The Glaciers of Greenland are

The glaciers of Greenland are retreating at a frightening pace.

One of the sad illusions to which many of us cling tightly is that humanity will eventually “get it” and we’ll get off our collective ass and finally act.

That may or may not happen.

What I know for certain is that a lot of the damage that’s been done can never be reversed.

Scientists who are keeping an eye on the loss of ice on Greenland’s continent are now saying that the losses will not stop even if the planet stopped warming today.

And we all know it won’t.

So the signs keep coming. If you understand the gravity of the situation, you don’t need any more evidence.

There are, of course, many who don’t believe the evidence. The evidence that gets clearer every day.

The sad truth is that in so many cases, those are the people who could do something about it.

So we keep slouching toward that day of reckoning. The day when it becomes actually impossible to deny the reality of what’s happening.

And then we get to see what judgement humanity will impose on those who were actively engaged in the campaign to conceal the truth about the inevitable consequences of treating our Planet like an inexhaustible vending machine.

Like a playground.

Like that dark, dead end on that obscure county road where we go to dump our old, tattered mattresses.

That reckoning is coming.


“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Some Good news for Grizzlies

Some Good news for Grizzlies

Grizzly bears have been off limits to hunters for a while. But–sad to say–that changed recently and there were three seasons scheduled where these marvelous animals could be hunted down.

They now have a reprieve and that’s a wonderful thing.

It’s quite possible that due to pressure from hunters and others that grizzlies may be back in the cross hairs soon. But this is, nevertheless, a very good thing indeed.

If you’d like to have a closer look at this bit of good news, just follow this link.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Banner photo from TheConversation.com

More signs of trouble

Here in the US, most of us are very much focused on the upcoming election and all the unprecedented, insane drama coming from Washington.

It’s hard to imagine it being any other way.

But while we’re dealing with a never-ending stream of outrages and crises, all that other stuff that was going on in our world is still going on.

One of those things is the welfare of our Earth. There are so many indicators that our planet is in a bad way. Well, that’s putting it mildly.

One of those signs is that it’s been unusually warm in Siberia this year. Scientists are now seeing temperatures that have never before been recorded north of the Arctic Circle.

It’s just one more piece of evidence. As though more were needed.

Stay engaged. Don’t let yourself slip into hopelessness and despair.

We’ve got to keep shining a bright light on the crises we’re facing on the environmental front.

We’ve got to learn all we can, stay engaged and put our hands to the work.

There are so many on the front lines–volunteers, laymen and professionals–engaged in this work, giving their all to make a difference.

We can support them by contributing our time, contributing financially and by refusing to let other priorities–as urgent as they are–keep us from addressing the singular problem that can render all of the others insignificant.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Something tells me…

Something tells me…

…it’s all happening at the zoo! And our visit last week confirmed how true that is.

Had a chance to visit The Brevard Zoo again just a few days ago. This fine Central Florida zoo–like most in the country–closed back in March. It reopened about six weeks ago but zoo-lovers must book well in advance and will not be admitted until the time of the reservation comes around.

The few guests that are admitted each half hour can take in some fine sights and see plenty of critters. It was reassuring that with the admission policies and the rules about the wearing of masks and social distancing, the zoo is as safe as any public place can be.

Enjoyed seeing many of the “usual suspects” on this visit. Below is one of the jaguars that call this zoo home. He was just chillin’ and though we only saw him from the neck up, it was pretty cool!

We stayed around to get another shot or two. But Jerry Jaguar soon got bored with our feeble efforts to immortalize him digitally and he went back to what he had been doing before we showed up. Napping, of course!

Because the Brevard Zoo is here in the East Central Florida region, it must have a gator or two. So here are a couple of photos featuring one of the reptilian superstars that were checking us out while I was angling for a good spot to catch him for posterity.

Mike Macaw was enjoying the pleasant mid-afternoon slice of a fine Thursday. As usual, he wasn’t doing much besides just looking authentic and colorful.

The Brevard Zoo has a large and colorful aquarium and it kept me entertained for quite a while. Here’s one photo that’s ready for prime-time.

Our piscine friends seemed to be enjoying their their afternoon cruising all about. I understand they sometimes travel in schools of three…

One of my favorite things to do at the zoo is to get photos of some of the vistas that don’t actually feature a creature at all. The beautiful landscapes at this–or any zoo–can keep a shutterbug like me entralled for hours.

Zoos are the one place where ordinary people can observe an assortment of animals, learn something about them and their habitats, and how they’re faring in the natural world.

The girl in this picture is enjoying a rare opportunity to observe a wild primate up close; this encounter was fun for all but–sad to say–involved neither a real girl nor an actually monkey.

The Brevard Zoo offers something you won’t find in most zoos: a chance to go on a guided kayak tour around a good portion of the park.

