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At school, one teacher, Luke Hendry, always stressed the importance of keeping your gear at the ready. He told us that every night, we should be cleaning off our cards, making backups, charging batteries.

He told us that in the mornings, we should be leaving the house with our cameras out, lens caps off, and exposures set. Well, I would like to thank Luke, because this advice has served me well.

How so you ask? The other morning, my brother ran up the stairs, pounded on my door, and stated very clearly: Marina! Wake up! There’s a flippin’ beaver in the yard!

And of course, I stumbled down the ladder from my bed, threw on some clothes and shoes, grabbed my camera and went to meet the beaver.

Thank you Luke.

Also, remember folks: animals don’t like it when you get too close. Use a long lens. And when they start to growl (as this beaver did) back off.

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