Alligator Season begins today

Alligator Season begins today

Here in the Sunshine State, there’s a Gator Season each summer that lasts for 30 days. The season opens today.

If you’d like to know more about gator hunting in these parts,  here’s a bulletin from our Fish And Wildlife Commission where you can get up to date on Gator Season if you wish.

I do hold a Hunting and Fishing license but won’t be out looking for gator hide this year. Don’t have the boat; don’t have the gear!

And you do need to pull tags for gators specifically, as you do in Florida for most game.

Haven’t done it, not likely I ever will but I’m thinking it’s about as intense as hunting gets.

For those of us who aren’t likely to ever join in for real, Swamp People on the History Channel is always an option!

 

Power-relaxing in F-L-A today, I am,

Bulldog Ben Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Help for the Eastern Indigo Snake

Help for the Eastern Indigo Snake

One of Florida’s iconic snakes, the Eastern Indigo has been having a tough time in the last little while. The problems are familiar and are not so easily remedied in a time where it seems like every square inch of habitat in Florida has a strip mall or three either being built on it or in the planning stage.

But the good guys are doing what they can to keep our native species from fading to black. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has a comprehensive plan to address this unhappy situation and the state expends a lot of resources to work that plan.

One of the many actions taken recently to help the Eastern Indigo Snake in particular was the release of 20 captive-bred specimens into the wild at the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve in Liberty County. That’s in the panhandle region of Florida.

Just how much help this will be to the Eastern Indigo is impossible to tell, but it certainly can’t hurt. The loss of habitat is problem no. 1 facing all of our native wildlife here in the Sunshine State, and though it seems cliché, it’s nevertheless true that the problem is only going to get worse before it gets better.

Well, human nature being what it is, I don’t think it will ever get better, but that’s fodder for a different posting.

For now, I’m glad to see that our FWC is doing fine work, helping to give our native species a fighting chance.

To read the entire press release about today’s very cool event, just follow this link.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

© 2018 Ben Lawrence Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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