Fish and Wildlife Commission Sets Aside a New Conservation Area

Fish and Wildlife Commission Sets Aside a New Conservation Area

Our FWC here in Florida is always engaged in doing things to protect wildlife and make it easier for Floridians to learn about and enjoy it.

In fact, to me, our Fish and Wildlife Commission is just about the only arm of state government here that I have complete confidence in. They do a lot of good work.

The commission released a PR bulletin today to let the public know that they’ve created a new Critical Wildlife Area in Volusia County. It’s called the Port Orange Colony and though it’s not of considerable size–being a bit less than two acres–it is, nevertheless, a very important site for many bird species. An incomplete list includes the tricolored heron, great egrets, the American oystercatcher and the brown pelican.

It seems to this nature lover to be a very significant action by the commission and the FWC chairman has said as much. Here’s what chairman Brian Yablonski said in today’s release about the creation of our newest CWA here in the Sunshine State:

“Protecting Florida’s birds is what gave rise to the conservation movement in the United States. This is a legacy moment that we leave for the ages as a Commission.”

Kudos to Florida’s FWC for this and all the fine work they do. To read the complete press release all about the Port Orange Colony, our newest conservation area, follow this link.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

 

 

Turkey Lake Park is a Peaceful Place

Turkey Lake Park is a Peaceful Place

I did enjoy my second outing to Turkey Lake Park. I returned from that relaxing two day visit last Tuesday.

By the way, there is no “Turkey Lake Park”, strictly speaking. The official name is Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake, but since I find that a bit cumbersome, the more concise descriptor works for me!

I’m preparing a thorough write-up of my visit, but posting that will have to wait for another day. For now, I’m content just to post a pic and go on the record as saying that I truly love this tranquil setting.

This photo is taken from close to where campers must park and points in the direction of the camping area; as you can see, it’s quite a hike to the actual site where one pitches his or her tent! A very nice spot, nevertheless!

The upside of this arrangement is that it does make your camp site a bit more peaceful and natural-looking; the downside is that it’s a looooooong way to haul your gear!

Another detail that may be of interest: that gentle slope from right to left in the photo leads right to the shore of said Turkey Lake, though that’s just out of the picture.

I will be following up with a more thorough account of this recent trip with more pix before long. In the meantime, let me implore you to put aside some of that stuff on your to-do list for a while and get outdoors!

 

Bulldog Ben Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Bulldog Needs to Get Back to Butterfly Heaven Soon!

Bulldog Needs to Get Back to Butterfly Heaven Soon!

Moss Park. Lots and lots of Butterflies. That was back in the springtime and it was an outdoor excursion I’ll always treasure. One of the best EVER for this puppy, sans un doute! (Can’t beat Florida in the spring if you’re a butterfly buff!)

I have posted with a few pics from the trip–that was in March of this year for any who’d like to see those photos–but today I have some that have not lived anywhere off my hard drive until now.

The one featured here is a fave. But I have plenty of others. That, of course, will be another post on another day…

 

Bulldog Ben Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

 

Bulldog Carries a Lot of Gear While Cruising the Camping Trail

Bulldog Carries a Lot of Gear While Cruising the Camping Trail

If you’ve taken a look around here on my blog, you know I love to camp. Some folks are into backpacking and carry everything they need on the camping trail on their backs. I’m going to try that one day.

Some folks are into RV’s. Good option for campers with deep pockets but to me it’s like taking a small apartment with you on your outdoor adventure.

My preferred camping style is somewhere in the middle. The term “car camping” is heard a lot on sites and blogs that cover “camping stuff” and that’s the way this puppy rolls! (By the way, the term does not refer to sleeping in the car.)

You’d be amazed at how much gear I can fit into my 2006 PT Cruiser. I added a car-top carrier about ten months ago and I tote around a lot of gear with my rear seats folded down. (PT Cruisers have a rear hatch.) In fact, I carry way more than I need.

I’m big on my tent, the Coleman Picton II. And, yes, you can see it in the Featured Photo for this post. My camping domicile measures 10’×10′ 6″ and is very comfy for one or two happy campers. (Shown here from the back side with the rear vent deployed.) They say it could sleep up to eight, but that would be sardine-style! It’s designed to keep you warm and dry in winds up to 45 mph, believe it or not. If rain is not in the forecast, I like to keep the rain fly off. Makes for comfy, breezy nights. More about that in a minute…

The tent is just over 5′ high and that’s just right for me to change clothes in. I’m not very tall so that works out fine. I don’t like sleeping bags or cots, though I have a good cot. I’m into sleeping in hammocks or recliners. I have a camping recliner that works very well; it’s the camping equivalent of a Lazy Boy (but can be carried by 1 person) and has the added bonus of eliminating the worry of acid reflux being a big deal and spoiling my camping fun. The docs tell me to never sleep laying completely horizontal anyway; so a camping recliner is a great way to go!

One other bonus of sleeping in a recliner: if I didn’t need to use the rain fly, in a recliner I can see the stars above me through the tent ceiling! It’s a great thing, one of the reasons I camp so much! Seeing the boughs of trees above–same awesome pay-off!

I have two different one-burner stoves, one propane, the other uses the “shorty” composite propane/butane tank. That one is so tiny when folded for travel. Most cooking, though, is with my Texsport 2-burner; you could think of this as a “store brand” Coleman 2 burner stove. Just a bit cheaper. It’s been a champ. It’s easy to clean and when folded is really easy to carry around. It uses the 1 lb propane tanks you can buy anywhere; if you have the adapter, you could use your big 4.5 lb propane tank.

I carry three tables with me, one three-footer that uses the screw-in table legs that store under the table itself when not set up. The other two are the type that fold/unfold easily and snap together; those are 18″x18″ and 24″x24″ and are handy in or out of the tent. The three footer is the main thing in the tent but is not bad for cooking with my two-burner stove at sites where that standard over-sized picnic table is not provided.

I could easily put together another post about all the lanterns, flashlights, torches and miscellaneous small gear and tools I take along. It’s a lot of stuff. I’m not going to walk down that blogging path right now, but the main take-away is that if you decide to try the car camping method, you’ll probably be amazed at how much gear you can take along! A 30 ft RV is NOT required to have fun camping!

And besides, camping is way too cool to leave to the RV crowd! I’m not downing those folks at all. But campgrounds are mostly designed with RV’s in mind. In fact, there are destinations that have “campground” in their name don’t accommodate tent campers at all! They’re NOT campgrounds, they’re RV Parks! That’s a pet peeve of mine and I really like sites that don’t treat car campers, aka tent campers, as second-class citizens!

As I type this, I have a reservation to camp later this month at Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake. I really love their tent sites even though it’s straight-up primitive camping. But regardless of where you prefer to pitch your tent, there’s nothing like camping for those of us who love to get outdoors. I do a lot of it, but not nearly enough! Get out of the house and out into nature, people! You’ll be glad you did!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

 

Bulldog’s Journey Towards Rustic, Sustainable Living

Bulldog’s Journey Towards Rustic, Sustainable Living

Bulldog’s deep, dark secret: I have a huge interest in greener, simpler living and have wanted to live in a rustic setting for many years. Would go off grid tomorrow if I had all my preps made.

For some reason I haven’t had too much to say about that here on my blog. I’ve done something in the last 24 hours that will help me escape my typical suburban life and get closer to bringing to reality this long-held dream. I’ve launched a new twitter account focused like a laser on the stuff I think about a hundred times a day but rarely ever talk about: sustainability, rustic or off grid living, homesteading, micro farming and the like! Throw in home brewing, raising chickens, and on and on!

I could go on about why I’ve mostly kept all of this locked up in my over-worked brain but that truly would be fodder for another post. The important thing is that the foot-dragging is over and I’m on my way to making this thing real.

Now as far as how a new twitter account is an important first step, it’s true I’ve been on Twitter for a very long time. But my main focus there is political stuff. And I’m thinking that the folks I’ve linked up with on twitter about politics and so on may or may not be into my love for going green and living in a 340 sq ft shack in the woods! So it seemed like a new and separate account in the Twitterverse was the way to go. (Not kosher with Twitter’s TOS, but we’ll ignore that for the moment!)

If you’re on twitter and you’d like to “hook up” over green stuff and rustic/small living, would love to see you on that platform. Click on this next link and you’ll land on my teensie-tiny little home in the vast wilderness of twitter! Or anytime you’re on twitter, just search @sustainable4me and you’ll also find me. Would love to see you over there!

I will have a lot more to say about these very cool–and very trendy–subjects here on my blog in the near future. Because of my limited financial means I’ve been acting as though I’d never actually be able to make any of those hopes and dreams real. And I’m going to stop letting such baleful thoughts “drive the bus!” Whether I get my life arranged the way I’d like or not remains to be seen. But I damn sure would never get it done if I waited until I could concoct some perfect effin plan in my head! I know it doesn’t work like that so I’m off on that journey!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Photo description: that’s the Florida Cracker Cabin found at the Barberville Pioneer Settlement in Barberville, Florida. B’ville is about 25 mins north of Deland.

 

 

Fave Fotos: Awed by Mr Tree’s Weighty Presence

Fave Fotos: Awed by Mr Tree’s Weighty Presence

Here’s a shot I like that has not lived off my hard drive until now. It’s from Silver Springs State Park, I site I really love.

I’ll be back in wild Florida again soon. My last camping reservation was changed on account of some pretty damn rainy conditions in my neck of the woods. But it won’t be much longer before I’m back in the arms of Mother Nature.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Fave Fotos: a Bird on the Shore of Lake Griffin from Mid-April

Fave Fotos: a Bird on the Shore of Lake Griffin from Mid-April

I got several good shots on this outing to Trimble Park earlier this year. Back on the 17th of April, to be precise. I’ve used a couple of them on this blog before, but this gem has not lived anywhere besides my hard drive until now.

I am about to be released into the wild again! Haven’t been camping for about three months or so. It’s just so ungodly hot here in Florida during the summer months! But I’ll be at one of my fave camping spots within a few days. Not Trimble Park, but a good one.

There are so many stunningly beautiful spots all over Florida; I’d love to get to all of them, but will settle for maybe a hundred or so! Can just barely scratch the surface, as that old saying goes… But it’s a lot of fun to get to the ones you can! And I do. Sure gives my life meaning and purpose!

I hope you’re able to take advantage of some good opportunities to enjoy Mother Nature’s embrace. As any outdoor enthusiast knows, my neck of the woods is not the only spot on the planet that begs for exploration and adventure! Make plans to get out and enjoy some of those places!

 

 

Getting ready for my next foray into the woods, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile