Quick Trip Back to the Beach

Quick Trip Back to the Beach

It had been about three months since I had made a beach visit. And that’s way too long.

Because it’s been difficult — as well as risky, of course — to get to the shore, I’ve been eager to get some sand in my shoes again. And to get some good photos as well.

We got back Wednesday evening. The “explosion” of beach-goers we had been worrying about turned out not to be a thing at all. Well, especially since we timed our arrival for about 7 pm. Not too much danger of being being pressed together with a gaggle of other nature-lovers when the parking area was only about 1/3 full.

We knew that because Memorial Day was right around corner that if we wanted to get to the beach, our window of opportunity would not be open for very long.

So we arrived fashionably late, stayed for a bit less than an hour and had a good time.

Something that we did not expect: we saw first-hand how cruise ships are handling being idle while we’re all dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. We saw six cruise ships trolling around three or four miles offshore, basically just marking time.

Here’s a visual about that, though this photo caught only two of the six:

This seemed a bit odd at first but then I realized that I had actually read about how this is working out in the cruise industry. Because there are no cruises happening — and I mean none at all — there isn’t room in port for all of them at any one time. So we witnessed what must now be business as usual; six cruise ships a few miles out, doing absolutely nothing.

We were perfectly happy after and about an hour or so. I got a few decent pics, we both had some sand in our shoes and we were content to find some hot coffee and begin to head for home.

We will not be venturing out at all in the next three days or so. We’re certain that the Memorial Day weekend will have everything — including pretty much all of our favorite outdoor spots — completely covered up with visitors.

I’m not passing judgement on folks who may be crowding together in a thousand different spaces and places over the Memorial Day weekend. I just don’t feel comfortable being among them.

Best wishes to you and yours over the holiday weekend. I hope you have some memorable and life-enriching times.

And — above all — I hope you stay safe.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

Time to walk the Beach

Time to walk the Beach

Sometimes you just want to walk up and down the beach. Not necessarily on a prime beach day, either.

Sometime you’ve just got to take your luck, head that way and get out in it!

That’s what this pensive fellow has done in this photo. I’m thinking he spends a lot of time doing that.

Just my intuition, you know!

If I don’t get there soon, I’m gonna be one hurtin’ puppy!

 

Dyin’ here in landlocked Orlando, I am,

“Beachdog Ben”

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Quick beach trip, two photos

Quick beach trip, two photos

I did make a quick beach excursion yesterday and took about 60 shots. It was cloudy and rained intermittently.

That was good in that it kept the crowds from getting out of hand, which is a thing here in Florida all throughout the summer.

But, of course, it made for a less-than-optimal picture day!

I came away with two I’d like to share. Yes, the first one is the banner pic you’ve already seen. And yes, the one below is the other!

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If the conditions had been more ideal, there’s no doubt at all that I would have been fighting tourists for space as I  went on my quest for the perfect shot! There are trade-offs in everything we do in life, and it is what it is.

It was another one of those less-than-perfect but  totally-worthwhile excursions! I’ll take ’em every chance I get!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

The weather here in Orlando the day after getting back home and unpacking is simply awful! What’s a poor puppy to do?

 

Photo credits Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Peter Pelican is cruising north

Peter Pelican is cruising north

When I get to the beach with that camera in my hand, I see a lot of gulls. They’re featured very prominently on this blog.

I don’t get pelicans that often. They’re faster than gulls and tend to dive-bomb a lot, so getting good shots of them is not such an easy assignment.

This one’s not so bad. So here is Pete. Yes, he’s northbound. Probably to the Cocoa Beach pier where his odds of finding something good to eat with minimal effort are quite good.

In the meantime, he makes for a pretty good pelican pic.

Thank you, Peter. Happy hunting.

 

Bulldog Ben

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Good Beach Outing with Lots of Pix

Good Beach Outing with Lots of Pix

I had a really nice trip to Cocoa Beach recently and have quite a few pix I’m happy with. The next major thing for the blog is to get some of my photos from that hike at the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management area. That’s still on.

And shortly after I get those pix up, I’ll have a bunch ready from the aforementioned beach visit.

