Tabasco HQ is in deep trouble!

Tabasco HQ is in deep trouble!

I keep one eye open for important stories about worsening climate change. There’s certainly no shortage of those these days.

This article is about one spot where the results of warming and the accompanying rise in sea levels is affecting the heart of Cajun country. It’s a place where many folks hold strongly conservative beliefs and where warnings about climate change from scientists and treehuggers are at considerable risk of being ignored or blithely explained away.

Avery Island–where Tabasco Sauce has been made for over 150 years–is slowly sinking. But the main problem is that the water surrounding most of the island is rising very fast. Faster than almost anywhere else on the planet.

It’s not actually an island in the technical or scientific sense, but it’s going to become one soon. By 2050, according to recent estimates.

The Island rises 163′ above sea level now, but the marshes surrounding it are retreating by a staggering 30′ per year. At that rate, the 2,200 acres of Avery Island will shrink dramatically before the mid-century mark, leaving only its core above water. That’s hardly enough real estate to support the growth of peppers and the production of the hot sauce which has made Tabasco one of the best known brands in the food industry and made the McIlhenny family very, very rich.

The Guardian published an article just this morning by writer Oliver Milman which lays out skillfully and in painstaking detail how this unhappy development is unfolding. I strongly recommend this piece to anyone who’s interested in climate change, great hot sauce, or contemporary events affecting life in the American south.

Climate change is real. The seas are rising. And regardless of how long it takes for some Americans to see what’s actually happening all around us, we’re going to have to meet the challenges caused by the damage we’ve done to our planet, and we’re going to have to be for real.

The denying, the explaining away and the foot dragging have got to stop. If we still have a lot of people and a lot of corporations–who have a financial interest in mucking up the issue–pulling in the wrong direction, wondering how we’re going to keep our favorite hot sauce on the store shelves will be the least of our worries.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Photo of a random ship

Photo of a random ship

I know what you’re thinking! What a lame title for a blog posting!

Okay. You got me…

But somehow, it seems to fit.

This just might have been one of my worst photo sessions at the beach. Ever! But somehow, I like this pic.

I can’t get a really sharp focus on ships on the horizon with my Canon Powershot. That’s not a knock, I do like this camera.

But it has auto focus and that, of course, has its limitations.

I’m not the very best model of a photographer. Or a human being, for that matter. But for all my limitations, I’m still doing the job!

It’s true I’m out of warranty, but I most definitely should not be boxed up and sent back to the manufacturer!

So, here’s an imperfect pic that I still somehow find appealing.

Give it some love, people!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

The Beach–Good News and Bad News

The Beach–Good News and Bad News

Made my escape today and got to the beach a bit late. A little after 4 this afternoon.

The good news is that I was at the beach!

The bad news is that it was cold. And really windy.

The wind has not been my friend for the last couple of days. We get days like this here in Central Florida four or five times a year and it makes doing outdoor stuff no damn fun.

So now I’m in my fave Starbucks. I generally come here after a beach photo session to do some editing and enjoy the wares. Not much editing this time around…

I’m referring to the Starbucks where SR 520 meets A1A in Cocoa Beach. And, with a latte in one hand and a cookie in the other, I’m fine with this not-so-great beach outing.

What’s that old saying: a bad day at the beach is better than my best day at the office? Yeah, I think that’s how it goes…

Today I had a chance to prove it’s true.

 

 

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

And, yes, that is the actual Starbucks location featured in this post!

 

Happy First Day of Spring!

Happy First Day of Spring!

Today is the day that winter gives way to spring and we get to see nature waking from her slumber!

Of course, it’s been like spring here in Florida for all but a few days for quite a while, but I’m not going to go there right now…

I hope you’re doing fabulously today as we mark this milestone. It certainly would be a fine time to get out of your cubicle or that cramped apartment and see what delights Mother Nature has in store today!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

What’s Bulldog to do when he can’t get away for a camping trip?

What’s Bulldog to do when he can’t get away for a camping trip?

I’ll tell you what he does! He cruises over to one of his fave city parks here in Central Florida and fires up the grill.

Sometimes he does the full monte breakfast; it’s always fun to fire up that two burner camp stove.

There are a thousand reasons why I don’t get to camp or hike nearly as often as I like; could be a work schedule issue. Could be a budget thing. Very often it’s because my fave campgrounds are all booked up.

Boo-hoo-hoo!

The header photo for this post is of Downey Park on Orlando’s east side. This spot was very well-planned and put together and has way more grills than most parks. And even thought it’s usually mobbed–especially on the weekends–I usually have no trouble finding an available grill.

Lake Downey is a lovely spot on the eastern edge of the park; it’s a very nice place to take a photo or two. Or fifty or sixty. So here are a couple of photos I especially like of this corner of Downey Park.

I hope your week is off to a good start. I’m planning a beach getaway for later this week. Will let you know if I pull it off!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Dreams of a winter’s day in F-L-A

Dreams of a winter’s day in F-L-A

Sometimes when I come back from an outing, it takes me a while to adjust to my thoroughly-mundane existence again. Just living somewhere. Somewhere with a few walls, indoor plumbing and a roof.

It takes me a while before I can stifle the feeling that I was better off in a 102 sq ft tent with my trusty two burner camp stove, sleeping bag and car load of grits, gear and tools.

And a camera. Got to have a camera.

And when I review some of the photos, I’m sure I was better off nestled among the pines, oaks and saw palmetto, cradled in the arms of Mother Nature.

The banner photo for this post is one from a recent outing. One that takes me out of my boring and all-too-familiar domicile and transports me right where I’d like to be. Out in the real Florida.

The photo just below is one that reminds me of the view from my camp site looking towards one of the main trails. I like it. I’m heading back when I can get my work schedule dialed back just a bit.

Toso-camp-Feb27-2018 (4)

I didn’t mean to get myself into the frame, but there I am! It’s kind of funny. My shadow just loves to photo bomb me now and then; I just have to put up with it!

It’s the weekend, for heaven’s sake! Get outdoors! Just get off the couch, power down the PC and the tablet and go do something!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Full Moon over Tosohatchee WMA

Full Moon over Tosohatchee WMA

Last night there was a lovely full moon illuminating my camp site.

I don’t think I can truly describe what it was like. The magnificent moon shadows took my breath away; I was spellbound.

Last night was extraordinary for another reason. My youngest turned 31. Happy birthday, Ben! Good thoughts of you on a peaceful night. What a blessing.

One can never have enough nights like that. A complete feeling of contentment. A feeling that–at that moment–all is right with the world.

And as a look at the two piles of laundry demanding my attention at this moment, I’m still wearing a smile a got from staring at Luna for an hour or two last night. Sigh…

 

 

Moondog Ben Basile

 

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile