A Sad Reminder About Nature

A Sad Reminder About Nature

Those of you who’ve read this blog much know what a total tree-hugging nature nut I am. No doubt, you love Mother Nature as much as I do.

Having said that, the natural world with all its awe-inspiring beauty and diversity is like anything else: it has an up side, and a down side.

There was a horrific gator attack here at Disney World, of all places, back in June of 2016. I did blog about that at the time.

I thought back over that story when the news about this week’s gator incident broke.

We all love to visit natural and wild spaces; no one more than me. But this event has reminded me that we see our Mother’s dark side, so to speak, every now and then and we don’t have the luxury of getting the “good part” without the other.

There’s no need to get all the details about it; it’s kind of dark subject matter for me, but seemed important, none the less. (Partly because I’m a long-time resident of Central Florida.) But you can, if you wish, read more about his unfortunate story out of the south Florida town of Davie here.  

Enjoy your outdoor adventures. And be careful when you’re exploring Mom’s back yard. There are millions of other creatures who live there full time.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Honey, I forgot to duck!

Honey, I forgot to duck!

…said Ben never!

But enough silliness! Some of you may remember when that somewhat unusual phrase was uttered by Ronald Reagan back in the early ’80s.

I’ve never said that, because when I’m around waterfowl of any variety, I whip out the camera and just begin to duck away!

I duck early. I duck often. I duck every chance I get.

The banner photo today is of one good opportunity to duck that presented itself at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa not too long ago. I have not featured it on my blog until now.

I’m just tickled pink at the thought that this photo could very well be the best duck pic you’ll see all day!

Hope you get out soon to see something good beyond those confining walls which encapsulate you through most of your day.

And it wouldn’t hurt to take a photo or two!

 

 

Accepting my home confinement for now, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

PS: I’m not saying that this fellow is definitely a duck! I’m much better at photography than I am at waterfowl identification. If it’s not, and you know what it actually is, please straighten me out with a comment! Seriously!

 

 

Downey Park revisited

Downey Park revisited

I had a little idle time this afternoon and started thinking about how I’ve had few opps to get out of the house lately.

It wasn’t a good feeling.

I started looking through some of the folders for pix on my hard drive and it occurred to me that I’ve got thousands of photos I’ve never edited. As many of you may know, there’s no end to the editing process if you take a lot of photos.

So I dove back into a folder from a visit about a year ago and found some photos I like a lot. I tinkered with them and I think some of them are ready to live off my hard drive now.

I did have a different pic of these same waterfowl in a posting a long time ago. This is a good one, too and I’m happy to include it here.

DowneyPark-may2017-wrkd-WRKD-use-em-3b (1)

I’ll offer one more before I get off the net and get lunch started. It’s from that lovely afternoon and features a good look at the dock from which I took the first two pix.

DowneyPark-may2017-wrkd-WRKD-use-em-3b (56)

I’ve been wanting to get back to Downey. It’s on the east side of the Orlando metro area but outside the city limits. The Orange County Parks system here is so unbelievably good. Our parks and our library system are first class and those are two of the things I like best about living in Central Florida.

I said that the last pic was it for this posting, but I’m very pleased with how this editing session went, so I’m going to get one more up today. Appropriately, it’s a shot of me leaving the dock and walking back into the main part of the park.

DowneyPark-may2017-wrkd-WRKD-use-em-3b (57)

I truly do love taking photos. And I really love blogging. That photo session ended and I’m wrapping up this post, too.

I have been trapped inside for three or four weeks now, and I don’t like it! I’m pouting right now but even so I’m buoyed by the knowledge that I’ll have other opportunities on other days to escape, put my camera to good use and enjoy what I’ve been missing lately.

That’s a good feeling.

 

Chained to my laptop for now, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

 

The Invasion of the Mermaids!

The Invasion of the Mermaids!

While i was at work Thursday evening, I noticed that a guest was checking out two of the Mermaids found on one of our displays in the store.

Then I noticed that the guest was sporting a mermaid tattoo on her left arm. I suppose that’s why she gazed at her sister mermaids with such longing in her eyes…

If I could have bought them for her, I would have.

What are the odds that a shopper with a mermaid tattoo would come across our mer-folk in the store that evening?

Well, I have no idea, but it seems like King Neptune 🐟 was winking at me or something! 

 

 

Heading to the shore soon, I am,

“Beachdog Ben” 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.

%0-MetroWst-CC-7th-green-worked (11)

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

 

 

A grim milestone for Earth

A grim milestone for Earth

The Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of many scientific bodies that monitor CO2 levels on our planet and they noted in the last few days that we’ve crossed an alarming threshold.

After examining the data for the month of April, they’re announcing that the concentration of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere has crossed the 410 ppm threshold for the entire month, something which hasn’t happened on our planet for 800,000 years.

This is a very bad thing.

The Nation seems to be totally polarized now. About most any subject relating to our common life. I would include anything relating to politics; issues around the environment, especially climate change, are certainly on the list.

As I post on another grim event relating to the change in climate on our planet, I know that readers who live in the fact-based world and embrace science will not need any more evidence to persuade them that the time for foot-dragging is over.

Those who draw their opinions from science-deniers and the drivel put out by agencies who get their funding from corporate interests will not be persuaded by anything they read, especially on an obscure blog with a tiny readership.

But I’m going to go on beating the drum.

To see a timely and very informative article about this grim milestone and what this uber-high concentration of atmospheric CO2 means for humanity, just follow this link.

To have a look at the home page for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and learn more about their amazing work, click here.

The longer we wait to take action, the harder it will be to mitigate the damage to our Earth.

 

Bulldog Ben Basile

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Ben does not own this photo and believes it is covered under Fair Use.

 

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