For right now, I just have to post with this shot. I’ve never been able to get a cruise ship, a pelican and some of Neptune’s quixotic waves to sync up like they did for this fine foto.

Yeah, it was a moment. The gods of photography were definitely smiling on me at that precise instant.

I’ll take it.

It’s so true that we’ve got to seize those moments when they come. That’s not a skill I’ve mastered, not by any means. But I’m working on it. And this shot is one of those little signs that I’m making some progress.

Hope you’re enjoying life and focused on making the most of the opportunities that come your way.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Of Girls and Gulls

Of Girls and Gulls

When I get to the beach, taking photos is a big part of the day. For me, it’s quite possibly the biggest part of any trip to the shore.

When the camera comes out, there are usually plenty of possible subjects around.

Seagulls are photographic gold for me. I love watching them. And it’s just too much fun to capture their high jinks on film.

In this photo, it looks like I’m not the only beach-goer who likes to see what the gulls are up to. She doesn’t have a camera, but she’s capturing the moment on that cerebral film we all carry with us wherever we go.

Get outdoors. Get into the woods, go to the beach, just get out there! And when you go, capture some memories.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Ben Sneaks Off to the Beach on Thanksgiving Eve!

Ben Sneaks Off to the Beach on Thanksgiving Eve!

I had a ball at the beach today! Didn’t decide to go until about 1:45 this afternoon, so it wasn’t the longest beach outing I’ve had lately, but it was time very well spent.

My schedule and my budget have conspired to keep me away from the shore for the last couple of months and so getting the hell outta Dodge was a priority. Very glad today was the day. Traffic and crowds were not an issue at all. Yay!

I am working more hours these days and so I’m not sure when I’ll be beach-bound again. But I’m determined to get back before Christmas Day.

I took just over 300 photos this time. So far I’ve only worked a grand total of six that I think are blog-worthy! Yeah, not the best outing from the photography standpoint. But the featured photo you see above is a keeper. My new gull friend was riding the wind about 40 feet above Cocoa Beach. Without a care in the world. Just doing what gulls do.

I admire him. Heading back for another few stolen moments of freedom as soon as i can make it happen.

 

Back in landlocked O’do, I am,

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

 

Another Fabulous Day to Be at the Beach

Another Fabulous Day to Be at the Beach

It truly is a gorgeous day today. Spent a good chunk of it soaking up some rays and enjoying the sights and sounds of the ocean.

Last night I wasn’t completely sure I was beach-bound but one of my fave Central Florida weather folk, Channel 13’s Mallory Nicholls, said the chance of rain for today would be a mere 30% and I pointed the nose of my cruiser to the east and hit the gas!

If you’re also from the Central Florida area, you know we’ve had nearly-constant rains around here for the last two months or more. I’ve whined about the dreary weather we’ve had lately here on da bulldog blog on a couple of occasions. But today has been close to ideal.

Having said that, I didn’t have the best of luck with photos. I’m not the best at shooting under different light conditions. I have an auto-everything cam, the Canon Power Shot, and I like the results under the usual kinds of conditions but I do need to progress to a camera that will stretch me a bit so I can learn the craft better. (What in the world does “usual kinds of conditions” mean in photography, anyway?)

Anyhow, the featured photo is one from a different visit to a stretch of beach quite close to where I was this morning. I like the tranquil feeling I get when I look at this one. And I really like that Mother Nature gave some of her most devoted subjects–like me, to name only one–at least one July day without a big freakin’ downpour! I was a happy camper!

Make that a happy beach-goer, now that I’ve given it a moment of thought.

 

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Life’s A Beach! And Then You Go Back to Work…

Life’s A Beach! And Then You Go Back to Work…

I ended up scheduled to work Saturday and Sunday again this weekend and it’s not the end of the world. I like the work I do and our management and crew are exceptional people to work with, so I’m not going to whine about working through the whole weekend.

It’s just that there was no way I was going to do anything on Friday except go to the beach. I did. I had a great outing.

