It was like a scene from The Jungle Book where Baloo takes a break from belting out Bare Necessities to scratch his back. At another point, a wolf stops right in front of the camera to mark its territory. There was even a rare sighting of an endangered species!
Those are just two of the intimate animal moments that two photographers caught in video footage… a recording that lasted 365 days. Can you imagine waiting an entire year to see something you were trying to capture!?
What made this footage so fascinating was that photographers Umberto Esposito and Bruno D’Amicis filmed the same beech tree for an entire year straight, from June 2016 to May 2017, in Italy’s National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise. 
“In the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise have been located the oldest beech forests of Europe, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.” 
You might be wondering what is so special about this single beech tree in a national park that contains 122,762 acres of land.  If there is that much land, we can only imagine how many trees exist…
“It seems like simple footage, but to find such a tree takes a lot of work.” 
According to D’Amicis, “the rub tree chosen for the year-long project – where bears rub their backs to mark their territory – was ‘special’ because it served as a crossroads of smells, signals, and messages left behind by the ‘extraordinary wildlife.’” [1,5]
1 Tree, 365 Days
From Summer to Autumn to Winter to Spring, you can only include so much footage in a 90-second video. We’re sure there were hours upon hours where there was little to no sign of animal life.
But even in such a short time span, seeing the diversity of wildlife is both breathtaking and a unique perspective that few people have the privilege of witnessing. In this video, you get see arguably all the best parts.
And that was D’Amicis and Esposito’s hope – to capture animals in “ways that the public don’t normally get to see,” which can be challenging when you really can’t know for sure whether the wildlife will deliver!
It opens with a brown bear rubbing or scratching his back on a tree in order to “to leave a trace of their odor and thus inform other individuals of their presence and status.” 
Just after the minute-mark, you can see the photographers’ highlight footage – two Marsican (or Apennine) brown bears which are a critically endangered subspecies. Their footage also caught wild boars, badgers, deer, and wolves.
“I am glad that many people can understand the importance of those unique forests and realize that even in a country like Italy, so densely populated, there is still an abundance of wildlife worth preserving,” D’Amicis said. 
It’s videos like this one that remind us to slow down and truly appreciate the natural beauty and wildlife that surrounds us every day – even it’s becoming scarcer as the years go on.
 Smith, C. (2017, July 12). This Year-Long Video of a Tree Is Surprisingly Action-Packed. Retrieved from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/07/tree-video-yearlong-abruzzo-lazio-italy-marsican-bears-spd/?_ga=2.158914234.1279610361.1539098120-692389933.1539098120
 Il battito della foresta – Storie delle faggete vetuste appenniniche, patrimonio mondiale dell’Umanità. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.forestbeat.it/
 Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.parks.it/parco.nazionale.abruzzo/Epar.php
[4, Image] Mailonline, A. E. (2017, July 06). Bears, wolves and boars hang out by the same tree in Italy. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4671770/Footage-shows-bears-wolves-boars-Italian-tree.html
 Forestbeat #100. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.forestbeat.it/portfolio_page/forestbeat-100/
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