exploring the length of North America’s longest and greatest waterway in Wild Mississippi and we can tell you the man was NOT exaggerating. We gave a few of our favorite science, animal and nature bloggers the chance to check out the miniseries before it airs this Sunday – see what they had to say below:
Rebecca, a long-time animal lover who covers animal related news, stories and pictures on herblog states, “The filming of this miniseries is breathtaking,” and goes on to share, “As well as focusing on the beautiful scenery, the miniseries highlights how different animals from the glorious bald eagle to the adorable squirrels and otters manage to survive. The episodes kept me rapt as I awwed over the baby animals’ antics and sighed over the death of others.” Find more of her thoughts and animal news over at Animal Talk.
Seagull Steve, a scientist, birder, self-proclaimed nerd (and the number 7 birder in the entire nation) agreed to check out the miniseries, despite what he says is “a well-known fact that television is 97.5% horrible”. Thankfully for us, he put Wild Mississippi into the other 2.5%, sharing, “There are many epic wildlife scenes…Bald Eagles playing aerial tag (with coot carcasses), a Great Gray Owl destroying voles in the snow, a bobcat chasing down a cottontail, Myotis bats swooping up moths, Mayfly Armageddon, synchronized American White Pelicans, bizarre Paddlefish, lampreys, Alligator Snapping Turtles…it’s definitely worth watching. There’s a little bit of science and fishing thrown in for good measure.” Find more of his thoughts, including his favorite quotes from the series at Bourbon, Bastards, and Birds.
Aimee, pet lover and animal rights advocate chimed in with her thoughts, sharing, “One of the things that I love the most about watching NatGeo Wild is that we always discover amazing places and crazy nature that we didn’t know about before!” She goes on to remark on the variety of wildlife in the Mississippi, marveling, “Who knew our country was so diverse in just one region?” Find more of Aimee’s thoughts on 4 The Love of Animals.
Greg Laden, a blogger, writer and independent scholar, has spent a lot of time along the Mississippi. Seriously – he’s got 40+ posts on the topic. He’s no stranger to the harsh winter featured in the first part of the series, which are typical of his home state of Minnesota, and shares how one exception affected the local wildlife: “There was a nearly snow free year about 12 years ago or so, when I first moved to the area, and various conservation experts were concerned that all those animals that turn white during the winter were, well, not camouflaged. The white bunny rabbits were getting scarfed up by birds of prey and cats, and the white ermines were kind of obvious to their prey, and the white snowy owls were blindingly obvious.” Read more of his review over at Greg Laden’s Blog.
Science journalist Allie Wilkinson at Oh, For the Love of Science! declares, “It’s a fantastic journey through America, and probably one of the best chances you will get to see the mighty Mississippi River (unless of course, you live along it, or take a massive roadtrip).” If you’re looking for “cute” she recommends part two in the series, Raging Waters, noting, “There are animal babies galore- from foxes, to black bears, to ducklings. Brave little wood ducklings jump 30 feet to find sanctuary in the high tide, to the tune of Ride of the Valkyries.” Check out the rest of her review, including even her thoughts on the soundtrack, over at Oh, For the Love of Science!
Steve Berardi, digital nature photographer, grew up just a few hours away from the Mississippi. What he appreciated most about the series was that “it really showed the harsh reality of nature (by including so many videos of animals hunting other animals).” He explains, “I’ve always felt that nature is too often portrayed as “peaceful” — so, it was nice to see a documentary that kept it real.” Find Steve’s full review at PhotoNaturalist.
Jack Hassard, a Professor Emeritus of Science Education at Georgia State University who writes about progressive and humanistic science education recommends, “If you are teaching life science, high school biology, earth science, or an ecology or environmental science course, you will find these programs great resources for your students.” He goes on to share, “The imagery is gorgeous as we travel the river, and witness the wildlife, and power of the Mississippi from its beginning in Minnesota and to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico.” Read more of his review and thoughts on science education over at The Art of Teaching Science.
Birder Larry Jordan checked out the mini-series, pointing out bird sightings and stories in each of the three episodes. He shares one of this favorite sequences from the series stating, “Of course, you all know how enthralled I am in watching Wood Duck chicks jump from their nest high up in the trees. The sequence presented in part two of this mini-series is the best you will ever see of this phenomenon with super close-ups from inside and outside the nest cavity as these brave little ducklings jump over thirty feet to their calling mother below.” He goes on to comment on the photography, calling it “exceptional. With a well mixed combination of aerial, super slow motion, time lapse and normal speed video, the story of the mighty Mississippi River is told in incredible detail, connecting us to nature.” For more on the variety of birds featured in each of the three parts and Larry’s full review, check out The Birder’s Report.
Carly recommends of the second part in the series, Raging Waters, that you “Be sure to catch the adorable wood ducklings in this episode that must survive a 30-foot jump to find sanctuary from the rising high tides”. She notes, “You won’t want to miss this epic series” – and we agree! Check out her full review (as well as a wide array of curious creatures) over at The Featured Creature.
And finally, thanks to World Zoo Today who shared clips and photos from the mini-series with their readers.
A very special thank you to the bloggers who participated in the Wild Mississippi Blog Carnival and took the time to share their thoughts with their readers and with us!
Check out all three parts of Wild Mississippi for yourself this Sunday, February 12, starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT and don’t forget to come back and share your thoughts in the comments section below! Can’t wait, check out the video previews.