The Man We Called 'SUIT' Aug 26, 2012




On Friday morning, August 24, 2012 a man shot and killed another man on the sidewalk at the foot of the Empire State Building in New York City. The killer’s name was Jeff Johnson. Soon after that murder took place Jeff Johnson was killed by police.


Click here for New York Times article.


Jeff Johnson began writing me in early 2007 and had continued to write up until recently.


His letters were so overly complimentary that I got in the habit of deleting many of them as I read the first few lines. I did this because I didn’t feel comfortable with a person who only knew me through my website getting to the point of almost worshiping. Compliments like that serves to stagnate one’s work whereas healthy criticism makes you grow. I thought Jeff Johnson was out of state I had no idea that he lived in Manhattan.
He began showing up at the Model Sailboat Pond when Palemale & Zena’s babies had fledged and were spending a lot of time near the ground. That is when I first noticed the photographer in the avocado suit but I never knew that was the Jeff Johnson who had been writing me all this time.


Soon after June 23rd this year after I intervened with one of the babies when it came too close to the traffic on Fifth Avenue someone told me that a man had written a long narrative which was posted on Marie Winn’s website of how I handled the baby hawk that day. The woman who told me this said the man’s name was Jeff Johnson. Being such a generic sounding name I still didn’t make a connection with my email-admirer.


At some point there after I came to the conclusion that this was the Jeff Johnson who wrote me so often. There was something very odd that person who wrote me so often and with such admiration was this taciturn man in my presence who never took the time to introduce himself. Since he was such a frequent visitor I tried on one occasion to acknowledge him and he sharply turned away from my greeting. To be quite honest this behavior suited me just fine since I do not like to have too much acquaintance with ‘the crowd‘.
I am known to be aloof myself and two people with similar characteristics keeping their distance is understandable. However I soon learned that none of the other regular hawk watchers, who are far more social that I, were able to communicate with this man. He began to be referred to as ’Suit’--the man who wore what appeared to be the same suit every day even in the worst summer heat.
Jeff Johnson’s strange behavior did not compliment him at the sites where photographers and hawk watchers gathered. Compounding his taciturn character was his lurking, his abrupt movement, his foolish photography style--like engaging the pop-up flash on his camera and then cupping it with his hand.


I give myself some blame for Jeff's inability to fall into the little group that watched the hawks since it was quite obvious that he admired me a great deal. He followed me and embraced many, if not all, the issues which I pursued, from providing little artificial watering vessels for the hawks, to campaigning to rid the city of rat poison.
Had I of all people made a better effort to communicate to him I am sure that it would have sufficiently diffused many of the sinister designs he harbored.
I see now that following the hawks may have been his therapy and when that pastime did not work out, regardless of who is to be blamed for that, he decided to drop it completely and in one single day hopped back onto the path he may have been veering away from for almost a year.


I have to tell you that it was most likely I who may have been ‘the last straw’ which pushed him to this; On Wednesday evening, two days before the tragedy, he stood a few feet away from me photographing Palemale near the MET when I admonished him for using his camera flash. He took my words with silent anger and formed a grim facial expression on his characteristically cold face. He didn’t stop photographing immediately but left the area that evening and didn’t show up at all the next day (Thursday).
The following day he carried out his murderous plan and I would forever wonder if his own slaying had forestalled any further plans he had for retribution against anyone he believed to be responsible for his terrible situation in life.







On Sun, Feb 18, 2007 at 2:31 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, I want to express my thanks to you for being such an artist with your lenses. Your artistic ability is only matched by your patience in making the beautiful images you take. Sharing your efforts so freely with a world populated by "just give me mine" attitudes is a statement of your gracious spirit. You have no idea how much your images enrich the lives of everyone who sees them. Your images of the creatures and environs of Central Park give everyone a reminder of what is of real value in this life. Your images inspire us all to actually do something every day to share our space on earth with the creatures we see in your images, but tend to think of as lesser beings which exist only for our amusement. So, take heart in the very real fact that your images are not "just pretty pictures". Your images inspire us all to do better things and be

more noble to creatures we share our planet with.

