Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 31, 2013

A Visit To MoA's HQ

Hi there!

How are you?

Did you see that tweet? Write about it!

It's important!

Want me help?

{... type, type, type, tip, tap, type ...}

See? Finished!

Ok, gotta go.

See you tomorrow ...

Posted by b on May 31, 2013 at 17:02 UTC | Permalink


Hilarious. :D; great you could take the pictures. :) too cute.

Posted by: Nabil | May 31 2013 17:13 utc | 1

How cute. My house is currently overrun with chipmunks. The latest generation of CIA spy drones are quite lifelike, aren't they? :)

Posted by: Sean | May 31 2013 17:27 utc | 2

I love it! It's good we can take a break and enjoy this beautiful creatures company. God made us all, wonderfully designed and able to do amazing things. The lil' critters cuteness is proof of that.

Posted by: Fernando | May 31 2013 17:31 utc | 3

@ Sean - I had that happen last summer, they got into the sunflower seeds I feed to the birds and started hiding them everywhere, even in my bed. They were crawling over me as I slept, then I got their fleas. It was awful. You must get a cat.

Posted by: Sasha | May 31 2013 17:51 utc | 4

Barflies come in all shapes and sizes, and this one gives chasing tail a new twist.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 31 2013 17:53 utc | 5

It's interesting how differently colored the squirrels are here in Kansas from wherever these pictures were taken. Here their backs are a reddish-brownish-dark grey and their undersides are the reddish color of the squirrels in these pictures.

Posted by: Kanzanian | May 31 2013 18:37 utc | 6

Haha, what a great photostory :-).
"It's important".
So this is how your articles are generated, you're probably only overseeing the typos ;-)

Posted by: peter radiator | May 31 2013 19:09 utc | 7

All up in yr keebords plantin microtransmitterz


Posted by: L Bean | May 31 2013 19:37 utc | 8

hahaha B you're the best

Posted by: Crest | May 31 2013 19:42 utc | 9

re 6

It's interesting how differently colored the squirrels are here in Kansas from wherever these pictures were taken.
That's a European red squirrel in the pictures. The American grey squirrel is bigger, and currently pushing the red squirrel out (in Britain, at least). But apparently not in Germany.

Posted by: alexno | May 31 2013 19:53 utc | 10

Posted by: nobody | May 31 2013 19:59 utc | 11

Those long-eared Euro squirrels are the best! Send some to America to destroy our ecological balance (LOL).

Posted by: Fred L | May 31 2013 20:31 utc | 12

Yer Keybord are belongs to me now !

Posted by: Rhysa | May 31 2013 20:48 utc | 13

nice pics, b. seem to me that someone in your house knew how to speak Bahasa Indonesia.

Posted by: Salemba | May 31 2013 20:55 utc | 14

So awesome. I've always had a soft spot in my heart the little critters. I recall in Kansas how certain ones used to "scream" at me from the trees when I came by with my squirell "loving" (maybe eating is a better term...) dog. LOL.

Posted by: guest77 | May 31 2013 21:29 utc | 15

Like so many of the personas who hog the headlines, when seen from certain angles in just the right light, these cute little critters seem almost human...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 31 2013 21:53 utc | 16

Russia once again ditch their friends (first Iran now Syria) because Israel and US wants to.

No S-300 for Syria.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 31 2013 21:57 utc | 17

So I see, b, that you are doing your part to protect your red squirrel friend from the his gluttonous, disease-infested gray cousin. Now if many more in the Hamburg community would do the same, then perhaps the German red squirrel can stave off extinction.

Posted by: Cynthia | May 31 2013 22:08 utc | 18

In my, Ontario, garden, red squirrels, exactly like b's Hamburgers, rule the roost and, just last year, drove off invading grey (black up here) squirrels.
Evidently the reds prefer conifers whereas the greys prefer hardwood forest.

Posted by: bevin | May 31 2013 22:22 utc | 19

@ no. 6 and no. 10

Here in northern Iowa, I suspect we have the same squirrels as in Kansas--red squirrels and grey squirrels.

Compared to the greys the reds are quarrelsome and come with an attitude, lol.

Earlier this spring, I witnessed a red squirrel chase a great horned owl from branch to branch, then from tree to tree in my neighbor's backyard. Must've been protecting babies. Those owls here are fierce, and have been known to attack miniature dachshunds, yet the squirrel was undeterred and the owl flew off.

Posted by: sleepy | May 31 2013 23:05 utc | 20

Nice break b. Here in So. Cal USA, I'm proud to call all the local critters my companions. I bike daily, and have several feeding stations to supplement their diets. Mother Nature is quite splendid in her diversity, even in a populated area like So. Cal. What a boring world without them.

Posted by: ben | May 31 2013 23:09 utc | 21

@ anonymous no. 17

The article states that Russia intends to either 1) speed up delivery or 2) slow down delivery depending on the circumstances, particularly whatever results from the ending of the EU's moratorium on arms deliveries.

I read it as Russia playing negotiating poker, not that Russia is abandoning Syria.

Posted by: sleepy | May 31 2013 23:12 utc | 22

@ no. 21 ben

Yes, SoCal has interesting interactions between wildlife and urban areas, with mountain lions occasionally spotted within the city limits of LA, as well as black bears popping up a few miles from downtown. All within an urbanized area of 18 million people.

Posted by: sleepy | May 31 2013 23:19 utc | 23

#17. Russia is not betraying Syria. In a series of similar moves this is how Russia is going to save the Syrian regime. It is important that Russia allows Obama to make a number of face saving moves. His insistence that Assad had to go turns out to be so much bluff. Now he has to back down. If the Russians place those missiles in Syria it would be a big slap in the face of the US and Israel. They might be forced into taking aggressive counter measures to show the world that they remain the world's greatest military force. That way lies WWIII.

Strategically the US is in retreat in the ME. Iran emerged from the US war against Iraq in a much stronger position. If Assad survives, this will weaken the US position and enhance Iran's influence in the ME even more. The Gulf monarchies will be forced to engage Iran in real diplomacy and stop trying to undermine Iraq and Syria. Once that happens US influence will be even more undermined. This is going to be a multi-year process and it will not be pleasant to watch. Terrorist attacks against Syria and Iraq are likely to continue for some time. What we are not going to see is some satisfying military defeat of US and Israeli forces where they cry surrender. To repeat, we will have WWIII before that happens. But if we slowly lose influence while at the same time convince the American people that we remain the indispensable nation then the end result will be the same -- America's diminished role in ME affairs.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 31 2013 23:21 utc | 24

finally someone smarter than the average blogger!and i bet he turns out better journalism than the joes at BBC or NYT!
and his cost is peanuts!

Posted by: brian | Jun 1 2013 1:19 utc | 25

OK now we know who B is!

Posted by: brian | Jun 1 2013 1:20 utc | 26

In my, Ontario, garden, red squirrels, exactly like b's Hamburgers, rule the roost and, just last year, drove off invading grey (black up here) squirrels.
Evidently the reds prefer conifers whereas the greys prefer hardwood forest.

Posted by: bevin | May 31, 2013 6:22:31 PM | 19

red sqirrel = syria(natives)
grey squirrel = FSA(foreigners backed by US)

Posted by: brian | Jun 1 2013 1:24 utc | 27

Last summer a gray squirrel came through my mom's front door and stole a whole loaf of bread out of her kitchen. Sliced bread in a plastic bag. (The front door was open. No breaking and entering.)

Posted by: J. Bradley | Jun 1 2013 2:03 utc | 28

good reason to move to russia

Posted by: brian | Jun 1 2013 3:50 utc | 29

the gutless creeps who rule canada would never dare put a trade ban on genocidal israel

As a non-nuclear weapons party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has a right to enrich uranium, as long as it refrains from diverting fissile material to military use. The International Atomic Energy Agency—which monitors Iran’s enrichment activities—has never reported a single instance of Iran diverting fissile material. What’s more, Argentina, Brazil, Germany and Japan also enrich uranium on their own soil. When last I checked, Baird wasn’t denouncing these countries’ enrichment activities as reckless and irresponsible.

Iran has no nuclear weapons. And the US intelligence community says that, in its view, the Iranians aren’t developing them. As to the charge that Iran is just a few years away from a bomb, that canard has been around since the mid-1980s. And still Iran hasn’t a single nuclear weapon.

