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

 

 

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

 

Mr. Gator Hangin’ Around at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands in Brevard County

Mr. Gator Hangin’ Around at the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands in Brevard County

Saw this gator playing peek-a-boo among some aquatic plants. Had my trusty camera at the ready, so I got off a shot or three. I’m liking ’em and thought I’d pass some of them along.

Before too long I had a chance to get Mr. Gator up close and personal as we used to say. Here’s one that I think fits into this post quite well.

IMG_6455

 

And, of course, when I say “up close and personal”, I’m talking about the magic of my zoom feature and NOT about me creeping through the wetlands hoping to get much closer to my scaled, reptilian friend…

I got quite a few shots today at this cool spot and some of them are totally blog worthy. I’ll be posting later with more of those.

One of the things that made this trip especially fun is that I wasn’t trying to get to this “new” spot at all. (Of course, by that I mean new to me.) I just happened to stumble across it while cruising on a stretch of Wickham Road which was unfamiliar to me.

Ol’ Bulldog is so set in his ways that he rarely does things in that fashion; but he liked the way it all turned out, so he’s all about spontaneous fun now! Well, okay, he’ll try to do a bit more of that, at least…

I hope you’re doing some outdoor stuff. Here in the Sunshine State, it’s pretty damn hot, but there are still plenty of cool things to do all up and down this state. You just have to make sure you bring along the goofy straw hat, sun block, shades and something to drink. Yeah, that’s the formula!

And, of course, be sure to bring along your camera!

 

“Bulldog Ben” back home in Orlando

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Having a Fine Time at Trimble Park on Earth Day

Having a Fine Time at Trimble Park on Earth Day

This is my third visit to Trimble Park on the farthest edge of Orange County and I’m havin’ a ball! Took plenty of photos, too.

I’ll have more to say about this beautiful spot a bit later. For now, here are a couple of photos I especially like.

I hope this spring is going well for you and that you’ve had a chance to get out of the house and do some outdoor stuff. My life would be dreary indeed if I didn’t get out and visit my Mother regularly.

Gus the Gator was not terribly interested in posing today. But I did get a pic or two out of him. The bird in the Featured Foto was more obliging; I love that photo, it’s as good as any I’ve ever taken.

1-IMG_4405

 

Enjoying the outdoors here in Central Florida, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

 

Tragedy Strikes a Family at Disney World

On Tuesday, June 14th, two year old Lane Graves was wading in ankle-deep water at Disney’s flagship resort, The Grand Floridian, when he was attacked and dragged under by an alligator. Although his father was close by and tried to keep young Lane from being taken, his efforts were no match for a gator’s jaws. Mercifully, Lane’s body was recovered the next day.

The Graves family was visiting Central Florida from Nebraska on vacation and remained here for several days to make the arrangements for their son.

Lane’s funeral was held on the afternoon of June 21st. The service was limited to family and close friends.

A couple of observations about this mind-numbingly tragic event: although the loss of this precious child is first and foremost a tragedy  for the family, it rocked the Central Florida community as well, coming as it did, on the heals of the murder of singer Christina Grimmie and the attack at the Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando. These three hugely-traumatic events would have weighed very heavily on the heart of Orlando regardless of the “why and when” factors. But having them fall, as they did, in a period of only five days was a perfect storm of shock, incredulity and heart-break for people who call Orlando home. It’s hard to conceive. Honestly. I can’t think of anything remotely like this in my half-century plus of living here.

Having said that, our community began the process of healing from this “unholy trinity” of events pretty quickly. The journey toward healing will be much longer for the families of those who were lost.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the Graves family. If you’d like to help, follow this link. Please note that if you’re reading this a few weeks down the road from this tragic event, that account may not be active at that time.

To see how you can help the victims and the families of the 102 who were gunned down in the Pulse attack, click here. Note that of the 102 who were shot, 49 didn’t make it. At this writing, two and a half weeks later, only six survivors remain at Orlando Regional Medical Center. One is still in critical condition. But a lot of those folks will be healing from their wounds for a very, very long time.

On the 9th of June, if an angel had come down from heaven and described the events that would soon be happening in Central Florida, none of us would have taken the celestial messenger seriously. Those who might have put some stock in the angel’s revelation could not be blamed if they had taken the first flight out. But much to the credit of our people, this community has risen up and done great things to support the survivors, their families and the ones whose lives were lost. I hasten to add that much love and support has flooded in from places way beyond our part of the world. Like the love and unity which seemed to be everywhere in the aftermath of 9/11, these “warm, fuzzy” thoughts and behaviors will most likely wane as the shock and grief lessen. But the love and unity I’ve seen all around Central Florida in the last two weeks has been extraordinary and I hope it lasts a while.

I Cor. 13:13  New Living Translation

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.