Jeff

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On Sat, May 19, 2007 at 3:48 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, I want to thank you again for so being so gracious in sharing the images you take of Pale Male and the other

creatures in the city. Seeing all the many views of Pale Male in flight are just stunning. You capture how Pale Male

articulates even individual feathers to control his movement through the sky. Only after seeing the way Pale Male uses

his entire body to shape the necessary "airfoil" he needs at any particular instant does one gain a tiny understanding

of the ability he has so totally mastered. All the different body shapes and aspects you patiently record are always

breathtakingly new. It's beyond words to see Pale Male and every other creature living the full moment of their lives

without the artificial need to be branded "cool". Your images and the selfless manner you allow them to be shared

inspire me to appreciate the real virtues of life. The effort and time required for you to keep the images you provide

on your website has to be exhausting. I want you to know your efforts are valued more than you'll ever know, but also

should you need to take a "sabbatical" to recoup your energy, I will appreciate you no less. Your images and website

are gifts that enable us be better human beings.

Thank you, Jeff.

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On Sat, Aug 1, 2009 at 7:21 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your ability with a camera is extraordinary. Every image shows the amazing wing/feather articulation which is

employed to give a bird its flight. Even those images of Pale Male et al on branches or ground stalking illustrate in superb detail how much these

creatures are so fine tuned to flight. We humans spend every waking moment trying to find ways of bending,

circumnavigating, or destroying nature to make our own lifestyles as convenient as possible...while the noble

creatures in your images actually live their lives without complaint. Thank you for sharing your time and images with

us. Your efforts inspire us all to daily do more for animal conservation and protection. Jeff

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On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 9:25 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, This evening an ultrasound confirmed that my friend's cat Lucifer had a malignant tumor and he was euthanized. He was frail and exhausted by his ordeal of numerous visits to the vet for treatments recently, so I held him and talked to him while he went to sleep this last time. I want to thank you for your website and let you know the images you share always serve to help me understand how important every creature's life is. Lucifer's life was just as important as mine. Lucifer may not have played in the Superbowl or been a world leader, but Lucifer never endorsed meaningless energy drinks or lied about his motives in life. Your images always remind me how important it is to value life and I thank you. Jeff



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On Sat, Feb 20, 2010 at 5:33 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your images of Pale Male and Lola refurbishing their nest at 927 are stunning. You gain a sense for the limitless dedication and love for each other that this pair of raptors share. I've never seen images that capture the grace and power of natural (real) flight like yours. I'm ex-military and flew four engine turboprop C-130's. Seeing your images of Pale Male and Lola airlifting branches and twigs with still intact greenery is astounding. We humans fail to take into account all the complex interactions involved for weight/balance, wind correction, temperature, and cargo wind resistance to name a fraction of the problems involved with a "simple" act such as getting one 10" twig with its leaves from Central Park to the 927 top story ledge. It's a feat of incredible

strength, navigation, and courage. Courage because we can't forget that Pale Male and Lola must stay ever alert for threats.. not just the natural variety, because I recall those building workers throwing stones on Pale Male...not to mention

the too obvious fact that their original true nest was destroyed by humans. These remarkable birds perform this daunting task

of airlift over and over without complaint or adulation. You cannot be thanked enough for sharing your images of

incredible quality with us. Jeff

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On Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 10:26 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your images of flight are incredible. Seeing the the wings spread into a perfect feathered airfoil is an affirmation of winged flight as we humans understand it. Seeing all the the images where the hawks have been captured with their wings in one increment of the countless stages of articulated movement they use to perform their wonderful ballet of flight is breathtaking, Can't thank you enough for sharing them with us. You're an artist with that camera. Seeing a head-on view of those hawks with wings swept back just milliseconds away from flaring to land is a marvel of natural non-pollluting perfect engineering. Such noble creatures...your images help us understand this fact. Jeff