There’s nothing about Iran’s enrichment activities that are worthy of a trade ban. Except pandering to Israel. Which is kind of tricky considering that unlike Iran, Israel actually does have nuclear weapons—an estimated 400, and the means to deliver them by missiles, aircraft and submarines. Even if it did have nuclear weapons, Iran would—without long range bombers and submarines, and with missiles of limited range—struggle to deliver them.

Moreover, unlike Iran, Israel bars IAEA inspectors from monitoring its nuclear facilities. It won’t join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, despite UN resolutions directing it to do so. If any country were deserving of a total trade ban, Israel would seem to fit the bill, not only for its nuclear activities, but for its ongoing oppression of Palestinians and habit of attacking its neighbors.

Posted by: brian | Jun 1 2013 4:17 utc | 30

Where's Bullwinkle?

Posted by: guest | Jun 1 2013 4:37 utc | 31

Something's brewing in Turkey and the msm are, as usual, paying little attension to it..

btw, nice pics, b...I also get regular visits by a squirrel in my study/office..very entertaining to

Posted by: Zico | Jun 1 2013 6:57 utc | 32

Oh this is getting pathetic!

"Russian missiles put Israel at risk: US, Germany"

Why this absurd love and protection for Israel? Seriously!?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 1 2013 7:37 utc | 33

Lovely pictures, B. How long did the visitor stay? Seemed quite interested in everything and not afraid.

About #24 - nicely stated about declining influence of US in ME. US influence waning elsewhere too - VP Joe Biden came back from a visit to Brazil, and Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff has been invited to Washington for a state visit. Perhaps it has dawned on some people that China is moving ahead in replacing the US as the top trading country in Latin America - China is now #1 in Brazil and Chile.

One of my favourite novelists has a character saying something like ... "you should let your enemy get away with as much face-saving as possible, just so long as you don't let him get away with anything else."

Posted by: Northern Night Owl | Jun 1 2013 7:41 utc | 34

German radio just said it is quiet again in Istanbul - if this is live it is obviously not.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 1 2013 8:29 utc | 35

Those squirrels.

There are a total of four or five of them around. But usually only in the winter when they steal from the bird feeder. Now two come by each day. They have learned how to beg for nuts. They first come up to the window of my small study, look where I am and knock at the window to get my attention. When I stand up they know what comes next. I walk into the living room where they then already sit at the other window expecting me to come up. I open the terrace door and hold out a nut in my hand. They come quite hesitantly, sniff around my hand and pick the nut. One uses its teeth to do so but is very careful not to bite me. The other one uses its hands to pick up the nut. Sometimes the start eating the nut just a few steps away, other times the run away with them to hide them for a later meal. Ten minutes later they are back for another one. I only allow two nuts per squirrel per day. I don't want them to become dependent on me giving them food.

Posted by: b | Jun 1 2013 9:08 utc | 36

@26, we now know who b is, ( not the squirrel though)
we see quite a bit of his face reflected in the dark screen of picture #8

Posted by: Emmanuelle | Jun 1 2013 10:29 utc | 37

I once thought chipmunks were cute, until they dug a network of tunnels along the side of my house. Water flowed into the tunnel network during heavy rains, causing the foundation to shift. Repairs cost me $8K. Beware.

Posted by: Gareth | Jun 1 2013 14:43 utc | 38

I am amazed that they come inside like that, though I know of people who have found injured babies and nurse them to recovery and they become like pets.

They're really adorable and practically little people in my book. They're certainly the closest thing the Western world has to monkeys. Meaning, the closest living thing we have around to "us".

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 1 2013 14:55 utc | 39

It's the little piece of tape over the lap top cam which made me smile most. I do that as well.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Jun 1 2013 15:19 utc | 40

@40 An Arkansan? There are some great people from Eureka Springs. Certainly one of the most beautiful places in the United States.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 1 2013 15:48 utc | 41

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 1, 2013 3:37:33 AM | 33

well they are the 'chosen people' and they are the owners of most US politicians.,.,germans are still feeling the yoke of nazism: its being pulled by zionists

Posted by: brian | Jun 2 2013 3:00 utc | 42

I once thought chipmunks were cute, until they dug a network of tunnels along the side of my house. Water flowed into the tunnel network during heavy rains, causing the foundation to shift. Repairs cost me $8K. Beware.

Posted by: Gareth | Jun 1, 2013 10:43:14 AM | 38

network of tunnels? maybe they are the FSA special forces?

Posted by: brian | Jun 2 2013 3:02 utc | 43

Wonderful b. I live in a Red Squirrel "hot spot" here in Scotland. There is a trapping programme aimed at reducing the Grey Squirrel population. However, the Red is at it's northwestern limit here and the spread of the Grey is just one of the problems they face.

Posted by: BillyBoy | Jun 2 2013 10:35 utc | 44

As for feeding them b. The really lean time for Red Squirrels is June/July. They prefer small seeds such as conifer seeds and Birch seeds which come later in the year.

Posted by: BillyBoy | Jun 2 2013 10:46 utc | 45

I'm a professional conservationist by the way.

Posted by: BillyBoy | Jun 2 2013 10:46 utc | 46

Grey squirrels here on LI.They've(at least 5) found a nice home under my solar panels and peer over the gutter and screw with my two housecats(Angus and Bonnie) who stare upwards(with quivering mouths) through the windows at their whiskers and nose protruding over the gutter.Funny dat.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 2 2013 14:43 utc | 47

"There is a trapping programme aimed at reducing the Grey Squirrel population"

How does trap the grey without also trapping the red? Or do you just let the red ones go?

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 2 2013 14:51 utc | 48

better red and well-fed...

Posted by: b real | Jun 2 2013 15:36 utc | 49


Yeah Guest, you just release the Reds. Lets not say what the guidelines for the Greys are. ;o).

Not easy when you love animals.

Posted by: BillyBoy | Jun 2 2013 16:58 utc | 50

Only one Squirrel can get in a trap at a time.

I'm not actually involved in Red Squirrel conservation anymore. Environmental issues take a back seat during these times of "austerity" and funding streams start to dry up.

My personal view is that certain "totem" species get more money thrown at them that others. Usually "cute" or "fierce" and, many more common species are ignored even when they are indicators of a healthy countryside.

So, proportionally, more money goes into the conservation of these species than others. In the case of Red Squirrels, in Scotland, they are at the limit of their range and it could be argued that money is better spent on other conservation projects which could indirectly benefit them.

A good example is the control of deer populations which are unaturally high in Scotland.

Simplisticly - bring the deer numbers down, they retard natural regeneration in forests and hence impact on ALL the species that live in the forest. Reduce grazing pressure by controlling one species and benefit thousands of others that live in the forest ecosystem.

Thanks for listening. Conservation is my greatest interest, followed by internation affairs.

Posted by: BillyBoy | Jun 2 2013 17:22 utc | 51

@51 thanks for your good work. Its people like you who keep it alive all the many forces in the world which seem hell-bent on destroying it.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 2 2013 17:34 utc | 52

A point about the sad quality of the photographs. The window is to the west and it was late afternoon. The counter-light was quite extreme. I once tried using a flash. But the squirrel didn't like that and hushed away. Any ideas how to do better under such lightning conditions?

Posted by: b | Jun 2 2013 17:38 utc | 53


Is that Long Island (LI)?

Posted by: BillyBoy | Jun 2 2013 17:40 utc | 54

better red and well-fed...

Posted by: b real | Jun 2, 2013 11:36:19 AM | 49

better red than dead!

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2013 0:31 utc | 55

Posted by: BillyBoy | Jun 2, 2013 1:22:47 PM | 51

nature has/had a better system of conservation

Posted by: brian | Jun 3 2013 0:32 utc | 56

there was a hummingbird that got stuckin my skylight last week. i thought i heard a thump but when i looked up nothing was there. it was so tiny is was in some groove on the inside edge, and as a result i didn't notice it again until it was almost completely out of energy. so when i got up on the very tall ladder it got away but it couldn't fly all the way down, it went careening. so i picked it up carefully in a shall and it squealed and made a noise and was freaked out but it couldn't fly away. i tried to feed it some water, not interested. no sugar in the house. then got some honey and put it in front of it's beak and i never imagined what a hummingbird tongue looked like before , but it was amazing. it came out from it's beak the entire length of it's beak nd more. it's almost clear looking, as thin as a thread. and it dodged in and out sofast and ate a fair amount of honey. i tried to put it on the ground so it would fly away but it clutched onto my shawl. it had the tiniest little claws i ever saw. all the time i was talking to it. finally it tried fluttering it's wingsand then it took off.

oh, one more thing but important. after it fell it had this little dull red colored spot under it's beak and i thought it was some of the spiderweb residue i hadn't got off before (i forgot to mention the spider webs) i tried to touch it but figured out it was a discoloration in the feathers. after it ate some honey that spot was completely glowing like neon pink.

