Charlie Crisafulli is the most excitable scientist to hit the screens this December. His love of Mount St Helens and its surrounding area fills this documentary with enthusiastic fervour. The biologist takes viewers on a guided tour of the site which was devastated by a massive eruption in May 1980.
Beautiful shots of the recovery of the forests, rivers and lakes are interspersed with explanation of how life reclaimed the devastated moonscape. Pockets gophers twitch their noses, chipmunks clean their tails and elk stomp around the ashen landscape. Dr Crisafulli also goes on to show that the latest eruption was not the biggest ever to have occurred at Mount St Helens, as evidenced by the layers of rock exposed by the eruption.
Despite, or perhaps because of, his intense studies of nature, the explanation for the appearance of rainbow trout in a formerly uninhabitable lake eludes Dr Crisafulli. It seems that the desire to stock a lake with mature fish for sporting purposes is a motivation which has passed the biologist by. Consequently he spends a great deal of the programme musing over how the trout could appear at 2-5 years old without any fry being recorded.
A highly recommended family friendly documentary.
“Mount St Helens: Life From Zero” airs on 2nd December at 9pm on Eden channel.