National Wildlife Day is…

National Wildlife Day is…

National Wildlife Day is… well, it’s complicated!

September 4th has been the day to commemorate National Wildlife Day each year, having been established back in 2005 by animal behaviorist Colleen Paige.

As you may know, there’s no shortage of days to celebrate a million different causes; many of them help mightily to get people’s minds, hearts and contributions focused on an event or a cause; some of them are very worthy, indeed.

National Wildlife Day would fall very close to the top of this dog’s list! It’s an occasion that’s very, very close to my heart.

So Colleen Paige, the founder of this noteworthy day, came to believe that, moving forward, it would be advantageous to celebrate the day on February 22nd to honor the memory of Australian zookeeper and conservationist Steve Irwin on his birthday.

Mr. Irwin, admired and loved by so many in the conservation community, entered the world on February 22nd of 1962. So he would have turned 56 this last February had he not died unexpectedly on September 4th of 2006. Yes, that was exactly 12 years ago today. 

Yes, it is complicated! To sum up where we stand with the celebration of National Wildlife Day right now: today is the day we’ve been celebrating NWD for the last 13 years. It’s the first September 4th since the change was declared, so although “thee day” will be coming around next February 22nd, five and a half months from now, it’s still an awesome thing to celebrate wildlife, advocate for policies and things that make it easier for wildlife and even throw some dollars in that direction, right now, today!

Visit the page for this fine and extremely worthy commemoration by  clicking here.

The World Wildlife Fund is a very well-known org doing fine work in this area. I’ve supported them and invite you to visit their site today.

Partnering with local zoos and wildlife parks is another effective way to help expand your awareness about wildlife and to help them survive and thrive!

If, like me, you’re in the Central Florida region, you may want to visit the sites for the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford or the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne by clicking in the appropriate places above.

Happy National Wildlife Day! Sort of!

 

Doing what I can for the cause today, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Thoughts on Labor Day 2018

First of all, let me wish all my friends–especially those of you who work for a paycheck–a very happy and relaxing Labor Day!

I come from a long line of working people. My grandfather was a mason and marble contractor in New York City in the period between the two World Wars.

It was a common trade for Sicilians and he was good at it.

I was the first in my family to graduate from college but it never became a defining factor in my working life. I’ve only held two jobs in the many years since graduation where my degree was a consideration and I’ve mostly worked in the hospitality industry.

That’s very common, as you no doubt know, for people here in Florida.

I most certainly am in that large category of American workers who depend on that paycheck and would have dismal prospects if or when their gig and that precious check it generates ever stop.

I don’t get this awesome holiday off every year, but am off today by shear dumb luck; I’m feeling mellow and relaxed as I type this. The Yankees are playing the A’s on the tube right now; sports are happening all day and night today!

Having said that, I do agree with folks who encourage us to think about the meaning behind these “3-day weekend” kind of holidays. Days like Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day, too! We’re inclined to see them merely as another cool day off with a barbecue and/or a beach trip.

It’s a wonderful thing that we do have a day to commemorate the American worker–and maybe even give him or her the day off–as having such a day was never a given but was, in fact, born from the darkest days the American worker had ever seen.

If you’d like to peruse an interesting and informative piece about Labor Day and what it’s all about, just click on this.

I am so ridiculously mellow and care-free today as I relax, blog a bit and watch some sports! I  hope your holiday is going well, too, and that your working life is not a painful dead-end you take part in just to keep your head above water.

But regardless of those particulars, may today and your future have lots of work, purpose and pay! Some happiness, some fulfillment and lots and lots of dinero!

And some leisure time to reflect on work, workers and why it all matters.

 

 

A relaxed puppy today, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

A little post-script: I know the theme of this blog is awesome outdoor adventures, but I’ve opted to stay in because I did work the whole weekend before today, there’s a ton of good sports on TV and I really avoid the crowds you find at beaches and parks over these holidays! But more good outdoor stuff is coming soon!

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Photography Matters!

Photography Matters!

Photography does matter! It certainly does to me; it’s a very big thing indeed!

I’m thinking you’re not too different from me on that score. Otherwise, you’d likely not be reading this post.

I keep my eye on a couple of calendars that track “National This Day” or “World That Day” and I think that’s a good thing. A lot of good conversation starters. And resources like that can certainly generate plenty of material for bloggers like yours truly.

A handful of those special days are really big for me.

World Photography Day, observed on August 19th each yearis one.

You might wonder how much importance I truly place on it, being as how the post is going up with a few scant minutes in the designated day.

That’s just because I had a distraction or two going on today. And because I’m of the  better late than never persuasion, here’s my tardy post where I try with 200 words and two photos to impress upon a handful of readers just how amazing the taking and sharing of photographs is!

The banner photo is one of which I am especially fond. That one was taken at Moss Park in southeast Orlando back in 2016.

And this one here, beneath the text you’re reading now is another favorite. I took it in Orange County’s Trimble Park in 2017. I haven’t published it anywhere before.

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Enjoy photography today! Any and every aspect of it.

And if you’re inclined to share some of your photos with us, that would be a wonderful way to mark the occasion. Whether you “beat the clock” or not!

 

 

 

An ardent practitioner and promoter of the photographic arts, I am,

Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

The forecast calls for chill

The forecast calls for chill

Somewhere along the line, someone decreed that today would be “National Relaxation Day!”

I’m down with that! And it’s a perfect time to pass along my sincere wish that you have an amazing and low-stress day!