Posted by: annie | Jun 3 2013 3:18 utc | 57

and wonderful photos b..your little friend is so cute!

Posted by: annie | Jun 3 2013 3:24 utc | 58

Beautiful photos, lovely idea. Thanks.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 3 2013 7:07 utc | 59

@ Brian 55

True Brian. The problem is that in the developed world there are few ecosystems that are untouched so we need to tinker. The preference would be to allow the systems to reach a state of dynamic equilibrium naturally.

Posted by: Billy boy | Jun 3 2013 7:50 utc | 60


Could you position a mirror opposite the window to reflect the light back onto the squirrel?

Posted by: Billy boy | Jun 3 2013 12:26 utc | 61

I remember those red guys well from my time in Blankenese. Great pictures! Photographing wildlife is not easy.

I'm curious what kind of nuts you feed them and if they have any preferences.

It sounds like your concern for your guests manifested in dependency theory rationing is trumped by their artful implementation of interspecies division of labor ;-) ...Wildlife management, yes, but who is really managing who?

Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Malooga | Jun 4 2013 5:44 utc | 62

b @ 53.
Billy Boy's mirror alternative to flash would be worth a try if you've got a mirror handy that's big enough to illuminate some background as well as the squirrel.
The pics are actually pretty good given the extreme camera-unfriendly back-light situation. Zooming helped but bcs most of the background was still too bright the improvement was marginal. The only way to take HQ pics in that situation is to take an under-ex pic and an over-ex pic and blend them in Photoshop et al, and the result would hardly be worth the effort.

Speaking as one who has embraced the virtues (and inherent low-light shortcomings) of cheap cameras, I'm guessing yr camera is mid-spec and was set on auto exposure, or one f-stop either side (best choice 99% of the time regardless of price bracket).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 4 2013 17:52 utc | 63

Ahhhhhhrrg Hoarsewhisperer - I don't do digital pictures.

I Agree the exposures are pretty good considering the backlighting.

Posted by: BillyBoy | Jun 4 2013 21:12 utc | 64

Billy Boy. I was delighted with my Pentax ME with 28-70 zoom lens for 20+ yrs. But I was pleasantly surprised when I bought a superceded Kodak Z x1 for $60 a few years ago. It's only 3Mpixels/720p but the shots were finely detailed (good enough) on TV or laptop screen. I have several (cheap) cameras now incl a vid-cam with a (ridiculous) ~ 3500x zoom which takes deliciously detailed shots of the Moon at ~ 250x. The truly liberating thing about digital is the total expunging of the fear of 'wasting' a shot/film. Now, it's blaze away and delete. Review and re-shoot is a (previously impossible) big deal too, for me. But the best development is miniaturisation. I carry a little 5x 14Mp camera (stopped down to 8Mp) smaller than a pack of cigs around with me all the time. 95% of the outdoor pics it takes are indistinguishable from the pics a friend's 20-something MP ($10,000+) Canon/Nikon takes - until zooming in on them.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 4 2013 23:13 utc | 65

Hi Hoarse.

I have a wee Fuji 12megapixel compact which we use for holiday snaps and suchlike, it takes good shots. I have a 30 year old fully manual Nikon F3 and a range of lenses which I use for wildlife and landscape shots. I actually like the fact that I have to consider every shot very carefully because it's £10 a roll and about the same to get the transparancies processed and a hi res disk of the shots. I like the aesthetic I suppose.

Posted by: Billy boy | Jun 5 2013 7:41 utc | 66

Hey, Billy Boy, we've been talking at cross purposes.
If you use a full suite of lenses with a Nikon F3 at its heart, and chase wildlife with it, you're a photographer.
I take snapshots. If the focus, composition and exposure are OK then the image captured by the camera is ALWAYS good enough for me. I never have pics or parts of pics enlarged or otherwise enhanced. I bought the Pentax from a friend who was moving upmarket. He took many pics which, when enlarged, made stunning posters. I just used it for nice snapshots and it never took a bad one.
But, for a snapshooter like me, digital cameras are superior to the Pentax in every way that matters.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 7 2013 8:55 utc | 67

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