Japan Tsunami ~Coast of BC Canada Beaqch Cleanup.

I’ve signed up already. Will you!? Please read this article. danke. xo. love your beachcomber ~Fireygoddess.

Volunteers sought for West Coast tsunami debris cleanup

CBC News

Posted: May 11, 2012 2:21 PM PT – click on the triangle to view an informative video.

Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C.
Ocean debris believed to be from Japan is posed for a photograph on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. (Jonathan Hayward/CP Images)The wave of debris from the Japanese tsunami that is starting to wash up on the West Coast has prompted a call for volunteers to clean up the trash.

The Vancouver Aquarium and the World Wildlife Fund are teaming up to recruit volunteers to pick up everything from bottles, to plastics, fishing paraphernalia to appliances, that is expected to wash up on North America’s coastline.   In recent months, some of the first debris that drifted across the Pacific has triggered international interest, including a container with a Harley Davidson motorcycle, some volleyballs that have been traced back to their owners, and even an unmanned fishing vesselthat was sunk by the U.S. Coast Guard.

But residents in Alaska and Haida Gwaii, which used to be known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, have reported that more and more uninteresting trash has also been washing up.

Making a list to be ready

The aquarium’s Jill Dwyer is in charge of a registry of volunteers needed to collect the junk, and she said people can sign up for the cleanup registry at www.shorelinecleanup.ca.

“We don’t really know when the majority of the debris is going to start hitting our shorelines, where it’s going to hit or how much,” Dwyer said Friday.

“What we’re doing is just getting a list of volunteers who would be willing to help when needed and then we’ll connect them with the site co-ordinator or the local people on the ground who would actually be organizing the cleanup.”

Dwyer said ocean debris could be harmful to wildlife if it contains chemicals or if animals ingest items or become entangled in them.

According to some estimates, the March 2011 tsunami washed between 1.5 and 18 million tonnes of debris into the Pacific Ocean.

The recruitment effort is separate from the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, which has been happening across Canada every September for the last 19 years. A spring cleanup of shorelines involving students began in B.C. last year and has now started in Ontario.

topsy turvy check in

Let’s check in with the topsy turvy planters, shall we? Planted them 2 months ago. Organic soil, peat, super easy to put together and the root systems grow upwards heated by the plastic container. cool. My sweety helped hang them in a different place in teh garden a month ago because the vine they were planted under blew up into a zillion green leaves and flowered into gorgeous dangling delicate purple flowers. Now out tof the shade they are fabulous.

We’ve eaten 2 dozen little plump fully red strawberries so far. The tomatoe plants.. i busted a huge stem off while bragging to said sweety about the progress. That said, they’ve both tripled and are flowering yellow now! Our June on the coast, was the westest / rainiest on record ..so welcome to the hot July growing season! Stay tuned for harvest end of August, I’m guessing? So with zero effort and being super cheap I’m a fan of the upside down garden thingmes. Have you tried the As Seen on TV Topsy Turvy? Did it work for you?

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beachcombing 101

We explored the top west coast of Vancouver Island for Canada Day weekend and it was OUTSTANDING! blogs and photos to come this weekend when i get a chance to process some stuff on here. yippee. I took some great travel shots. ‘Til then, here’s a comic that my sweetheart forwarded yesterday.

Happy almost summer (seriously c’moon sun!)

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Wrap me in bacon. And by that I mean ~ wrap bacon around everything*

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These were my contribution to dinner tonight. My sweets was out fishing today. So after I got more than enough sun, and by sun I mean haze and humid, not direct sun! ~I came in and prepped a side dish. He was kayak fishing on the ocean so I didn’t want to offend and make a meat dish in case the catch of the day was halibut! Bacon. Just the word posted beside the word halibut makes me want to try that now too. I used the crockpot and recipe book (wow, I’ve come so far in one year, eh?) to cut down on the fat quota but don’t worry these little bad boys were as bad for us as they were delicious. My husband was very pleased, indeed. No fish brought home, though many caught and cool go pro videos to go with them. He bbq’d ribs. oh my. Team work.

PS. on the bacon theme ~ said gorgous and sweet-toothed husband has a crush on the toffee lady at the Saturday Farmers market, here on Quadra Island. Oh yes, he does. She makes organic chocolates, truffles, toffees. Today he bought 3 bags of naughty. Bacon toffee & almond bark. He always buys the bacon toffee. Today she actually warned him to “take care of your teeth!”. Which I thought was cool. Perhaps she could give away toothbrushes too? No bacon shame.

The cougar

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“Fishing” and “whale watching”. Now that summer is here & I’ve begun participating in both activities, I’m giving the words a think.
I haven’t caught any fish while “fishing” nor have I seen any whales while “whale watching”. Yet here I am on the outside deck of the bc ferries commute from Quadra Island to my Campbell River practice/work ~ whale searching!? The sun is out. Isn’t that all that really matters? Can’t look overboard & type at the same time, while looking for whales. B-bye.

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***fish on!

It was a strong start to the fishing season, yesterday June 17, th, 2012.. Fathers Day. Yes! Johnny Cash week this week consisted of my dad, myself and my handsome husband on re -con of the Quinsam River in Campbell River, in Beautiful Bristish Columbia. With JC playing in the car, the sun trying to peek out.. off we went.

The stats? A few bites, nothing caught but a lovely afternoon on the banks of the Quinsam river, below the hatchery. Um, it’s gorgous~ just outside of Campbell River. Myself, I’m an ocean girl so I’m looking forward to the future “we have a boat days” (shh baby, I know, there there, we’ll get a boat someday!) ~the ocean sick days out on the pacific ocean swells. You can call me “Ginger” then. 

It was a lovely start to the season. Happy Fathers Day Dad, love You ~ Jenny Penny

A slideshow for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

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Bacon Wrapped Corn on the Cob

That’s what I said. Is there no shame? BBQ husband extraordinaire (I’ve never touched the thing but that’s another story for another time) was handed a few items for the BBQ, when he arrived home tonight. I got the idea for this recipe from a podcast on CBC radio3 about summer and bbq’s and surf music. It was blasted all afternoon while I gardened.. see other post about today’s romp in the garden, in the sun. Then I looked it up  and found this recipe click here for foodnetwork bacon corn recipe We saw the potential for a seriously naughty yummy treat but our corn was not quite in season. It was motivation for sure, to try it again n season.

before

We also bbq’d up some some portobello mushrooms ~I made a garlic butter and sea salt scrub for them and marinated for 30 mins before the bbq master took them to meet their maker. I also threw together some Old Mill Cornmeal and niblet  muffins with feta~organic, gluten-free la de da. They were blah and really too wholesome without the butter, flour and milk. smerk*

PS. HAPPY 1st day of SUMMER! 

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Cruise Ship to work

This takes us calling the small ferry to the big island (on our daily commutes to work) “the cruise”  to a hole new level. This was taken from my iphone, in my car on the wee ferry headed back to Quadra. Usually they are doing the Vancouver to Alaska trip. This isn’t even close to the biggest cruise ships that come through here in the tourist season. Cool, though, heh?

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Just like I did when I was 3 years old & even more fun at 38 years old.

camping on Vancouver Island, BC. Exactly between the West Coast Trail and the Juan De Fuca Trail.                May 2012.

photo kinda crappy, sorry

Steps to make your very own shells in a  glass vase,  vases ( for your work side table or a table centre piece etc)

  1. Have your fantastic husband take you away on a “real” west coast camping adventure. Ours was all down the Juan Da Fuca trail, last week. Camping trip details to be blogged after I get back to work.
  2. Spend hours in the sun and mist just flipping over sea shells. Just like I did when I was 3 years old and even more fun at 38 years old.
  3. Sit by the campfire at night with some water and clean the ass smell or possible live mini carbs and sand off of your gems. Seal in safe storage for journey home. Just like I did when I was 3 years old and even more fun at 38 years old.
  4. Get that same adorable husband from step 1 to take you to Ikea on the way home.
  5. Purchase the three glass vases for under ten bucks deal as shown above.
  6. When you are home, alone, in the rain, by the woodstove~ assemble your shells lovingly into whimsical shell vases.
  7. Take them to work so when your clients are talking you are also daydreaming of flipping shells on a ” real” west coast beach.. in the sun.. with your super fun husband.
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a beach story I’ve been following

A Harley Davidson lost in the tsunami changed my life

by Community Team Posted: May 18, 2012 3:38 PM
A Harley Davidson lost in the Japanese Tsunami was found in Haida Gwai. (Peter Mark/CBC)
My name is Peter Mark. I am 32 years old and reside in Masset, B.C. On March 11, 2011 I, along with millions of others around the world watched in awe and horror as the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami ravaged northeastern Japan. Those images of vehicles, boats, buildings and even entire towns being swallowed up by sea will stick with all of us forever. Harder to comprehend is the cost of human life, the loss of family and community networks that are gone forever and can not be repaired or replaced. On that day more than 15,000 people died and many, many more lost family, friends, their homes, their communities and everything but the clothes on their back.

A year has passed since the horrific events of that disaster. I recently received a stark reminder of the event that quite literally shook the world. On April 18th I was beachcombing on the east coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands and came face to face with a piece of the aftermath from the wave that took so much from so many. In just 13 months an insulated container holding a Harley Davidson motorcycle, five golf clubs, tools, tent poles and other small weathered bits and pieces drifted across the Pacific Ocean some 6,500 kilometers and came ashore in an area I frequently visit.

The container washed up on a remote beach approximately 50 km south of Rose Spit. When I first arrived on the scene I was in shock. I could see the motorcycle from a distance but it wasn’t until I got closer that I could see the license plate, a bent, algae encrusted piece of metal with Japanese characters on it. We knew tsunami debris was coming but I never expected something this big this soon, never mind a Harley Davidson!

My first thought was, “What?!?”. It dawned on me that this was something that might be in my backyard, something one of my neighbors might own. These were somebody’s belongings, somebody that might have lost everything, possibly even their life.

The unit had thick styrofoam under the fiberglass exterior which allowed it to float. How the bike and other items remained in the container all the way across the Pacific is a mystery to me. The bike was not tied down and the door of the container was ripped off. It was quite an eerie feeling stepping inside. It felt as though I was trespassing on someone’s property. I also knew this might be the first known item that washed ashore from the tsunami that could be traced, both by the license plate and the VIN on the motorcycle. I took several pictures of the container and the items inside.

Being on my ATV and alone there was no way for me to move a 600 pound bike from the container to high ground. I looked through the contents of the container for anything that could be saved. Everything was in bad condition. The bike was very rusty and banged up. The other items were badly corroded and equally battered. All I could save were the golf clubs that seemed to resist the corrosive effects of the salt water better than everything else. I could see that there was a water line showing on the bike, it looked as though it was sitting in at least 8 inches of water for quite some time. I also suspect waves would have often swept through the open door.

When I returned home from the beach I told several of my fellow beachcombers and friends about the find. I also researched the Internet on how to report such a find. I found very little out. NOAA posted an e-mail address for reporting debris. I sent an e-mail to them and have yet to receive a reply. Quickly word spread. It wasn’t very long before CBC got in touch with me (April 24th). I made them a deal. I told them that I would supply the VIN number and photos of the license plate so they could confirm the bikes’ origins before posting the story. Right away they called me back. I was informed the plate was registered in the Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas hardest hit by the tsunami. We had our smoking gun.

The CBC ran the story on the evening of April 29th. I was not prepared for the amount of attention the story would receive. Immediately Ralph Tieleman from Vancouver Island contacted me. A man I have never met before. He asked if I would be able to recover the motorcycle? I had not considered it. The bike was in such bad shape I didn’t think it would be practical to do anything with. I thought it would stay on the beach, a memorial to the Tōhoku tsunami. Ralph offered with the help of his friends to restore the motorcycle and return it to its owner if they could be located. We knew this would be an expensive undertaking. The bike was virtually destroyed. They would need to strip the bike to its frame and start from almost scratch. I agreed and the next day with the help of my friends we went and recovered the motorcycle.

In the following days I did interviews with 4 or 5 major news agencies in North America and 5 in Japan! Late in the evening on April 30th a Japanese news correspondent located in California called me with good news, the owner of the bike was alive! From the moment I laid eyes on the motorcycle I wondered the fate of the owner. I had my fingers crossed and was hoping he/she would be found alive. There it was, the words I was hoping for, “They found him, he’s alive!”. I went to bed with a sense of relief. The next morning the CBC called with the news.

Twenty-nine year old Ikuo Yokoyama lost much on that day in March 2011. While I was watching on TV, Ikuo lost three family members including his father and brother. His house, the container in his backyard he used as a shop/garage for his motorcycle and everything he owned were swept away by the devastating wave. I was very happy Ikuo was alive but overwhelmed by the thought that so many others were not. Ikuo like thousands of others, is currently living in temporary housing. The man from CBC referred me to an online video interview from NHK with Ikuo. He was looking at pictures of the motorcycle that I had taken. He expressed how happy it was found and returning to him, “A miracle!” he stated. He also wanted to thank me.

Harley Davidson stepped in. They heard what Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman were planning to do and decided to finance the restoration. They contacted Mr Yokoyama and told him about the planned restoration. Despite the desire to be reunited with his lost bike Ikuo declined the offer. He said that he was not financially capable of owning the bike nor did he have room to store it in his temporary shelter. He thought it wasn’t fair to spend so much on his bike when so many others had nothing. It is very honorable that Ikuo has put the needs of others and the needs of his community above his own hopes and desires. Harley Davidson has offered to give the money they would have spent on fixing and returning the bike to a tsunami relief fund in Ikuo’s name instead. Harley Davidson is going to stabilize and preserve the bike. It will either be put in a museum or made into a memorial for the victims of the tsunami. They have offered to pay for the salvage of the bike and the transport to Vancouver Island. Hats off to Harley Davidson, Steve Drane and Ralph Tieleman for stepping up to the plate and doing a good thing.

The story isn’t over yet. So many people have lost so much. There may be few opportunities to reunite people with their missing belongings. I feel that there still may be something I can do for Ikuo and plans are in the works.

I have been told that items like the motorcycle were not insured for events like earthquakes. A reporter from a Japanese news agency sent me an article about insurance for the tsunami victims. It states only 23% of people were insured. People that had insurance were only covered for their houses. Vehicles, cash, items worth more than $3000 and businesses were not covered. It seems that Ikuo will receive nothing for his lost belongings. When I try to put myself in Ikuo’s shoes I come to the conclusion it would be very hard to decline Harley Davidson’s offer to return a prized possession after loosing everything. Could you do it? I know many people in Canada are financially strapped, especially in the northwest but in comparison to the events unfolding in Japan we’ve got it pretty darn good.

This has been a wake up call. There are no good systems in place for reporting tsunami debris and no plans as of yet to deal with it once it’s here. Its very likely that much more debris is coming. It is very important that any items located should be treated with respect. I’m sure there will be times when personal items can be retuned to their rightful owners. Common sense is important in these cases. Not everything can be returned and there will be many cases the items would bring back bad memories for the original owner. There are many people that care about the beaches and spend a lot of time on them. I’m sure many of these people will go out of their way to clean up debris. Nowadays the world is a very small place. I hope people keep this in mind. I myself live in a coastal town on the ring of fire. One day my ATV or boat may wash up on the shore of Japan. If that ever were to happen I know I’d hope that my belongings would be treated with respect as well. I also hope that government agencies will work will local people who have been exploring the local beaches for years if not decades. Many of us have a deep understanding of ocean currents and what types of items might wash up and where. This knowledge may prove invaluable in the years to come.

Peter Mark
May 2012

The Big Spring

The Big Year. This was a corny movie about birders but it had some whimsey and motivated me to photograph more of the wildlife in my yard. The eagle photo essay is from Rebecca Spit Provincial Park the same day. I haven’t taken so many eagle photos since living on the Gwaii. I’m enjoying my “old” SLR these days.

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Day 3 of the new feeder up & I have hummingbirds! I haven’t caught them on film just yet. stay tuned. lol. I hung a wild bird seed feeder low on a sliding door to torment my cats. It’s working. Yeah me. I’ve placed daffodils from my yard in each of my therapy offices & in busy rooms in our house. Now the tulips and lilacs are up. Double yeah!

Have you checked out     hornby island eagles live web cam and chat click here.

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a break in the rain beachcomb with my 2 fav guys

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fish heads, croquettes & a mounted salmon

The pets & I spent a lovely, stormy but warm-by-the-woodstove kind of day yesterday ~with my dad in our Quadra kitchen!  We laboured for many hours and created 5 dozen deep fried Greek Christmas ling cod & snapper Croquettes! YUM! He had put a sticky note in the bottom of a returned, clean pyrex with his mailing address for refills. Dad arrived with Xmas cheer and the rest of the ingredients. We mastered the recipe yet again! See my BLOG OCT. 22, 2011 ~ for complete photos & how to make. Thanks Dad & Abby for a lovely day.  This being a very FISHMAS week for him… what with being Xmas Mounted Salmon punked, see BLOG entry this week for more festive details.

My creative photography share today is also about our stinky friends. This time from Chinatown, Vancouver.

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Roe! Roe! Roe! Merry Fishmas!

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Roe! Roe! Roe!
Yesterday, and I can’t be sure of the details… But a mystery merriment elf team punked my dad’s condo with some fishy Christmas cheer! It was dad’s fault for giving out his spare keys to just any hooligans. Later this holiday, a video will be circulated with merriment details, possibly here.
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Snapper snowflakes… for dogs

That’s right.. another excuse to make dogbones for my dog…  Xmas party season.

Last Xmas my practice co-horts raved about the dogbones I baked and gave out at potlucks. So this year when asked, it was easy to oblige, as every day with our aged pup is a chance to spoil him. He was such a big helper standing over me in the kitchen for 2 hours! Here’s something that I learned that made my life much easier. The last time I made turkey dogbones (see previous blog entries) I froze three big balls of batter in ziplocs. I simply opened the wedding freezers and found 4 balls ~2 were the snapper  and 2 were turkey. I thawed, rolled, cookie cut & baked them up in no time. The snapper recipe was a little lack luster so I added peanut butter and garlic salt. Sounds gross but dogs love the ingredients.   

This year I went the silly extra step of putting them in little santa bags with bows. And yes, Amos taste tested each batch and got all the ends, saved in a jar on the counter (which already requires refilling).

Happy Christmas to the mutts that make us so happy all year. 

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Return of the Thai Smoked Salmon tart!!!

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I love it when I make something so good that it’s requested again & actually turns out JUST as good! Yesterday’s Thai Smoked Salmon Tarts rocked! See recipe below & awesome cookbook ( hi AREN! ) corey made the crust because he’s hip that way. We froze a few. We devoured the rest with awesome company that were stranded after their hunting trip ~on our island because no ferries ran, in the horrific weather. And yes Dad, we saved you two.. Or one.

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my little cod croquette!

I was feeling frisky in the kitchen and decided to learn a new way of using some of the frozen ziplocs of fish in our freezer – thanks to my fisherman husband. The above video is Hilarious! I went with a Greek Christmas recipe Cod Croquettes but I used Ling Cod & Snapper. I didn’t dress quite like the crazy video lady (winks to husband) but I did use her recipe. It was a lengthy process & as usual I made way too much so after dinner we were still frying croquettes. Here’s how I did it:

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pan fried all the fish in butter & garlic till flakey. Made mashed potatoes with milk. Melted butter with onions, green onions & more garlic & parsley. I grated Mozzarella cheese and crumbled Feta.

20111022-093509.jpg I mixed it all together in a big pot and put in the fridge for 45 mins.

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I made little balls of mixture (recipe called croquettes to be fingers but mine fell apart during frying). I dipped balls in egg whites then in a mixture of Panko & Cajun seasoned fish crisp & lemon pepper.

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Then I tightened up my Martha Stewart wedding apron (from Annelli in the Saulte) and got down with some frying. I used olive oil and blue mechanics paper towels for grease drying after. Naughty bits of yummy were consumed with wine & sour cream to dip. Fisherman’s review: “they were very tasty. The lemon pepper made them zingy. They were the prefect combination of zingy & crispy. It was good”. There you have it folks! Ling Cod & Snapper Croquettes.
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Snapper time

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26 degrees out so I decide to bake! Amos has what we think is a summer cold so I want to encourage his eating. So I made his fav. This time I baked a couple batches and froze the rest in little dough balls to roll out and bake as needed.
Ingredients: local snapper purée ~caught by my hunky fisherman husband. Neighbor eggs, milk, butter, local organic giant garlic head, fresh parsley bundle, 10 carrots, baking powder & soda, oats, flour, love.
PS. I also busted the hand mixer thing that Corey bought me because I busted his blender making halibut dogbones.

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Fluffy, non. Tasty, Yes.

delicious Quadra (island Winery) red wine!

Souffle fail. My first Souffle and I made it on Snapper (though recipe calls for Salmon). It didn’t rise and looked like mayonaisse baked on fish. Fluffy, non. Tasty, Yes. 

Costco score ~ these beans rehydrated in the wedding crockpot were pretty great though.

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Well good morning sunshine!

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Sunshine and wildlife noticings from the deck, FINALLY this morning! I’m workshopping a light sweater over a sundress for my coffee with the puppy dog, but I’m confident that the clouds will burn off this aft! Just in time to dry out some earth and wood so I can work on my new wee greenhouse !

While making coffee this morning ~I noted two things. Well three, if you include the fact that I was up by 8am by choice.

We replaced our deceased after a week (they got the ick) goldfish, with two new ones. Laverne & Chiffonda are female cobra enslers (like Eve Ensler = vagina monologues). They are yellowy, see throughy, cold water, non-goldfish. All this lovely intro aside ~ after 4 days we are down to one. Sigh*. The survivor us Laverne. Maybe it’s a sign that I should return to vegetarianism?

Seconds after the ceremonial flushing, I spotted these two outside the cabin. So quiet and fluffy and peaceful. Amos was 4 meters away and didn’t even budge.

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a sunny afternoon photoshoot

Creativity is peaking today with wedding invitations, a wedding website, save the date emails etc. MORE POSTS TO COME THIS WEEKEND, I PROMISE.

Today, I’m working from home, though it’s a challenge,

as the IS shining.

Here’s a little sunshine photoshoot with the frisky friends.

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