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On Sun, Feb 28, 2010 at 7:03 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Seeing your images of all the infinite number of complex wing movements Pale Male and Lola routinely perform always leaves me feeling what a treasure it is for them to be here. Seeing, through the spectacular detail of your images how these two revel in their freedom of flight and life inspires me to be more human and less "consumer". Thank you for being so selfless in sharing your time, effort, and expertise by posting so much on your website. When Pale Male takes a bird or squirrel it is witnessing the fact that a life has been taken to sustain another. It also is a reminder that Pale Male has not taken more than he needs. Jeff



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On Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 11:05 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Images of the seal are wonderful. Thank you, Jeff.

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On Tue, Mar 30, 2010 at 1:21 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Thank you for the wonderful seal images. Jeff

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On Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 7:43 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your images illustrate the majesty of flight better than any I have ever seen. Man spends countless hours and dollars

to produce vehicles that are only pale (forgive the unintended pun) imitations. As you show the infinitely complex articulations

of those natural wings, I'm forced to sigh at how crude man's efforts are. I don't say this lightly, for I think those blowtorch F-4's

I worked with when I was in the Corps provided me with an adrenaline rush that I thought was priceless. But seeing the views of Pale

Male's individual upper surface wing feather's being disrupted by turbulent vortices while he's "really" flying and navigating above

5th Avenue and Central Park have left me dumbstruck. He (and all his winged brethren) move through the air with a physical strength

and vulnerability that is profoundly courageous...and they do it all the time. They are all such noble creatures. Thank you for showing

this to us all. Jeff

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On Sat, May 22, 2010 at 6:40 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Each and every single one of your images is priceless. Doesn't matter if it's an insect, flower, Bluejay, PM, Lola,

the moon... each shows the reverence you have for life's sanctity and serve notice that we must do so as well. Thank you for

selflessly sharing your images (vision) with everyone and know that your efforts are making a daily contribution to enlighten us

about the need to be better conservators of our planet. Jeff



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On Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 9:32 AM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your ability to wield a camera as a tool for artistic expression and profound education continues to astound all of

us who day visit your website. Cannot thank you enough for the selfless way in which you doggedly and patiently use

your time to take and share your incredible images. No two are the same and every one of them give us all proof that

this planet is not here for just humans. Birds in flight you have imaged are filled with the detail of articulated

muscles and feather deployment that truly give evidence that only birds k ow real flight. Same goes for the insects

you've photographed. Your work is just incredible and I thank you for so selflessly sharing it.

Via my iPhone4 --- Jeff

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On Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 4:33 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Please don't be annoyed if you are getting this missive a second time. I'm resending it because it's bounced into my

inbasket with a much delayed error flag for some who knows Verizon code... Your ability to wield a camera as a tool for artistic expression and profound education continues to astound all of

us who day visit your website. Cannot thank you enough for the selfless way in which you doggedly and patiently use

your time to take and share your incredible images. No two are the same and every one of them give us all proof that

this planet is not here for just humans. Birds in flight you have imaged are filled with the detail of articulated

muscles and feather deployment that truly give evidence that only birds k ow real flight. Same goes for the insects

you've photographed. Your work is just incredible and I thank you for it. Via my iPhone4 --- Jeff



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On Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 8:32 AM, Jeffrey T Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your new 16:9 resolution on my LaCie monitors at work are just incredible. Even on my iPad and iPhone they are

stunning. All the fluid wing movement and motion you capture in such detail is fascinating. Thank you so much...when

on earth do you sleep? Take care of yourself. Humanity cannot afford to lose a gifted caring man like you to

exhaustion or its effects. Via my iPhone --- Jeff

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On Sat, Sep 11, 2010 at 2:54 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Thank you for sharing the daily lives of New York's wildlife with us through your superb ability with a camera. Always your images are just breathtaking. It's important to realize the harsh truth in images of predator and prey. These creatures fulfilling their absolute role in life. They have no convenient row of shops to dash into for an unlimited variety of food provided from mega-farming vendors. Hunting is a matter of daily sustenance, not a so called sport. Your images show us the full spectrum of life in the city wilds. It's beautiful, unforgiving, and whenever humans are involved, almost always to the detriment of flora and fauna. We don't tell you enough , but THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIRELESS EFFORTS. Jeff

