YELLOWSTONE, Dual Personalities in Spring & Winter

Discoveries America National Parks


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This is the premier edition of several dozen programs in the Discoveries America National Park series. Wyoming, Montana and Idaho lay claim to the world's first National Park, Yellowstone, established in 1872. Most of Yellowstone is however in Wyoming. It is a magnificent example of national park excellence, abundant in wildlife with hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk; all within the park boundaries.

Lose yourself in the wonders of nature, deep canyons, stunning wildlife and steaming geysers including iconic Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in both summer and winter. During summer wildlife viewing, fishing, camping, back country hiking, horse riding and boating are all accessed by paved roads. But in winter, most roads are closed to wheeled vehicles so travel in the park is by snow machines / snow coach / cross country skiing and snowshoeing. A dramatically different trip in the winter, but with all the animals and majesty you would in other seasons plus the added thrill and adventure of a winter wonderland. Drive around to the North Entrance, for the only open park roads in winter, Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar Valley all the way to Cooke City, MT to experience a completely different ecosystem.

Discoveries...America National Parks is a collection of video essays about the National Park Service and the magnificent resources they have been mandated to protect. _This series isn't just about the several dozen pieces of magnificent Americana designated "National Parks", but also includes National Monuments, Preserves, Historical Parks, Historic Sites, Battlefield Parks, Military Parks, Battlefields, Battlefield Sites, Memorials, Recreation Areas, Seashores, Lakeshores, Rivers, Reserves, Parkways, Historic and Scenic Trails, Cemeteries and Heritage Areas.

REVIEW: Video Librarian 
Discoveries America: National Parks,Yellowstone (2012) 60 min. DVD or Blu-ray: $24.95. Bennett-Watt HD Productions. PPR. ISBN: 978-1-60490-159-7 (dvd), 978-1-60490-182-5 (blu-ray).This high-definition-filmed entry from Bennett-Watt's Discoveries America: National Parks series captures the beauty of Yellowstone, America's oldest national park"during spring and winter, focusing on the splendors of well-known sights such as the geyser Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, as well as the abundant wildlife, including bison, grizzly bears, wolves, and elk.

Archival photographs, contemporary footage, narration, and park ranger commentary combine to tell the story from Yellowstone's founding in 1872 (when portions of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming were set aside) up through the present day, with as many as 3 million visitors coming to the sprawling site each year.

Interesting tidbits (bison are capable of running as fast as a horse for short distances, the historic Old Faithful Inn is the largest log hotel in the United States, etc.) are sprinkled throughout, and some unique aspects of tourism at Yellowstone are mentioned, such as cars lined up due to "bear jams" when the animals amble across a road.

Not surprisingly, striking contrasts are seen between the two seasons filmed here, with spring revealing a green landscape and activities such as bison calving, while winter finds deep snows blanketing the area, limiting human access, except for those traveling via snowshoes, cross-country skis, snowmobiles, or "snow coaches." As with other entries in the Discoveries collection, the videography is superb throughout. Recommended. Aud: P. (C. Block)

REVIEW: The Midwest Book Review
Available on both DVD and Blu-ray (for the same affordable price!), four new additions to the Discoveries... America National Parks series offer wonderful armchair travel experiences in glorious high definition. "Arches: Canyonlands and Natural Bridges" (9781604901610) explores the striking rock formations of southern Utah, canyonlands carved by the Colorado River, natural stone bridges, and even an excursion by adventurous rock-crawling enthusiasts. "New Orleans Jazz and Acadian Culture: Jean Lafitte, Creole Natural Trail, Natchitoches and Rural Mardi Gras" (9781604901627) is the next best thing to a personal visit the National Historical Park in New Orleans' French Quarter, a rural Mardi Gras run, the Prairie Acadian Culture Center in Eunice, coastal wetlands and wildlife refuges of the Creole Nature Trail, and Natchitoches, Louisiana's oldest town.

"Yellowstone Dual Personalities: Spring and Winter" (9781604901597) allows the viewer to viscerally experience the magnificence of Yellowstone National Park, from its abundant wildlife to its steaming geysers, its opportunities for boating/hiking/horse riding, and its dramatic transformation in winter to an icy wonderland where the primary modes of travel are snow machine, snow coach, or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. "Dry Tortugas: Fort Jefferson and The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center" (9781604901603) explores one of America's lesser-known and geographically removed national parks, the Dry Tortugas, located just off the southernmost tip of Florida.

Its strategic location made it historical site of military and piracy legends; Fort Jefferson once oversaw Spanish explorers, Gulf Coast merchants, and more people who transformed the New World. The Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is also featured, with an eye-opening glimpse of the beautiful terrestrial and marine native plants and animals of the Keys. All four DVDs are as captivating as they are educational, and worthy of the highest recommendation especially for public library collections.