From the Wildlife File: a Happy Ending in Florida!

From the Wildlife File: a Happy Ending in Florida!

As you no doubt know, I’m a passionate environmentalist and advocate for wildlife.

And because we’re in such dire straits right now as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, I was quite happy to get a bit of nature news in my inbox just now. Some “feel good” news and I’m more than happy to pass it along.

An outdoor enthusiast passing through the Ocala National Forest a few weeks ago came upon an abandoned black bear cub on a dirt road.

This alert citizen did what anyone would do.

He took our hapless cub to a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer.

Because I’m an annual pass holder at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, I’m one of the many zoo supporters who got “the rest of the story” about our tiny, furry friend.

He’s now thriving in the care of of Zoo Curator Lauren Hinson and the rest of the staff.

If you’d like to read more about this happy situation, just follow this link.

I loved reading all about it. In fact, I could bear-ly contain my enthusiasm as I passed my delighted eyeballs over the happy missive from the PR crew at the zoo!

Yeah, sorry not sorry!

I hope you’re getting some relief today from the cares of the day. Take good care of yourself, by all means.

And look out for all God’s creatures, whether they walk around in jeans, suits or in their bear skin!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo of a different cub: Nat’l Wildlife and Pictures

A word from Florida’s FWC with Spring on the way

A word from Florida’s FWC with Spring on the way

Each year around this time, wildlife obey Nature’s directive to shift back into high gear.

And each year, our Fish and Wildlife Commission here in the Sunshine State puts out info so the public can be “springtime savvy” as far as helping critters of all kinds is concerned.

Helping–or in many cases–just making sure that our behaviors and actions don’t hurt.

If you’re here in Florida, taking a look at the site and this helpful bulletin would be a good thing.

And it’s a very good thing for those of us who love critters to watch out for them all throughout the year no matter what neck of the woods you may be in.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Overuse of plastics: the French are getting serious

It’s undeniable that the use of plastics for practically everything is terribly convenient.

It’s also undeniable that this convenience has a huge downside; the Planet is becoming a trash heap and it’s having a devastating impact on wildlife everywhere.

It’s imperative that we get serious about this and make some real changes.

Yes, I know this will not be easy.

A tiny bit of good news: the French are getting serious about weaning themselves off of the use of  plastic for everything. And it’s having an impact.

Of course, it would have an even greater impact if we in the U.S. were to follow their lead.

But it’s virtually certain that our resistance to change, coupled with the determination of the Fossil Fuel industry to prioritize its profitability over the welfare of the environment, will mean that we will never actually rise to meet the challenge.

This is regrettable, to say the very least.

And it’s just one more reason–and there are so many–that the outlook for our Planet is very bleak.

We had better wake up.

Not only about our use of plastics, but about a whole range of issues that are contributing to this horrible degradation of the Earth.

Will we ever rise to meet the challenge?

I wouldn’t say there’s no chance.

But I wouldn’t  bet the rent that we will.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Still more troubling signs for our Earth

Those of you who know me know that I’m very much focused on environmental issues.

If I say something about the degradation of the Earth and that we’re all in deep trouble as these trends proceed, no one will be surprised.

But as more and more signs and facts come in, I’ll be passing them along.

Don’t turn away. Get involved.

The signs are everywhere. I wish it were not so.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wekiwa Springs in November

Wekiwa Springs in November

My traveling companion and I made a trip to Wekiwa Springs earlier this month.

It was a great trip and we enjoyed it immensely.

She had not seen it before; had not seen any of our fabulous State Parks here in the Sunshine State and she loved it.

The banner photo is of the bridge that visitors see when they leave the parking area and walk towards the springs.

I’m sure I’ve taken well over a hundred photos of this beautiful and well-loved sliver of the Park. I’m quite pleased with this one.

You can rent canoes and kayaks here and paddle about to your heart’s content. Here you can see plenty of colorful kayaks just waiting to launch.

I’ve had many friends who swear that kayaking is THEE way to go when you’re near the water. I’m sure that their feelings about that are quite well-founded, but I’m more of a canoe guy! Here four of them greeted us when we came of the way with our cameras in hand.

We are planning another visit soon. This time we’ll be set to camp again. It’s really hard to beat this gem of a park when it’s time to pitch your tent and set up camp.

I will keep you posted on that, of course. Here’s a photo of two happy outdoor-folk getting a selfie in one of Florida’s best outdoor spots!

If you’d like to visit the Park sometime soon or simply learn more about it, just follow this handy link.

If you do make it out to Wekiwa Springs, I’m quite sure you won’t be disappointed!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day

Today is National Public Lands Day and it provides a good occasion to learn more about our National Park system and public lands in general. And to learn what volunteer opportunities there are to preserve and improve America’s public lands.

If you’d like to do any of that, this link would be a pretty good place to start.

The current administration seems to be pulling in the opposite direction. This is not a good thing. Not at all.

If you’d like to take a look at that issue, just follow this link.

Happy National Public Lands Day to all of you today. May we do all we can to keep our Country’s parks and public lands some of the best on the planet and pass this wonderful legacy on to the generations to come.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Ben is not the owner of this splendid photo and believes it to be
covered under Fair Use

Canaveral National Seashore in Dorian’s Wake

Canaveral National Seashore in Dorian’s Wake

Made another trip out to the Canaveral National Seashore yesterday and it was a bit different.

It was our first visit since Hurricane Dorian passed by, skirting our coastline.

Although the storm never got closer than about 50 miles offshore, the unmistakable tell that Dorian had come and gone was litter on the beach.

I’m happy to report that we saw no large items, but lots of flotsam and jetsam a lot assorted small debris. Bottle caps and plastic items of every kind and description were all over the beach.

I’m pretty sure that the rangers saw to it that the larger, uglier debris was removed but didn’t have the manpower to get the rest of it. I’ve been to the park many times and the beach has always been pristine.

As you might imagine, it was a bit off-putting to see it that way.

Here’s the silver lining in that dark cloud: those of us who like to pick up seashells when we go to the shore had thousands of shells of all kinds right there for the collecting.

I’ve never seen that at the beach, either. And we came back with quite a haul.

I’m planning another trip to the park soon to do what I can to get more of Dorian’s debris off our beloved beach. We couldn’t do much this time as we didn’t anticipate the situation and the park service does not put out trash cans on the beach.

We will be prepared next time.

Get outdoors, people!

Find some oasis of beauty and tranquility in your neck of the woods.

Enjoy it. Enjoy it and leave it a little better than you found it.

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile