Bulldog Really, Really Loves the Brevard Zoo

Bulldog Really, Really Loves the Brevard Zoo

I really love going to the zoo. I’ve been to four zoological parks in the last couple of years. And even though I can say I liked them all, I must add that the Brevard Zoo in Melboure is definitely my favorite.

One advantage they have over some other parks is that it was well-planned right from the very beginning. Some parks expand gradually and that’s a whole ‘nother thing, as the saying goes. So the B.Z. offers more than many of the others and each area or attraction flows naturally into the next one.

There are two different boat rides where visitors can get a different perspective on each area and the featured critters. Many zoos have one, having two here is very cool. And the train ride is lots of fun. Below is the rider’s view from the front train car. Because this visit was in late October of 2015, close to Halloween, they called it “the boo-choo train!” How cute is that?!

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A highlight at any zoo is seeing the primates; the monkeys, orang-utans, chimps and so forth; the Brevard Zoo is the only one I’ve visited that features the Siamang. This species looks to this layman something like a scaled down gorilla and I find them terribly interesting. They’re a type of gibbon and are native to Malaysia, Thailand, and Sumatra. They’re deathly afraid of water and can’t swim at all, so in that particular exhibit, zoo-goers are pretty close to the animals as the not-so-large moat is all that separates you from a siamang; there is no high fence.

There is an exhibit that features animals — and even botanical specimens — from the Caribbean and it’s no surprise that the zoo folk who designed this part of the park chose to wrap a pirate theme around it. I can’t remember any of the critters feature there, but here’s a couple of shots of mine that I like especially from the part of the park.

 

If you have small children, there is a splash pad here, right behind the pizza place. All zoos seem to have these, and it’s something parents of small kids like. They have a challenge course with very good and very high zip lines; that’s a fine addition, I must say. It is a separate business with a separate admission charge. You can do the zoo and not the zip lines or vice-versa. It’s a very full day if you or the kids opt for both. I did the zips and lived to tell the tale! They are NOT for the faint of heart! I just had to buy the tee shirt that says I got through the course!

One thing to add: I’m an annual pass holder and think it’s a very good value. If you’ve never gone that route, please know this: if you hold an annual pass to any accredited zoo, you receive half off when you visit any other one! I love that; it’s just one more reason to patronize a zoo in your neck of the woods.

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Heading to Cocoa Beach in a Few Minutes. You Can’t Stop Me!

Heading to Cocoa Beach in a Few Minutes. You Can’t Stop Me!

It’s been way too long since I’ve been able to bow at the Sacred Altar of Poseidon but I’m heading to the shore as fast as my PT Cruiser will take me!

I have done lots of very cool outdoor stuff in the last six months, but none of those fabulous things including watching the waves crash on to the shore or smelling the sea. Today’s the day I get to fix that problem.

It’s a common thing for me to be desperate to scratch the outdoor itch but stuck waiting for the arrival of the weekend. Happy to say that this week, that’s not the case and I’m only a few minutes from heading out the door with a cooler in one hand and my camera in the other.

If you’re chained to your desk for the next few days, you’ve got my sympathies. Here’s hoping that you’ll get to do something soon to enrich your life and get that sparkle back in your eyes; something that’s not necessary to pay the bills but that’s just for fun. For this puppy, today’s the day!

Soon to be streaking down the beachline, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

P.S.: Yes, we do have an expressway around here called “The Beachline!” Bulldog wouldn’t lie to you about such a thing…

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

A Visit to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa

A Visit to Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa

Had a really good time at Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa today. As many of you know, I really love zoos. Tampa has a good one in Lowry Park.

This too-cute cub is about six months old. She’s just adorable and had something she wanted to say in this frame. Not sure exactly what, but I love the photo.

And then, ducks. This is a pic I’m happy to pass along. They’re having a fine time doing what ducks do. I had a great time capturing the moment.

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The folks who designed the exhibitions at Lowry Park did a great job. The whole place is so visually interesting. I suppose you could say that about any zoo. But they carried it off better than any zoo I can think of. Here’s a photo that, I hope, conveys what I mean about that; it features no critters, just highlights how fine a job the zoo folk did in planning and executing a design at this fine park.

 

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There are so many great things to do here in Florida when you want to get outdoors. If you’d like to see a first-class zoo right here in the Sunshine State, plan a visit to Tampa’s zoological park. You’ll be glad you did.

 

To have a look at their home page on the world wide web, just follow this link.

 

A passionate lover of zoos, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

The Recent Return to Moss Park Was a Success in Every Way

The Recent Return to Moss Park Was a Success in Every Way

No, it wasn’t just about lots of butterfly pix. That was a real treat, for sure. Even if I’m the only one who thinks those photos constitute some really awesome camera work.

It may well have been my coolest encampment yet. And the gang of raccoons that plundered my food store and invaded the sanctity of my precious PT Cruiser last time around did not inflict great trauma on me on this visit to their domain.

And I got to know the park better, beyond the camping part of it, that is. Huge park with so many cool things to do.

This featured image is from that great mix of stalwart pines and majestic oaks that are all around the main swimming beach.

This photo is from my camp site looking in the general direction of the lake, though it can’t been seen in the photo. My space was also right next to the main pier.IMG_3693

Loved my spot even though this time around it put me a bit too close to a large group of very, very rowdy campers. I think it was something like a family reunion. There’s a little more to that story, but I’m going to keep it happy and upbeat. Loved the getaway, loved my pictures.

It’s looking like I’m going to have to dial back on the frequent camping in the next few weeks or months to bump up my earnings just a bit. Life is filled with these trade offs, isn’t it? We do what we must, I suppose.

I’ll still be scratchin’ that major “outdoor itch” I get a lot. But I got to TCB, too! I most certainly be posting stuff right here on da Bulldog blog all along.

Best wishes to you as we go through this early spring time. May it be an excellent season for us. A good time to get out there — frequently — and enjoy the wonders of Nature.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

J’ai seulement vu un papillon la première fois

J’ai seulement vu un papillon la première fois

When I saw this photo the first few times, I thought it was only one exquisitely beautiful papillon, but it’s two. Not sure why I didn’t see the second one for a while. She’s turned “on edge” so she seems one-dimensional. But there are two of them there. Working together. As butterflies should. Whatever that means!

Thinking today about how I often don’t “see” things accurately. About how it’s not unusual for me to need to take that second or third look. And about how flying solo is not necessarily the best way to go…

It’s my M.O. but not necessarily the best way to go.

I love to take pictures.

 

 

Still flying solo here in Central Florida, I am,

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Butterflies and Bees Work Together Well

Butterflies and Bees Work Together Well

Check out that bee in the center of the photo. It’s easy to miss him, as the butterflies tend to draw your eye.

I suppose in nature, everyone has their role to play. I guess that’s true of people, too. I’m thinking that now that I’m semi-retired, a good bit of my role probably has something to do with picture-taking! Loving it today.

 

Bulldog Ben

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile