July/Aug 2007 Letters

As you can see from the many e-mails you received there will always bepeople who want the pitcher to strike out the batter, and there are peoplewho will always root for the batter to hit a home run in a baseball game! The same with the world of wild animals and predator birds -who do youroot for to win - the little rodent or the big red tail hawk? Either we accept the rule for the survival of the fittest or we stayinside our little homes and read only beautiful fairy tales liketalking animals we love. In your case being a photographer, remember, never be afraidof your emulsions, or is it emotions? All Artists must always see themselves (you included)to be morally neutral no matter how their art or documentation informsthe public, or expresses their medium of expression;and in effect silently,unknowningly seduces the mass consciousness of society,to become more alive,and finally come to know the excitement of being alive if onlyin this moment of true realization.

Larry Warshaw


I know of your compassion and love for all animals. However,. the pigeon's eyes were filled with fright and terror---when they were closed it was not because of peacefulness,. it was because he was dying--his mouth was opened because he was gasping for breadth from the moment he was caught. I know how you feel about this and wish that you could be the pigeon. But I don't agree with you that the pigeon welcomed this sudden end.

All the best,


I'm compelled every time I write you (and sometimes think of you) to thank you for the beauty you share with the world on your site. I have a request about a past observation you wrote about in July of 2005, I believe. It was about the fear that the fireworks invoked in the wildlife in the park and how it seemed everyone was overlooking this fact since they just couldn't or wouldn't see them. The reason I am asking about this and how I could find it on your site is that my much loved nephew, for bad reasons (as if there is a single good one) joined the service 4 years ago and although he is out now, he saw action (he was led to believe he would not). He was just relating to me how the fireworks for the 4th of July holiday made him very anxious and jumpy.Right away I thought of your description of the frightened animals and how much I'd like to share it with him. He's a sensitive soul and had no business in the service. I know you are busy and I don't even know if you archive all your essays on the site itself. If you've compiled them in a book, I would love to buy it. And even if it's gone forever, I remember it and I'll try to relay it as best I can.

Thanks for sharing,


I have never written to you before and I know of your love of palemale and all of the hawks and your photography is beyond beyond awesome. I have been watching palemale for years, I live on 72nd street and saw him even before you started your website. I saw him every morning on my way to work at least 14 years ago and I have known Len Soucy at Raptor Trust for at least 25 years because I grew up in NJ. I have enjoyed all of your comments and photography for years. However, I was really upset at seeing the pictures yesterday, of the baby capturing the pigeon---the look of pure terror on the pigeon's face was more that heartbreaking and what he was going through was just ignored by you---you did not address at all the torture of the pigeon and just seemed to gloat on his murder because you were so proud of the first pigeon capture, it seemed like you were really in to the pigeon's horrific final moments----now, I know that this is not you, but for all those that do not know your compassion, I feel that you owe a tribute to this poor pigeon---you captured all the fear, and torture that this poor bird was going through---at least, please make a tribute to this poor pigeon---I am totally sickened by the pictures and so regret that I looked at them---thanks.



If you troubled yourself to actually READ the pesticide warning sign, and then took the trouble to look the active ingredient up on the web, you would almost certainly find the Cornell University Extoxnet page: pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/24d-captan/azoxystrobin-ext.html

Upon reading it you would find:

Effects on Birds Azoxystrobin exhibited low ecological risks to birds, mammals and fish (1, 2, 3). Effects on Aquatic Organisms Azoxystrobin exhibited low ecological risks to birds, mammals and fish (1, 2, 3). Effects on Other Animals (Nontarget species) Azoxystrobin exhibited low ecological risks to birds, mammals and fish (1, 2, 3).

ENVIRONMENTAL FATE Breakdown of Chemical in Soil and Groundwater Azoxystrobin is degraded rapidly under agricultural field conditions with a soil half-life of less than 2 weeks. The compound is non-volatile and does not leach, but it is very susceptible to photolysis. Photolysis accounts for the majority of the initial loss of the compound, the remainder being degraded microbially. Based on laboratory data, the predicted mobility of azoxystrobin in soil is relatively low. The soil adsorption coefficient corrected for soil organic matter (Koc) ranges from 300 to 1690. Consequently, the potential mobility is low to medium. As a measure of possible mobility, the standard GUS index value is 1.0; which equates to a non-leacher.

Results from field trials support these laboratory data. After using 14C- labeled azoxystrobin as a "worst case" field application - bare surface, irrigated and poorly retentive soil (light texture and low organic matter content), the compound was retained in the upper 2 inches or so of the soil throughout its lifetime.

Azoxystrobin does not leach. It is unlikely that azoxystrobin would be present in drinking water or groundwater (6).

Breakdown of Chemical in Surface Water As azoxystrobin does not leach it is very unlikely to enter into water bodies except by accidental, direct over-spray. However, the compound in laboratory tests degrades with a half-life of approximately 7 weeks in flooded anaerobic soils. There is also potential for photolytic degradation in natural aqueous environments; the aqueous photolysis half-life is 11-17 days (6). Breakdown of Chemical in Vegetation Plant metabolism has been evaluated in three diverse crops--grapes, wheat and peanuts--which should serve to define the metabolism of azoxystrobin in a wide range of crops. Parent azoxystrobin is the major component found in crops. Azoxystrobin does not accumulate in crop seeds or fruits; very low residues are found in wheat grain, banana pulp, pecan nutmeat, and peanut (nuts). Metabolism of azoxystrobin plants is complex with more than 15 metabolites identified. These metabolites are present at low levels, typically much less than 5 percent of the Total Recoverable Residue (TRR) (6).

Not quite as bad as you thought, right?

Still looking for Little RED! I thought that this piece on lawns would interest you even if the references to GOD and the saints might not be your bag.Cordially, Diane

Just in case you all missed this mailing on AOL YARD WORK AS VIEWED FROM HEAVEN
the attachment...
Overheard in a conversation between God and St Francis)

God: Francis, you know all about gardens and nature; what in the world is going on down there in the U.S.? What happened to the dandelions, violets, thistles and the stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought, and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honeybees, and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of color by now. All I see are patches of green.

St. Francis: It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. They are called the Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass? But it is so boring, it's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, bees or birds, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want grass growing?

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it has grown a little, they cut it, sometimes two times a week.

God: They cut it? Do they bale it like hay? St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away. GOD: Now let me get this straight. . . they fertilize it to make it grow and when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis: Yes, sir. God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. Francis: You aren't going to believe this Lord, but when the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God: What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep the moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus, as they rot, the leaves become compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life. St. Francis: You'd better sit down, Lord. As soon as the leaves fall, the Suburbanites rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away. God: No way! What do they do to protect the shrubs and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

St Francis: After throwing the leaves away, they go out and buy something called mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

God: And where do they get this mulch? St. Francis: They cut down the trees and grind them up to make mulch. God: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. Saint Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine: "Dumb and Dumber," Lord. It's a really stupid movie about. . .

God: Never mind--I think I just heard the whole story from Saint Francis!