I spend quite a bit of time at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach and arrived Friday morning just after 10:00. If I had gotten there much later, I would have ended up using some other site for that day’s beach excursion; a paid site, that is. But I did get in before the “cursing and orbiting” got underway; Bulldog was a lucky pup this last time out!

I usually unload my gear and head straight for the ramp but lingered a while this time to ponder whether this would be the trip where I’d explore the Hammock nature trail at L.W.P. It took me a while to decide that it was and so I threw my beach umbrella back in to the cruiser and headed for the ramp for the nature trail with only my trusty Canon in my hand.

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The trail, I discovered, is not that long; it comes in right at 1/4 mile total. I took my time exploring its length and did slip into the trance with which all photographers are very familiar. It was a good session. Here’s a shot I liked especially, love to play with light and shadow in settings like this:

 

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Truth be told, I only stopped because I realized that I left that beachy straw hat I love so well in the car and that’s not a good thing for this dog. So I cut it short with about 200 shots, went back to the car pour mon chapeau and other essential beach gear and headed for the ramp.

I opted to stay beach side for about four hours, which is a bit more time than usual for me. Before long I was joined by about thirteen jillion of my closest friends and though I thought about leaving many times before I did, I focused on my little slice of sandy, salt-saturated real estate, took a few pix and chose not to dwell on the fact that this trip did not include that illusion I treasure that this time, I’ve got the beach all to myself!

Here’s a shot of my new gullfriend, who in this frame does seem to have Mother Nature’s gifts all to herself; but there were gulls-a-plenty at Cocoa Beach on that lovely Friday afternoon, so neither one of us had the pleasure of pretending that we alone held the key to that tiny corner of Poseidon’s kingdom!

 

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It was a little shy of 4:30 when I headed back to the park, stowed my gear and headed off in search of food. Once my hunger had been staunched, I set out for my fave Starbucks in Cocoa Beach to start working the photos. I knew I had more than enough for a blog post or two and got pulled so deeply into the editing job that I completely missed another activity in Brevard that I had tentatively planned to take in; a quick look at my cell phone’s calendar feature revealed my latest in a never-ending series of failures to review calendar entries until the events have come and gone!

It was a bit frustrating, but because the day had been very well-spent, I was not going to spoil it with thoughts about how it might have been even better. I’ve done that so many times, but passed on the latest opp to sabotage my happiness. And on Saturday morning, as I headed for work, the memory of another happy outing on one of Florida’s amazing beaches was not diminished at all by the awareness that I’d soon be logging on to the system at work and jumping into another busy shift. I’ll create another opportunity to scratch that constant outdoor itch that has plagued me for my six decades on this planet.

And when I do, I’ll take some photos. I’ll have an update or two on social media, and a blog post here for sure. And I’ll no doubt have to show up at work for another shift or two to support my outdoor habit. And then the whole cycle will launch again. C’est la vie!

 

“Beachdog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Trips to the Beach On Those Cloudy, Overcast Days

Trips to the Beach On Those Cloudy, Overcast Days

 

Trips on days like that can be nice.

I made it to the beach on one of those days about two weeks ago. I was sure that I’d get wet but my beach jones was so bad that day that I pointed my car towards the Beach Line Expressway and hit the gas in spite of the really, truly dire forecast.

I’m glad I did. I did get rained on but it was less severe than I expected and the rain held off until I’d grilled my awesome Johnsonville Cheddar Smoked Sausages, cleaned up and explored the beach for about 20 minutes with my Canon. Canon Power Shot, to be more precise. (Just for the record, the fine folks at Johnsonville have not offered me anything to mention one of their great products. Nor the folks at Canon, for that matter!)

It was a very worthwhile trip. And I’m grateful to Mother Nature; her timing was damn near perfect.

Here’s my fave shot from this brief outing. I love shots that re-create that feeling of exhilaration I get every time I get to the bottom of one of those ramps and the planks give way to sand. Only sand. It’s like being launched into Neptune’s domain.

As I put together this post today, I’m having trouble pushing away those familiar and persistent beach cravings. I’m overdue. Because today’s my Friday, my chances of being able to scratch that beach itch soon are very good.

I’ll be sure to take some pictures.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile