News about the Florida Park System

News about the Florida Park System

I am on email lists for a lot of different thing relating to outdoor stuff. I use parks in many systems and love getting the news and updates that come around pretty often.

I was happy to hear two days ago that the folks who make decisions for our parks system here in the Sunshine State are considering re-opening Florida Parks.

It’s not definite and there is no indication of what kind of timeline they’re thinking of if, indeed, they do decide to get things cranked up again.

As I may have mentioned here, my girlfriend and I had a reservation to camp back on the 6th and 7th of this month at one of our fave spots. That would be Wekiwa Springs State Park in Seminole County.

As fate would have it, those dates were about two weeks after all kinds of activities and facilities began to be closed down.

We were very disappointed, as you might imagine when the notification came that the State was closing the door, yet thought that it was probably the only way things could have gone.

We did receive a prompt refund for the reservation fee, but were still wishing that our trip could have gone off as planned.

I will try to reserve again if we do get the green light. That may not be easy to do as I’m thinking there will be a ton of pent-up demand. But I’m sure going to try.

If you’re also here in Florida and would like to read the notice and the potentially good news it contains, just follow this link.

I hope you get to have an outdoor adventure of two yourself. And sooner rather than later.

I’m headed back to our County and/or State Parks just as soon as I can. And you can bet that I’ll let you know about it once I’m released back into the wild!

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Ben 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

Bulldog’s Fave Florida State Park Just Reopened!

Bulldog’s Fave Florida State Park Just Reopened!

As many of you may know, many of our state parks here in Florida were closed after Hurricane Irma passed through. The state has been reopening them a few at a time and I’m on the list of state park lovers to be notified about such things.

I was mostly watching to see if Wekiwa Springs State Park was on the “good list” but it wasn’t until today that the word went out that she’s ready for more visitors. I’m not sure if they’ve green-lighted camping again, I’m going to check on that today.

If you’d like to see the list of which parks are up-and-running again or get any kind of info relating to our truly amazing parks here in the Sunshine State, follow this link to the official site for parks on our peninsula!

I’m going to celebrate the reopening of our lovely parks with a trip to one of my faves before October arrives. Wekiwa Springs is at the very top of the list. So many great ones from which to choose!

That featured photo at the top is one I especially like from a trip about a year ago.


Planning a new camping adventure, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile




It’s Saturday and I’m NOT at Silver Springs State Park

It’s Saturday and I’m NOT at Silver Springs State Park

I do work on weekends these days. Not sure what it would take to change that. It’s an issue I’m working on.

If you’re mostly an outdoor dog — as I am — there’s one advantage to having your free time falling on week days: it’s easier to book campgrounds and you won’t be crammed in to beautiful natural  settings along with 10 bah-jillion other nature lovers.

I understand that but it’s still hard for me sometimes be getting ready for work when most folks are in full-play mode. Heavy sigh…

Here’s a photo I took at Silver Springs State Park just east of Ocala. This was almost exactly six months ago today; it was a very nice outing, indeed. I would so love to be there right now. Or maybe on Monday, when fewer outdoor enthusiasts would be enjoying the sights along with me!

Happy weekend, folks. I’ll be posting again before too long…


“Bulldog Ben” Basile in full-work mode


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile




Fave Fotos: hitherto unpublished pix from Wekiwa Springs State Park

Fave Fotos: hitherto unpublished pix from Wekiwa Springs State Park

Never did get these up here on my blog. It’s time.

These are from my second trip to Wekiva Springs State Park this year. Some of these, I think, show my best work. Not sure why I waited so long to get them up here.

Here in Central Florida, we haven’t had a break from near-constant rains in a while. This Monday was somewhat less wet than most days; we did get to see the sun for several hours. But it’s been dreary weather around here for about three weeks now and I’d love to see it end. Yes, I know we needed it.

I rarely make plans to do outdoor stuff when the conditions are like this, and that’s the main reason I’m feeling this way and whining about it. So my strategy to deal with it is to dip back into the picture box and enjoy some photos from an excursion not too long ago where everything — including the weather — was damn near perfect.

In this second shot I didn’t get quite as close to the terrain. I like the way it turned out. It’s quite possible that the next time I get a chance to scratch the outdoor itch, I’ll be heading back to Wekiwa Springs. Not only is it a first-rate site for shutterbugs, but they recently completed some extensive renovations to the camp grounds and I’d like to see how that turned out.


Some good stuff for nature lovers and folks who like to capture such things with a camera. I hope these pics help to bring a few moments of serenity to you today.



“Bulldog Ben” Basile in dreary O’do

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

You Do Have to See Silver Springs State Park to Get It!

You Do Have to See Silver Springs State Park to Get It!

Just got back from a two day camping excursion to Silver Springs State Park near Ocala and had an awesome time!

Silver Springs State Park is the newest gem in Florida’s state park system and I’m glad it’s been added. As many of you may know, it was a tourist attraction, the oldest in the Sunshine State and was completely converted to a state park in October of 2013. And it’s beautiful.

I never did see the original attraction. Had seen Weeki Wachee as a kid and Cyprus Gardens a time or two, but never made it out to Silver Springs. Awfully glad I finally did!

I just spent two nights camping in the park, enjoyed every moment of it. It was just a bit chilly for sleeping, but to me that’s better than really hot! The temps here in Florida are not always ideal for those of us who enjoy outdoor activities. This time of year is as good as it gets.

If you’d like to know more about the history of Silver Springs and its change from a tourist attraction to a state park, the Wikipedia entry is a good place to begin.

If you’d like to visit the site for the park as it exists today, follow this link.

I took plenty of pix. I’ll be posting soon with more.


Happy Camper Bulldog Ben


Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile


Damn! The Bucs Lost! But This Could Be the Cowboy’s Year!

Last night’s contest between the Bucs and the Boys was well worth watching. You saw two QB’s who are going to have very impressive, if not Hall of Fame, careers. The Buc’s Jameis Winston had a good outing but Dallas rookie QB Dak Prescott was on fire! He set a new Cowboy’s season record for TD’s by a Quarterback with six and couldn’t miss his receivers; he went 32 of 36 for a stunning 88.9 percent. And it still was a very competitive game that wasn’t decided until the final 25 seconds.

This one made me proud to be an NFL fan! This season has been a damn good one and there’s still a lot of unknowns as far as the playoffs. I believe only three teams have punched their ticket so far, so there’s plenty of suspense here in the last two weeks of the regular season.

Hope you guys had a fine weekend. My vacation begins today, I’ll be cooking my eggs and grits on a Coleman stove at a state park for the next few days. Looking forward to that! And, yes, I’ll be watching Monday Night Football in my tent tonight as I’ve got a power pack with AC capability! See ya when I’ve had enough tromping around in the woods!