March 10, 2012

Long Island Pets & Poems

Last Sunday morning, I took a drive over to Suffolk Community College where the Long Island Pet Expo was being held. Set in the gymnasium, this event featured aisles and aisles of vendors, rescues and adoptions, petting zoos, and performance areas. As I took my time walking through the various booths, quite a few interesting animals caught my eye. The beautiful, vivid plumage of a Blue Macaw instantly brought to mind scenes from the Dreamworks movie "Rio." At the next stall, a Newfoundland dog sat looking like somewhat of a canine bear, his eyes gentle and sweet, his fur fluffy. His disposition was so wonderful that I just wanted to wrap my arms around him and give him a big hug. Another very docile creature that I met was the alpaca. He was sitting so calm and still that I wasn't sure at first if he was an actual living animal. It was only after I began petting him on his soft muzzle that he finally turned and looked at me with his huge, round eyes. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Dog Arena featured several performances in speed and agility. I took a seat on the bleachers with my camera at the ready, however, photographing a dog in action is rather like trying to take a picture of lightning. When my finger would finally hit the shutter, the action had already passed.

My favorite part of the Pet Expo was a booth called the "Reptile Rainforest." This spot featured giant frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, tarantulas, glow-in-the-dark scorpions, and even a very rare albino alligator. This white gator named "Creole" is one of only 30 in the entire world.

To finish off my Sunday afternoon, I headed over to the Walt Whitman Birthplace for the second engagement in the "Walking with Whitman" series. This was a very well-attended event that featured poets Brendan Constantine, Daniela Gioseffi, and Quincy Troupe (accompanied by guitarist Kelvyn Bell who played some excellent jazz and blues). I'll conclude this post with the best quote of the day. It came from Mr. Constantine, who said, "I told my father, 'When I grow up I want to be a poet.' He replied, 'You can't have it both ways.'"

"Jesus replied:
'Love the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your mind.'"

~Matthew 22:37