Travel Theme: Animals


Ailsa’s theme this week is Animals. I don’t take that many pictures of animals, unless they are shorebirds. Even those tend to be reluctant subjects, ones I am able to capture because they don’t fly away that quickly!

But, I did take photos of a friend’s puppy recently. Meet sweet Bella:

Sweet Bella

As I was looking through my archives, I thought about how the Feast of St. Francis was this past week. A few years ago, I happened to be in New York the first weekend in Oct, and I just happened to hear music as we exited our friend’s apartment, drawing us towards St. John the Divine. We knew that their Annual Blessing of the Animals was a big deal, and one that is difficult to get admittance tickets to the Cathedral. What we didn’t know was that there was a procession outside in the garden.

This was before I decided on a whim that I wanted to learn to take photographs rather than snapshots and acquired a DSLR. I found the photos I had taken with my phone. In all but one only part of the animal is seen — and sometimes it wasn’t the part that you would want to see! But here is one photo that I managed to capture:

Llama, Blessing of the Animals @ Cathedral of St John’s the Divine, Oct, 2009.

I like the idea of recognizing animals and especially our home pets have in our lives. Pets are a blessing to many people. As we were catching a cab to get on our way, I noticed that one of the busses that had transported people and their pets to the ceremonies was Fox Charters. I think now that I have been taken photographs for a few years, I would have been sure to capture that rather than just laugh at it. I haven’t taken too many photos of animals since then, but I have taken a few of statues of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals. There was always a statue of St. Francis in my mother’s garden. There still is:

One of many versions of St. Francis that has graced my mother’s garden over the years.

And here is another, from a friend’s garden, where St. Francis appears to seek shelter under a weather-worn wood roof:

St. Francis visits gardens everywhere, apparently.

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3 responses to “Travel Theme: Animals

  1. Cute Bella portrait! I agree about the lovely aspect of the blessing of the animals. We did the Freedom Trail in Boston this past weekend, and there is a Francis of Assisi garden at the back of the Old North Church I never knew about before!

  2. Bella is a sweet little thing

  3. A lovely article. I am very fond of animals and feel an affinity with the patron saint of animals, Saint Francis. The ceremony of blessing the animals sounds amazing. I would love to be there. Such a lovely thing to do. Thank you for a lovely start to my day. Blessings from Lizzie Joy