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



Happy First Day of Spring!

Happy First Day of Spring!

Today is the day that winter gives way to spring and we get to see nature waking from her slumber!

Of course, it’s been like spring here in Florida for all but a few days for quite a while, but I’m not going to go there right now…

I hope you’re doing fabulously today as we mark this milestone. It certainly would be a fine time to get out of your cubicle or that cramped apartment and see what delights Mother Nature has in store today!



“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile


Full Moon over Tosohatchee WMA

Full Moon over Tosohatchee WMA

Last night there was a lovely full moon illuminating my camp site.

I don’t think I can truly describe what it was like. The magnificent moon shadows took my breath away; I was spellbound.

Last night was extraordinary for another reason. My youngest turned 31. Happy birthday, Ben! Good thoughts of you on a peaceful night. What a blessing.

One can never have enough nights like that. A complete feeling of contentment. A feeling that–at that moment–all is right with the world.

And as a look at the two piles of laundry demanding my attention at this moment, I’m still wearing a smile a got from staring at Luna for an hour or two last night. Sigh…



Moondog Ben Basile



Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile




No Trip to the Beach for YOU!

No Trip to the Beach for YOU!

For the last two days, I’ve had the feeling that the Universe is screaming that message to me.

I don’t like it!

So I’m pouting. Big time.

One of the things I do to help me cope when I’m dying to get away but can’t is to look back over some photos of trips past.

I actually does help. A little.

So the Featured foto is one I like. Seeing it is not the same as being at the shore and listening to the waves coming in.

But it helps.

If you need to get away, if you’re fed up with seeing the same four walls, just do it.

Sneak out if you have to.

Call out from work if there’s no other way.

Make it happen.



Longing mightily for the shore, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile





More Photos of the Tosohatchee WMA coming soon

More Photos of the Tosohatchee WMA coming soon

I posted a write up about the recent open house at the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area about a week ago. It might have given the outdoor enthusiast a pretty decent feel for what that very cool event was like.

What I didn’t do was post more than just one or two pix about the hike we took. Just a quick post today to let you know that I’m putting together a better post about the hike specifically.

I had a lot of fun and took over a hundred pix on our trek through one of Florida’s natural spaces; soon I’ll have that feature up. Until then, the banner photo is one of the shots I like best.




“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile


About the Open House at the Tosohatchee WMA

About the Open House at the Tosohatchee WMA

This post took a while. Bulldog’s had a lot on his plate of late. But that event at the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area was very cool, and there’s much on which to report.

First of all, this open house took place on Jan 27th and the occasion was the 75th anniversary of the Florida Wildlife Commission. I was surprised at how robust the turn our was that day. And all the staff I spoke to were quite pleased with it.

The banner photo you see with this post is of some of the FWC crew who were on-hand for the event. There were plenty of staff there, and all the ones I spoke to were very helpful in answering questions and telling parts of the story of the Commission.

You may know that the FWC here in Florida has its own fire crews. They do respond to fires that fall to other agencies, but their primary mission is to be the dedicated team to carry prescribed burns and to respond to wild fires for the FWC. Two of the crew were on hand for this open house and answered a thousand questions; about half of those were from me!

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One of the activities on that fine Saturday afternoon was for the kids. Volunteers were on hand to help them “make” a pizza showing them the critters one can encounter in natural Florida and WMA’s in particular. There were no kids at all under the tent when I stopped by and the helpers were really bored. So they prevailed on me to go through the pizza-making process and learn–as the kids do–what one can see in the under-appreciated and undeveloped parts of the Sunshine State.

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Of course, there were EMT’s on duty and ready to respond to any situation which called for their skills. I think they were really bored, what with the moderate temps that day, but they no doubt had lots of chances to tell attendees of all ages about what they do.

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There were way more things to do at this great event which commemorated 75 years of service by the Fish and Wildlife Commission than I could possibly cover here; suffice to see it was a cool event and I enjoyed myself immensely–and learned some great stuff, especially in my many chats with the helpful crew.

On the way out, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pose with one of their airboats! Going to take one of those airboat tours before long; that would certainly  be material for another post on another day…

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Get outdoors, people! Here’s a cliche, but it’s true, nevertheless: you’ll be so glad you did!



“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credits Benjamin Lawrence Basile


Fine Fotos: A Beautiful Nature Spot in the Middle of Orlando

Fine Fotos: A Beautiful Nature Spot in the Middle of Orlando

As you guys know, posting pix of some of the beautiful places I visit is one of my very favorite things to do on my blog! I’m a total outdoor nut and proud of it!

Well, I had to go to my pharmacy today and pick up scripts. I was struck at how beautiful the campus of Aspire Health Partners is on Mercy Drive in Orlando. Well, it’s not the first time I realized that, but it is the first time I whipped out a camera to record the moment.

I like the way these pix turned out. Didn’t take lots of ’em. But very happy I didn’t let the moment pass.

Always tickled when I find spots of bucolic beauty in the middle of the city. I’ll soon be back haunting some of our lovely state parks here in Florida to drink in nature’s beauty in places where we’re a bit more accustomed to seeing it!


“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile