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

 

 

Another Triumphant Trimble Trip!

Another Triumphant Trimble Trip!

I just can’t get enough of Trimble Park. As you may remember, it’s a very nice park right where Orange and Lake counties meet. Although it’s actually in the very small Orange county town of Tangerine, that tiny hamlet does not deliver mail, so the park has a Mt. Dora mailing address even though that popular and well known town is across the county line.

Confused? Well, here’s the important part: Trimble Park is just overflowing with natural beauty and critters of every kind. And offers some of the nicest, most serenity-filled camping experiences anywhere in the Sunshine State.

I had my clothes and too much camping gear soaked pretty good on the first night. I had gone back to O’do to enjoy a movie with my little bro, and the rain came. I didn’t put on the rain fly because the weather forecast said no rain was coming. Yeah, Mother Nature caught me with my guard down. But Wednesday morning was quite sunny and I was able to dry everything out pretty well.

It was a nice outing in spite of the first night rains. I did get some pretty good photos and have made one I like especially the banner photo here. I feel all serene again just looking at it now.

May you enjoy some quiet, tranquil moments this day. I’ll be posting with more awesome photos before much longer…

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

About the Open House at the Tosohatchee WMA

About the Open House at the Tosohatchee WMA

This post took a while. Bulldog’s had a lot on his plate of late. But that event at the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area was very cool, and there’s much on which to report.

First of all, this open house took place on Jan 27th and the occasion was the 75th anniversary of the Florida Wildlife Commission. I was surprised at how robust the turn our was that day. And all the staff I spoke to were quite pleased with it.

The banner photo you see with this post is of some of the FWC crew who were on-hand for the event. There were plenty of staff there, and all the ones I spoke to were very helpful in answering questions and telling parts of the story of the Commission.

You may know that the FWC here in Florida has its own fire crews. They do respond to fires that fall to other agencies, but their primary mission is to be the dedicated team to carry prescribed burns and to respond to wild fires for the FWC. Two of the crew were on hand for this open house and answered a thousand questions; about half of those were from me!

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One of the activities on that fine Saturday afternoon was for the kids. Volunteers were on hand to help them “make” a pizza showing them the critters one can encounter in natural Florida and WMA’s in particular. There were no kids at all under the tent when I stopped by and the helpers were really bored. So they prevailed on me to go through the pizza-making process and learn–as the kids do–what one can see in the under-appreciated and undeveloped parts of the Sunshine State.

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Of course, there were EMT’s on duty and ready to respond to any situation which called for their skills. I think they were really bored, what with the moderate temps that day, but they no doubt had lots of chances to tell attendees of all ages about what they do.

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There were way more things to do at this great event which commemorated 75 years of service by the Fish and Wildlife Commission than I could possibly cover here; suffice to see it was a cool event and I enjoyed myself immensely–and learned some great stuff, especially in my many chats with the helpful crew.

On the way out, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pose with one of their airboats! Going to take one of those airboat tours before long; that would certainly  be material for another post on another day…

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Get outdoors, people! Here’s a cliche, but it’s true, nevertheless: you’ll be so glad you did!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credits Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

Headed Back to Tosohatchee Next Saturday

Headed Back to Tosohatchee Next Saturday

The Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area is, by far, the closest of Florida’s WMA’s to my neck of the woods. I loved the afternoon I spent there back on January 4th and so I was happy to see that our FWC is planning an event at Tosohatchee in about a week’s time to give the nature lovers among us a chance to see one of our WMA’s up close!

Hunting and fishing are two activities that happen a lot on our WMA’s here in the Sunshine State but hikers, campers and birders love them, too. And if you get a chance to come out next Saturday, the 27th, Rangers and other staff with the Fish and Wildlife Commission can get you up to speed on all the reasons to visit Tosohatchee or any one of Florida’s WMA’s.

To see the PR release from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Commission about this free and family-friendly event, just follow this handy link.

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

 

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