This happens to be a regular day off for me. I realize that I may not have a lot of company, this being a Wednesday and all.

But whether you’re on or off the clock, I certainly hope there’s a healthy dose of tranquility and fun in your day.

If the outlook for your day doesn’t seem to be all that mellow, this may be a good opportunity to do what you can to turn it into a more serene scene.

My perfectly-chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio and I are rooting for you.

 

 

A delighted denizen of chilltown, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Happy Moon Day 2018, Folks!

Happy Moon Day 2018, Folks!

Yes, it is National Moon Day today. We observe it on July 20th each year because Neil Armstrong first walk on the Moon’s surface on this date back in 1969.

And, yes, I do remember exactly what I was doing on the day! I was touring the U.S. with a high school choral group called the Young Floridians in Concert. We were sponsored by Central Florida YFC and were travelling through upstate New York on that day, heading for our next show.

To help in some small way to mark this auspicious day, I’m contributing one of my own Moon shots I like the best.

You’re welcome!

If you’d like to leave a comment, especially if you have a story to share about what you were doing on that day, please feel free!

 

“Moondog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

It’s the 4th of July and this time…

It’s the 4th of July and this time…

It’s the 4th of July and this time our celebration is not like any other year in the 242 year history of our country.

The buffoon whose elevation to the highest office in the land occurred in January of 2017 has proved to be an unmitigated disaster for the USA. This #PoserPrez seems to spend all of his time watching Fox Noise, thinking of new ways to insult our allies and undo the considerable legacy of Barack Obama, all the while searching for new and disgusting strategies to cozy up to his man-crush, Vladimir Putin.

Well, when he’s not a Mar-a-Lago playing golf, that is.

There are so many dimensions to the tragedy unfolding in our corporate life today. As we come to the day on which we celebrate our Independence, it can be a challenge to choose exactly what it is about tRump and tRumpism that sucks the worst.

Is it his cruelty and arrogance? His hard-to-believe, near-total ignorance of the history of our nation? The fact that he knows less-than-zero about how the levers of government work?

Could it be the fact that he demonstrates no interest in carrying out the duties of the Presidency? Is it his complete and thoroughly-documented general incompetence?

Maybe it’s his constant lying, exaggerating, denying, minimizing and just completely making shit up?

Honestly, it’s hard to choose. Pick one. Keep in mind that my short list here is far from complete. Truthfully, I barely scratched the surface.

For me, it’s easy. It’s the fact that our #LyingLoserPrez is trying to march the country towards Fascism. All the signs are there. He is undermining the First Amendment’s protection of journalism, of a free press. He screams “fake news” whenever anyone in the media points out one of his constant lies or just refuses to flatter him sufficiently in their stories.

He is setting us up for a foray into fascism with his constant “other-rizing” of immigrants and minority groups, pushing them farther and farther to the edge of our society and making them vulnerable to having their rights limited or taken away altogether.

Our constitution mandates that everyone within the jurisdiction of the United States receives the protections it affords. Not only citizens. But our unPOTUS still feels perfectly at liberty to separate children from their parents, some of whom are as young as six months, and then lock them in cages; the few places we have been permitted to see where kids have been interned look startlingly like dog kennels.

And this is happening to families whose only crime is the misdemeanor of crossing the border illegally. That describes, roughly, 90% of the families and individuals who have been rounded up by ICE or the Border Patrol. If people crossing the border are asking for asylum, their coming to the U.S. is no crime at all! But they’re being interned and having their children taken anyway without a case being opened for their asylum request.

This would-be tyrant is also fond of ignoring the rule of law. Of acting as though the law of the land simply doesn’t apply to him. And–to compound the felony here–he believes that he has unfettered power to pardon, not only all his family and friends and staff who have engaged in criminal behavior along with him, but to pardon himself!

Right! That’s never been done in the United States. And wrap your mind around this stark reality: our President is claiming the right to pardon himself for crimes he keeps insisting he has not committed! It’s insane! And about 25% of the American people have no problem with it. Or any other criminal outrage coming from the accursed occupant of our White House.

So Happy 4th of July, patriot! Reflect on the unhappy state of our nation today. And resolve to defend Lady Liberty from the many crimes and outrages committed by this petty, corrupt madman. This thoroughly incompetent madman, at that!

And join your fellows in the resistance movement. If we don’t make common cause with one another and defend our once-great nation from this usurper, his enablers and minions, this 242nd celebration for America may be the last one where all her citizens enjoy the full rights and blessings granted them by the Constitution.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

National Love a Tree Day!

National Love a Tree Day!

Well, that’s what day it is! I’m feeling like they made one of those cool “National Days” just for me!

I love trees. I worship trees! No, I do! I’m just so tickled that this day does, in fact, exist! If it didn’t, I’d try hard to create it!

The banner photo is of a tree or two that I’ll remember for a very long time. Put a trip to Moss Park on your fun list today. That gem is in southeast Orange County, Florida.

And these three at the bottom are special, too. I’m making my way back to the old neighborhood soon to see them again.

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Hey, tree-lover! Get out there and admire a tree or two today. And then give him a big hug! With all that trees do for our species, so many others and for the planet, they certainly have earned our admiration and a caress or two from grateful humans!

And not just today! The Arbor Day Foundation is a non-profit based in Nebraska and its mission is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. To learn more about the work of the ADF, follow this link.

 

 

An earnest and devout lover of trees, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile