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August 10, 2008

There is a world out there that is immune to our language.

It is a world that is oblivious to presidents and rulers and laws--even the laws of physics which we dished up so nicely.

I'm sure this world has its own language and it own laws...

the difference is in that world the system works.

In that world a man wearing a suit is no different than a man wearing a loin cloth.

In that wonderful world the Queen of England is no more significant than a tsetse fly...although I am sure the latter is more highly valued for being an effective participant in making the system work.

Of course there are advantages and disadvantages of both these worlds.

But regardless of this we do not have a choice--we're stuck in our world and they are stuck in theirs.

Console yourself that in their world they do not have toothpaste--and none of us can ever hope to survive too long without such a thing.

Acknowledging their world may be the first step in gaining entry, should you ever want to go there.

Beware, it may be a very strange place for any of us and it may take a lot of getting used to.

Imagine a world with no conventional language...there will be no such thing as 'red-tailed hawk' and no way to express your disappointment that there isn't.

There will be no way to make an excuse if you're late.

There will be no such thing as 'red' or 'green' or 'gluten'.

Though I can find so many faults in our world I'll keep it for now, because entering a world like their’s will be just too confusing. I'll settle for simply admiring them and be happy that they live their lives in such harmony. And I'll continue to believe that coming to live in the civilized world is just about the biggest 'tourist trap' you can fall victim to.

All images photographed on Sunday August 10, 2008.

Palemale and Lola website
From: Lotta Berg (
Sent:Fri 8/08/08 3:03 PM To:


Just a short e-mail to thank you for the beautiful pictures published on the Palemale & Lola website. We first got to know about these magnificent birds from a TV programme broadcasted a year or two ago on Swedish television. My oldest daughter Hanna (now 9 years old) became completely fascinated by the story of the red-tailed hawks. We have been visiting the webiste on and off since then, following the stories about the different individual birds, the hatchings and so on. I am sure that you get a lot of e-mails from all over the world, but maybe it is still encouraging to hear that there is a nine-year-old girl in a distant country in northern Europe who dreams about going to New York. Not to go shopping, not to visit museums, Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, not to meet celebrities - just to see the red-tails live. I'm sure she will, one day. Until then, she has become quite an experienced bird-watcher at home, keeping records of all birds she sees and the activity in the our nesting boxes.
So, thank you for spending so much time taking these wonderful pictures and keeping us all updated about what's going on!

Yours sincerely,
Lotta B.

The MET Rodenticide Use __ __ __ Updated Mail for July 2008 __ __ __ Dangers of Rodenticides

The MET's true colors shows up in this recent incident... Two-year-old Christopher Suarez is a happy little boy, who loves playing ball. Suarez is autistic, a condition, his mother, Veronica Jackson, says was sadly misunderstood on a recent trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Read more...

"The Met is worried about their "insensitive to the environment image" caused by them contracting the use a chemical that threatens the food chain including the Red-tailed Hawks and Screech Owls . This case is a small, but an important step in decreasing the toxic threat of rodenticides to birds such as Pale Male and Lola. Bromethalin is a little studied and difficult to diagnose toxic without readily available accurate and precise means of analysis available to pathologists and veterinarians. Therefore, the recognition of the importance of Bromethalin as a wildlife mortality factor will be slow."
[Dr. Ward Stone]

Stop these selfish, self-centered, stubborn and phony human beings who run the MET from jeopardizing the precious lives of the only innocent ones who are doing something right...

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Philippe de Montebello (Director)
(212) 570-3902

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Emily Rafferty (President)
(212) 570-3900



This is the recent stock response from the MET to people who are writing about the museum's lethal and careless rodenticide use:

I spoke to Mr Holzer on the phone on Friday. He claims that the protection of the museum's works of art take priority over anything else including the welfare of wildlife in the park. I told him since the museum is so concerned for the protection of its art collection why did they choose to put a restaurant in the middle of it since restaurants are a sure way to attract rodents. I then questioned his priority...If the museum is so concerned for its art why not remove the restaurant and keep food out of that building.
Mr Holzer then hastened the conversation to an end which I obliged him without unnecessary and useless salutations.


From: Holzer, Harold
Subject: Metropolitan Museum Communication
To: "Harold Holzer (Holzer, Harold)"
Date: Friday, August 1, 2008, 9:49 AM

We are in receipt of your recent email to our executives on the subject of the Museum’s essential pest-control efforts, which as the institution has explained in its statements—I attach the most recent one—is absoluitely crucial to the protection of the staff and visitors, but also to ensure the safety of the collection of two million works of art for which we are the responsible stewards. I am sure you know that these works cover five millennia of human artistic achievement at the highest levels of creativity, and that they are the means of educating and enlightening our own and future generations about the many cultures represented here. As a practical matter, much of the collection is in storage, and any rodent infestation poses a severe danger to works on canvas, paper, or made of textile, wood, or other organic material. Such damage would be irreversible It is our irrevocable responsibility to safeguard the works for all future time.

That said, we are cognizant of and sympathetic to the concerns of environmentalists who care deeply about the natural order, and we acted immediately when alerted that unusually virulent chemicals were being employed by a contractor to bait rodent traps outside the perimeter of our building. The chemicals were changed to the same formulas used in rodent traps throughout the city’s parks, and widely recognized by experts as posing little damage to predators of rats because the material is slow-acting: by the time it kills the rodent, the chemicals have sufficiently dissipated so as to pose no threat to those who feed on it.

Please be assured that we continue to monitor these baiting stations and closely observe the situation. We are pledged to working as sensitively as possible to balance our responsibilities to the millions of people who work and visit the Met, together with the works of art they care for or come to see, as well as the beautiful park we have been privileged to occupy for more than a century.

Many thanks for your continued interest.

Harold Holzer
Senior Vice President, External Affairs
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10028

T: 212-570-3951
F: 212-472-2764