We arrived too late to take advantage of the tour but found that the view from the pavilion where guest wait until their tours begin, was splendid, indeed. Have a look, I think you’d agree.

Being annual passholders for this fine zoological park, located in Melbourne, Florida, is something we feel very good about. I’ve taken many trips to plenty of zoos; more than I can count, truth be told.

And I’ll take many more.

A proud, card-carrying lover of zoos, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credits Benjamin Basile

From the Eco File: Yes, 100° in Siberia

From the Eco File: Yes, 100° in Siberia

You know I keep a close eye on what’s happening with our Planet. Doing so can be really draining, as many of you no doubt know.

The latest distressing but very important news to land in my inbox: the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk recorded a high temperature of 100 degrees this last Saturday.

Yes, our planet’s in really big trouble. There are so many indicators pointing in that tragic direction. This is just one more.

Don’t look away.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

banner photo is from NASA

National Trails Day

National Trails Day

Now, that’s one of my fave days, to be sure!

We do observe this auspicious day each year and I’m thinking of some of the trails I have known and loved.

The banner photo is of one tiny stretch of the Florida Trail. This was taken in the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area three years ago.

Planning a trip back to that WMA before this year is over. Have covered many a mile and there are many, many yet to traverse.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Green Energy Up, Nuclear Down

Green Energy Up, Nuclear Down

The trend of renewable energy accounting for an ever-increasing share among the many ways we get power has been going on for years.

And now we see that this process of green energy displacing other forms of power generation — nuclear, in particular — is picking up speed because of the drop in consumption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This afternoon I came across a story from Yahoo Finance that delves deeper into this trend. I recommend it highly for anyone who’s environmentally conscious and/or is trying to pay attention to some of the larger trends happening in the US and on the Planet in general.

Hope you’re all doing well and staying safe as we go through this ordeal. I’m still on furlough and somewhat stressed about how all of this will work out.

One silver lining in the cloud is that I do have more time for blogging. More content is coming soon; most of which will be right down the middle of our theme of outdoor fun.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit ssuaphotos/shutterstock

Earth-lovers are smiling today

Earth-lovers are smiling today

A huge victory today, especially for those of us who care about our Planet. The Supreme Court has ruled that a Utility Co. providing water to Maui County must stop injecting contaminated wastewater into the ground where it eventually reaches the sea.

Because we’re living in the trump era, our EPA had sided with the polluters in this important case. No surprise there. But they’ve now been stopped by the SCOTUS and the utility company must now comply with the law and clean up the water before they inject it into the ground.

The real shocker for me was that Justices John Roberts and Neil Gorsuch sided with the four progressive justices and against the polluters on this important case.

The Hawaii-based environmental groups that brought the suit, nature lovers and clean water advocates everywhere are smiling today.

I have no doubt that the trump-appointed industry lackeys that now run our EPA are pissed today. That really makes my day.

For the details on this important story, follow this link.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

National Arbor Day 2020

National Arbor Day 2020

Yes, it’s National Arbor Day today. But with most of America — and the world, for that matter — staying close to home, celebrating this auspicious day is just a bit different this time.

My celebration of the day this year includes two things. Small things, but things which nevertheless help the cause.

I just made a donation to the Arbor Day Foundation. This is something I look forward to doing each year.

If you would like to do that today, follow this link.

I’m also going to use today’s hashtag from the A.D.F. on my twitter account. And that is: #ArborDayAtHome. When you use that tag, the Foundation will plant a tree for your gesture of support and good will. Up to 50,000 trees.

That’s a wonderful thing.

One more thought: if you’d like to take a look at the blog for the A.D. Foundation, go right here.

A certified, hard-core tree-hugger, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Looking for Lost Apples

Looking for Lost Apples

Did you know that there was a group of dedicated botanists and nature nuts who spend a lot of time scouring the American northwest looking for lost apples?

Well, I didn’t either!

But there is and I just found out about these folks and the work of the Lost Apple Project by reading an article I found in a friend’s tweet.

It’s by far the most interesting thing I’ve found while web-surfing for quite a while.

It was from reading that article that I learned that North America once had around 17,000 named varieties of apples and that botanists believed that all but around 4,500 had disappeared.

And folks who work with the non-profit Lost Apple Project have been trying to find, identify and preserve as many of those lost varieties as possible.

It came as very welcome news that they’ve had quite a bit of success this year; the article mentioned that they’ve come across at least ten varieties this season that were previously thought to have been lost.

Being the ardent nature-lover that I am, it was such a good thing to hear that the L.A.P. has been very successful of late. You might say that 2020 has been a very fruitful year for the folks at the Project!

To read the article in its entirety, follow this link.

And here’s a link to the Facebook page for the Lost Apple Project.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

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