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On Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 6:44 AM, Jeffrey T Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, How marvelous it must be to soar up and view the world from the pinnacle of a stone obelisk, or a flagpole, or and

windy tree branch you choose. True, the elements must be a concern, because summer heat, thunderstorms, and winter

cold can be deadly. Yet, these wild creatures dimly contend with it all without complaint. Snailing in 3G from my iPad, Jeff

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On Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 9:29 AM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your images of exactly how a bird looks in a particular split second of flight continue to be fascinating. Absolute vertical descent, spread wing flares, wings almost folded for plummeting dive...on and on you show what incredible creatures birds are. How nonchalant they perform their miracle of flight. Thank you for revealing this to us. Jeff

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On Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 3:58 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, It's profoundly reassuring to see your superb images of Pale Male and our other winged friends. Knowing they are in the world and carrying on with what is really important keeps me from becoming too depressed about how the human race seems determined to waste its time with endlessly superficial debates about everything. Pale Male (mister ultimate cool ) perched on a tiny orb atop a dizzily high flag pole is a marvel of balance, poise, and nobility. He's an inspiration of all that is good about life and a daily reminder to me that life is a gift not to be wasted. Jeff

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On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 9:17 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Flight images are just breathtaking in their beauty. What you do with a camera is absolute art. Thank you for being so generous in sharing your time and effort with us all. Jeff J



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On Sun, Nov 28, 2010 at 11:24 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Incredible images of wing movement...creatures of flight are miraculous beings. You're da Vinci with a lens, Lincoln. Thank you for selflessly sharing your vision. Jeff

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On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your recent overhead images of Pale Male in flight are breathtaking. One gets a glimpse of how it must feel to have feathered wings and the gift of flight. You're better than CGI. Knowing that your images are not special effects makes them even more remarkable. Thank you so much. Jeff

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On Sun, Dec 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your images of flight, taken from so many differing aspects show how complex and glorious true flight really is. Humans construct machines that use wings which, either fixed or rotary then require ear splitting engines that belch fire and pollute while using fossil fuels sucked out of the earth to achieve a crude approximation of the same thing. Not to mention all the concrete that's required to imitate a bird's flight. The more images of a bird's wings in action you provide, the more fascinating the articulation of bone, muscle, and feathers become. y Please see to yourself in the wet and cold days that are here. Look after your health Lincoln. Remember, all the good your images provide by promoting animal rights through human awareness only happens because it's you behind the lens. Thank you for all your tireless efforts, but take care of yourself. Jeff

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On Sat, Dec 25, 2010 at 12:54 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Merry Christmas to you and the golden cat you befriended and took in. You have no idea how powerfully effective your

posted images are in their influence to make the public aware of animal rights and how nature's beauty is constantly

threatened by the human race. Thank you for what you do with such artistic elegance. Your images speak millions of

words. Merry Christmas. Jeff Johnson

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On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 2:50 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Thank you for your vigilance over Pale Male and Lola. Following all your posts about Lola with heartbreaking dread, I

must now accept Pale Male's decision that Lola will not be returning. I wish only the best for him and his new mate,

as I know you and everyone who views your images does too. Pale Male and Lola exhibited such a profound embrace of

life that I am put to shame that I take so much for granted. Jeff



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On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 12:35 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your wonderful images can only be made if your gear is intact and the gear can only be used if YOU are fully

functional. Please don't risk yourself during foul weather conditions. Everyone can cope with fewer images from you.

It already concerns me that you expend so much time and energy into your website on top of your job demands.

Exhaustion, even for the most noble causes will only bring on failing health and injury due to accidents. Jeff

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On Sat, Feb 19, 2011 at 12:04 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Flight images are extraordinary. Your taking the "Valentine" wing shape as Pale Male looks like he's going supersonic

with his wings swept back is something I would never have been able to see or imagine were it not for your efforts.

Seen from overhead, Red Tails in flight are given a background perspective that let's us gain a richer understanding

of what being naturally airborne must feel like. Thank you, Jeff.

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On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 12:14 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Bluejays are my favorite bird because of their intrepid spirit. Thank you for the image showing the incredible

complexity of their wing structure. Marvel of natural engineering captured by someone who seems to possess an uncanny

ability to take extraordinary images. Jeff.

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On Fri, Mar 4, 2011 at 1:57 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Eighth frame depicting Pale Male in downward thrust of his wings is spellbinding. Such a visceral capture of him in the joy of flight is incredible. You can just feel the air under his wings!!! As ever, the images of how wings and feathers are deployed is beautifully fascinating. Without pretense, they show what noble creatures they are. Thank you, Jeff.

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On Wed, Mar 16, 2011 at 12:37 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your images are breathtakingly beautiful. They show that daily life can never, ever be taken as routine or boring. Life is a gift that every creature struggles to keep and sustain against overwhelming odds. Despite this hardship, your images show that wild creatures display constant joy in being alive. Thank you, Jeff.

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On Sat, Apr 30, 2011 at 11:35 AM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your images of flight are spectacular...wings sculpted back in high speed...turbulent air ruffling feathers along the tops of the wings...individual feathers symmetrically spread in one image then asymmetrically positioned in another for precise control...natural flight in all its splendor and beauty. The real thing makes CG SPFX seem trivial. Thank you once more for sharing your images. Jeff

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On Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, There is a warmth and compassion which always expresses itself in your images. It of course is just a manifestation of your character and inseparable from your work, yet I'm always touched by how clearly these traits present themselves. Two beautiful fledges from the 927 nest are glorious events that you have patiently shared with us all. Thank you for your selfless devotion and unheralded efforts to aid our wildlife. Jeff

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On Tue, Sep 20, 2011 at 4:12 AM, wrote:



Lincoln, Please feel free to use any comments I post to you in any way you think they may be beneficial to the cause of animal conservation. Words have almost zero value these days, either spoken or written because we've given truth such an elastic definition. There is no such thing as a lie. Lies are always hidden as misspoken thoughts, lapses in memory, or out-of-context interpretation.So, words have become empty...your images on the other hand, are powerful truths. Their reality cannot be refuted with double talk. Those images present the beautv in life we are losing and need to make every effort to preserve. Jeff



blitzing from my Mac Pro Quad Core 2.6 ~~~ Jeff

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On Sun, Sep 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, It is sad and profoundly disturbing that Olmsted's original idea where Central Park should be a refuge of natural beauty and tranquility amid the chaos and din of New York is relentlessly being lost. Commercial interests and advertising have become more important than being able to actually establish a physical and spiritual link with nature. Even Olmsted realized that Central Park was an artificial creation but made a supreme effort to allow nature a means to become the dominant force transforming every visit into a communing with the earth. Central Park is growing into such a carnival of dollars that it drains the soul rather than restoring it. There is such a thick layer of hype and superficial gloss on everything we see and take part in that we have become not just deaf and blind to what truth is but stupid. We refuse to understand what is right if it is inconvenient to what we view as entertaining. Case in point: control of the rat population in Central Park. Rather than make the small effort to be responsible human beings and be sanitary with our ever proliferating waste products, we accept inane, overly complex explanations (propaganda) that putting poison out is a better solution. This despite the glaring truth that this very poison kills the predator (nature's solution) of the rat. Olmsted probably understood that such farcical reasoning would inevitably come to Central Park. I'm glad he didn't see it during his life. Jeff

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On Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 12:14 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, I hope to God that Pale Male is able to cough up the ID bands he swallowed. I understand that Red Tails expectorate undigestible bones they inadvertently ingest by hacking up waste pellets. Let's hope he can do so in this case. Our never ending disregard for the consequences of every small, unnecessary interaction we have with other species is astounding and saddening. When I expressed my thoughts that global warming and oil exploration are forcing Polar bears to swim hundreds of miles just to seek food, I was answered with a bland comment: "Jeff, animals can adapt." Countless off-hand remarks such as this infuriate me. People can't seem to be bothered to walk more than one block to a Starbucks. These same people think it's just a whim of evolution that our petroleum greed makes Polar bears embark on open ocean swims (which leave them prostrate on the shore from exhaustion if they make it) just to find something eat. Here is Pale Male facing a life threatening situation from just what should be a routine act of self preservation. He just can't get a break…if his nest isn't being tampered with or destroyed then his food is being poisoned or "booby trapped". Thank you for your superb images and tireless efforts to defend wildlife. Jeff

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On Sun, Oct 9, 2011 at 12:23 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Your images are just stunning. All the complex movements made by a bird's wing show what a miracle of natural engineering it is. That such a beautiful instrument can be folded into a body hugging, almost invisible shape then opened and spread to become a glorious aerodynamic surface is breathtaking. I'm always stopped in my tracks by the absolute beauty of natural flight. I've been observing for fifty years and never images as remarkable as yours. Thank you for being selfless with them. Jeff

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On Sun, Mar 25, 2012 at 2:10 PM, wrote:

Lincoln,

My best friend, an Abyssinian cat named Romeo died 09 August of last year. He always looked as if he was a miniature mountain lion. He had perfect musculature ,a beautiful coat, and boundless energy. A little over a year ago he began tossing his head back and licking at his upper nose. Since he had three dental extractions before, I took him in expecting another bad tooth, but he was given perfect health. A couple months later he seemed easily agitated, though not aggressive and he was changing his sleeping spots every two days or so. I took him in to the vet and after much testing a neurological problem was diagnosed. Using a plug in feline pheromone atomizer seemed to bring Romeo back to his old self for several weeks. After I used some bleach based cleaner in the bathroom in late March, Romeo gave a mournful wail and vomited. The vet found nothing wrong despite extra blood and urine tests. During the summer I noticed he liked to dash over to the air conditioner whenever it cycled on and he wanted to poke his nose into the refrigerator whenever it was opened. I thought this as obnoxious curiosity on his part. There were other odd cries and one incidence of him wailing just as he began to eat that prompted yet another emergency visit, which by this time it was being suggested that I was being overly cautious about his health. Because he was a beautiful showcase example of an Abyssinian, with abundant energy and he was almost eleven years old, I decided I was really being overly concerned and Romeo was just getting more temperamental with age.

Then 07 August Romeo hunkered himself down under my drawing table and didn’t want to come out. His breathing was abnormally fast and after getting him to the vet she worked for three hours with him in an oxygen cage and saved his life, but she showed me his X-rays revealed a possible tumor beside his heart. From there Romeo and I were dispatched to a specialist across the city for more emergency care. Romeo was at the hospital overnight where and it was found he had feline hemangiosarcoma. It’s a cancer of the blood vessels common in midsize dogs but extremely rare in cats. I was told that only 3% of all known cases were feline and it requires a specific blood test to diagnose its presence. In Romeo’s case it had metastasized into a tumor about the size of my small finger in the blood vessels beside his heart. Fluid buildup in the lining alongside his heart had caused his breathing problems. It was a highly aggressive and active cancer as evidenced by the tumor, which had not been there four months earlier when he’d been X-rayed. With available treatments Romeo might have six weeks, but fluid buildup could not be prevented so his breathing problems would return and his risk of cardiac arrest was 50/50. So on the morning of August 9th, here was Romeo with all his fur shaved off from his neck to his lower belly, scared, and unable use his left paw because it’s been wrapped up into an IV feed. I felt like such a moron. For a year he’d been trying to tell me something was wrong and I hadn’t been able to help him. All I could do now was try and give him a peaceful death. The doctor let me use her office and I wrapped Romeo in my best jacket so he wouldn’t shiver. I held him and talked him from 09:00 until 14:14 when he seemed totally calm and purred himself to sleep. Then he was euthanasia while I kept holding him. I honestly would have traded places with him. Romeo was always so full of life and curious about everything... Romeo wasn’t a cat that slept through his days, he liked to be up and looking at birds through the windows, basking in the sunlight, or playing with his toys. He reveled in being an active part of life. I’m astonished by how much I miss him…he just filled every room in the apartment up. Nothing seems special without him around. It embarrasses me that I feel this way. Life is bigger than one cat or me or you, but I can’t shake the feeling that life has been diminished tenfold by Romeo’s departing it. Last week I was walking on Madison and 91st when I noticed this woman in her late forties having a problem with a baby carriage she was pushing. I offered to help untangle its wheel from the dog leash she was also holding onto when she explained that there was no difficulty. What looked to be a problem was her Cocker Spaniel learning to drive new wheels. Turns out the dog has hemangiosarcoma and lost the use of her hindquarters. She (the dog) has been going on for seventeen months of chemo and this is her second “wheelchair” fitting. It’s one of those tiny wheeled cradles that strap to a dog’s back. This dog is eleven and acts as if everything is normal with regularly taking her chemo every other week and using an artificial device in place of her hind legs to get around. You never know how these dire situations will turn out. Five Red Tails have been lost just this month to what almost certainly is rodent poisons. It’s almost too much to bear, particularly because sending letters, signing petitions, and making phone calls appear to be wasted efforts at getting the use of rodent poisons stopped. It’s spiritually fatiguing, but our wildlife friends have no other human voices. My buddy Romeo’s heart was used by Cornell Veterinary Hospital for research toward feline hemangiosarcoma, so maybe that’s some tiny bit of solace. I have a Harlem rescue grey tabby cat named Little Tiger and I enjoy the occasional images you post of your butterscotch rescue cat . Take care Lincoln, you’re a good man in an increasingly self-centered world. Your tireless efforts and website images do more to promote the need for responsible wildlife conservation than any other medium that I know of.

Jeff

from my Mac Pro Quad Core 2.6 ~~~ Jeff



On 03/24/12, Lincoln Karim wrote:

On Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 1:09 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Thank you for having the courage and backbone to look after Lima's body and letting Pale Male see you doing so. Park, DEC, and City officials have constantly shown themselves to be indifferent, negligent, and uncaring about Pale Male and his nest in the past, so you you are to be applauded for seeking a definite means of securing DEC necropsy for Lima's body. Marie Winn and Donegal Browne are doing their best to keep us all updated about your latest harassment and we readers will do all we can, should you need any help. It's such a travesty of fairness and intelligent behavior that you of all people, should be arrested for protecting Lima's body so that some small measure of benefit can be salvaged from her death. I suppose you have become somewhat accustomed to the ham fisted enforcement of the law, but it can never be simply shrugged off. Elastic interpretation of how laws should be invoked or enforced by petty officials more concerned about being inconvenienced than properly executing the duties of their office or badge, never ceases to be a suffocating frustration. Lima's body is a heartbreaking image of what a harsh struggle her daily life was. As you said, it is only fitting that we see the image her untimely death with the understanding that she is the same beautiful hawk that we once envied every time we saw images of her soar over Central Park. Maybe DEC will actually do a thorough necropsy and release the truth of its result, but unless the findings are made public without being filtered through any city, state, or federal entity I am skeptical about what will be determined as to Lima's cause of death. Despite this, I think your untiring efforts on behalf of Pale Male, Lima and all wildlife in this trumped up "interference arrest" are something you should be commended for having the brave social conscience to act upon. Jeff

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On Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 4:53 PM, Jeffrey Johnson wrote:

Lincoln, Thank you for sharing the wonderful Blue Jay images you took. Your patience is admirable. Jeff

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