Critter Cam Travels

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Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:47 pm

Last year I bought a Critter Cam, one of those motion-sensing cameras to use out in the field. These things have become really popular in North America, mostly for hunters tracking game. The costs have dropped so much in the past 5 years, you can get a decent Critter Cam for around $50.

I bought it to see what I could track, just to experiment. I put it out locally quite often, I've taken it to Central America a couple times now. These photos technically aren't very good - many are out of focus or off-center, but it's fun to set the camera up and see what you get. The perspectives are different. It takes some practice to get it set up right.

The first place I set it up was beside a local otter trail that crossed a dirt road between a lake and a canal. I found a tree beside the trail and set up the camera pointing down the trail and left it for a week. This is what I got...

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:53 pm

With the camera sitting in the same location, snapping photos of everything that moves, you get all kinds of stuff...

This is a Virginia Rail, a common bird, but very secretive.
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Another Rail
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Raccoon head - notice the cut through his ear. The camera is a little close to the trail, I would have liked it set back just a little. It was on public land so I didn't want to put a stake down and tie it to that. I have a lock for it, but I try to keep it unseen for the most part.
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American Coot
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Common Yellowthroat
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Mouse at night (bottom right)
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:56 pm

Another Otter
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You get lots of ghost photos - grass swaying in the wind, light and shadows passing over the camera, snow falling... but you get some interesting photos too. I'll post more later.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by northern_goddess » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:02 pm

Those are great. The ENvironmental Society here has a few out and besides a lot if interesting shots of birds they have recently posted good pictures of bobcats and bears.
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:14 pm

There's a place not far away where a mountain lion was being spotted frequently. So I set up 2 locations in that general area...

Mule Deer
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Raven
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Hawk in flight
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Vulture in flight
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No mountain lions. I went to another area where I knew they were, but haven't captured one on film.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:20 pm

Bears!

These are some of my favorites. There's a place nearby where I can always find bears.

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This one is probably my overall favorite. You don't capture an image like this easily, young cinnamon phase black bear, inquisitively looking around. The lighting was good, the timing was good, I got lucky with this one...
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Just caught the tail end of this one...
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What the hell is that? Did an insect land on the lens? There are a couple other images I captured with this unidentified thing at different locations in the field of view. I'll catch Bigfoot eventually.
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by northern_goddess » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:23 pm

Haha! Love the shots you got of that bear.
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by section8 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:41 pm

Do you have a link to the model/make of your critter cam? What sort of power does it use?
This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:45 pm

Kape - http://moultriecameras.net/moultrie-m-900ai-digital-game-cam/

I wanted infrared for night shots, some use a flash that scares wildlife. The infrared makes a soft clicking sound, but it's hardly noticeable. It uses AA batteries, and can stay out in the field for several weeks without issue. Cold weather runs down the batteries. Reviews are mixed, but I've had no problems with mine.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by section8 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:47 pm

A couple weeks on AAs is awesome. I may pick one up.
This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:49 pm

Another area I chose beside a lake because I saw a trail leading to the water...

Female Pheasant
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Mallard
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Raccoon approaching the camera with his head down
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He definitely noticed the camera...
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I call this one "Zombie Raccoon"
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:53 pm

I bought one for my brother, a different model. He has everything and I never know what to get him for gifts, but he showed interest in it, so I bought him one. He has big undeveloped property in Oklahoma. These images aren't great, but still interesting.

Bobcat
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Armadillo, tail and body barely visible to the left side
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:55 pm

A guy I know uses a trail camera around his house for security. He is paranoid about his ex-wife I think. He mentioned finding a dead rabbit in his yard and something kept coming by to eat on it. I told him to set up his game camera to watch it.

Gray Fox
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Kape » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:00 pm

Great! Love the critter cam pics!

Gotta ask about this though:

Total Reject wrote:Kape - http://moultriecameras.net/moultrie-m-900ai-digital-game-cam/

I wanted infrared for night shots, some use a flash that scares wildlife. The infrared makes a soft clicking sound, but it's hardly noticeable. It uses AA batteries, and can stay out in the field for several weeks without issue. Cold weather runs down the batteries. Reviews are mixed, but I've had no problems with mine.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:05 pm

I took it to Nicaragua last fall. It is a little more difficult in areas you aren't familiar with, especially when you don't have lots of time and you need to go retrieve the camera each day. It was a coastal area without much forest left, but I found a river and noticed some tracks and set it up a couple places nearby...

Grackle
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Tri-colored Heron
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2 dogs. They look like twins.
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Local walking the trail where the camera was set-up. I wonder what was going through his mind.
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Bill Barilko » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:06 pm

Very cool shots-Thanks for posting!

Game cams really are great


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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:08 pm

I almost forgot this one - the Black Iguana that was living beneath my beachside bungalow.
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What did you want to know, Kape?

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:12 pm

The 10-30 foot distance seems to be the best for getting animals in focus
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:30 pm

These cameras allow you to show a time and date stamp, but I don't always use it. There are lots of images you delete, with wind blowing branches, movement that you can't really determine setting off the camera. I usually set it up where no people are around, but the ones below were taken closer to a road where I was trying to catch bears...

Lady hiking down a dry creekbed
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Another lady and dog. I think the ladies were traveling together.
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Some of the night images have an ethereal quality to them...
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by section8 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:38 pm

Wow! An actual image of a mature female hippie in its native environment! That's better than Bigfoot.
This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:39 pm

I was trying to catch some coyotes I'd seen in the area but they never tripped the camera. The background is nice though.
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I like that this one is fogged out. Some of these images you notice the different times of day, the slow passage of time. There's nothing spectacular about these photos, but strung together you can make interesting time-lapse videos.
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Red-wing Blackbirds
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by section8 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:44 pm

That series is great.
This is the only musical: the mouth. And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth. Right? The brain, more important than the mouth, is the brain. The brain is much more important.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:48 pm

Same field as the last post, different angle...

Blurry Coyote
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Male Pheasant
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Another Coyote
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Dancing in front of the camera
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I haven't gotten any good images of Coyotes in the light yet. I'll have to try that area again.
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Notice the angle... the camera started to slide to one side, the rest of the photos were all offcenter. I could correct it in post processing, but what the heck. I'm just having fun with these. Kind of gives you an idea of the little problems you deal with using these cameras.
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:50 pm

I just realized I mistook section8 for Kape. Sorry for the confusion.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Vivienne_Westwood » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:57 pm

I love these photos, TR, please keep posting new ones as you get them!

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:07 pm

I just got back from 2 weeks ago in Costa Rica. I went a couple different places but I was particularly impressed with the Osa peninsula and Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. We backpacked in from one direction, spent 3 nights camping at Sirena Biological Station, and hiked out a different direction. What an amazing place. I hauled my Critter Cam with me, hoping for an Ocelot, Jaguar, Chupacabra something really spectacular...

Staying at some place outside the park, I quickly set the camera up along a hiking path that was being used by wildlife. Sometimes all you get is bad pictures of yourself...
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:09 pm

Along a trail near Sirena, I caught this Opossum - Look at the length of that tail!
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:10 pm

Red Brocket Deer
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:14 pm

I decided to move the camera to a new location, but this was a bad choice. I'd been hiking all day and was in a rush to get it set-up. I was hoping to catch animals moving along the streambank but I think the distance was too far away to capture the motion at night. The movement that set off this photo was from 2 large Basilisk lizards fighting down there, but you can't even make them out.

Image

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:17 pm

Another location...

Collared Peccaries and babies
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Baird's Tapir
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by northern_goddess » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:19 pm

I love the coyote with the line across his eyes, as if you are protecting his privacy/identity.
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:22 pm

That's about it.

In Costa Rica, I did get some Critter Cam photos of Agouti and a Crested Guan with baby, but they aren't very good. I was hoping for an Ocelot, Jaguar, or Chupacabra, but no luck.

Oh well, maybe next time. I'll post more here as summer arrives. Feel free to post your own.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Kape » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:29 pm

Total Reject wrote:I just realized I mistook section8 for Kape. Sorry for the confusion.


No problemo. We are a lot alike.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Chip_Oatley » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:08 am

Great photos. Thanks. I'll share mine later.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by rider5 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:35 am

Those are good

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by northern_goddess » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:28 am

This isn't a Critter Cam picture but it is a picture I took about 10 years ago when I was in Alaska for a few nights. It seems sort of appropriate for The Stew. The funny thing is that when I took it I had no idea the bear was having a bear berry dump. It wasn't squatting or anything. I thought it was just a bear standing at the side of the road and we barely slowed down so I could snap the shot. I didn't realize what was going on until I looked at the picture later.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Bill Barilko » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:30 am

Rude !!!
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by northern_goddess » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:31 am

It could be The Stew mascot.
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by lolasf » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:36 am

Nogs, that is fabulous, in a stew sort of way.

TR, this is a great series, I'm really loving it. Even the super closeup of the raccoon face, he's so cute/evil! I'll look forward to summer updates.
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Lulu » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:34 pm

These are fun!
I heard that you like the bad girls. Honey, is that true?

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by northern_goddess » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:04 pm

The Environmental Society here has some critter cams out. Here are a few of their pictures from over the past couple of months.

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Cub with a Coho Salmon in its mouth.
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Bobcat with a Coho this time. It's almost as big as the cat.
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Coyote same spot but during the day and two months later.
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Bobcat at night
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Bear checking out the camera - there were a few shots of it so it must have heard the noise and come over to investigate
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I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Nines » Sun May 04, 2014 6:22 pm

Nice shots, TR.

I know my picture is on more than one trail cam. I've come across them in the woods a few times.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by leela » Sun May 04, 2014 6:42 pm

TR - those photos are wonderful. Thanks so much for posting them. I've been engrossed, yet impatient to scroll down to see what else you've found. So yes, please keep posting them.

I wish I lived somewhere with more variety of wildlife. There are woods just a few yards from my house. But a critter cam would probably only catch muntjac deer, rabbits and foxes.
Pass the wine...

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Scrubb » Mon May 05, 2014 2:26 am

Those are a whole lot better than I ever dreamed you could get from a critter cam! They're great - keep posting!
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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Mon May 05, 2014 1:48 pm

It's funny, since I started playing with this camera I sometimes wonder how many others are out there that I haven't noticed. The quality of critter cams has improved in recent years, much like camera phones. There are some interesting critter cam photo contests out there:

http://www.fieldandstream.com/photos/gallery/hunting/2009/08/50-best-trail-cam-bears-bobcats-moose-and-other-critters-our-2008-pho?photo=1#node-1001335292

http://www.trailcampro.com/2013trailcameraphotocontest.aspx

I put my camera out again yesterday afternoon. It's looking across a mountain meadow not far from a river, so it should be a popular area for lots of wildlife to pass through. I'll check it in 2 weeks and we will see what we get...

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Lime_Pickle » Tue May 06, 2014 10:45 am

Otters are the best, arent they?
Wibble.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Nines » Wed May 07, 2014 1:29 am

Lime_Pickle wrote:Otters are the best, arent they?


Yes. Otterly delightful.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by northern_goddess » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:30 am

Squamish bobcat from today.


I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by Total Reject » Fri May 08, 2015 8:28 pm

I haven't been putting my camera out much recently. Too busy, unfortunately.

Here is a series of shots from a week set-up by local lake from a few months ago...

Hooded Merganser
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Calm water Coot
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Raccoon washing food at night
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Mallards
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On the log, in the fog
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Canada Geese
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Wood Ducks
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Last time I went out to put my camera up, a very angry/nervous bear that was crashing and huffing around the forest scared me off. I'm not normally scared of black bears, but this one was acting strange and I didn't want to push my luck. The photo below came from that day and I thought it turned out nicely, even if it's a little boring.

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Re: Critter Cam Travels

Post by northern_goddess » Fri May 08, 2015 8:43 pm

Those are great! Please keep posting any more you take.
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it.

http://www.fat-pie.com/salad.htm

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