Kevin McLean has dedicated his adult life to studying the earth's ecology, and he received a grant from National Geographic that provided him with a video camera to document little-known arboreal mammals. But the Ph.D. candidate at the Yale School of Environmental Science and Forestry found a use for the equipment that's even closer to his heart.
In the latest installment of the nature magazine's "Campfire Stories," McLean shared the video he captured during his "magical" proposal to his longtime partner, Dan Aeschliman.
McLean invited Aeschliman to join him on his first climb in a forest in Panama, intending to surprise him with a proposal at the top of a tree. Under the pretext of setting up Aeschliman’s climbing rope, McLean set up what he calls a “camera trap,” which is equipped with a motion sensor that allows researchers to capture wild animals on film without disturbing the creature's environment.
As it turns out, it's also a handy way to capture your partner's reaction to a marriage proposal.
But once the men were securely perched atop a tree, it was Aeschliman who popped the question.
“Just as I was about to go in to my little proposal, he surprised me and started proposing to me first,” McLean said in the video.
McLean responded to Aeschliman’s question with a question of his own, asking Aeschliman to marry him.
“And there we were. That’s where we got engaged,” McLean concluded.
Watch the full proposal below: