© CA Dept of Fish and Game
In one scene, a small bobcat crouched on a one-inch perch, appearing to gather the courage for a 10-foot leap over a stream to an equally tiny landing spot.
In another, a large mountain lion crept along a creek, searching for a way across without getting wet.
Then there was the phantom creature that snuck right behind the wildlife biologist and his camera, then disappeared - but only for a moment. In another episode, a bear, the Holy Grail of "critter cams," hovered over a salmon pool on a remote creek, then out-quicked the camera.
A "critter cam," also known as a "trail cam," can unveil the wildlife secrets of forests, streams and lakes. These are movement-activated cameras strapped to trees, or fixed video cameras positioned at strategic locations on land and underwater. They are like having hidden eye-witnesses in the wilderness.