Heading back to Tosohatchee!

Heading back to Tosohatchee!

Haven’t been camping in about three months or so and I’m going through withdrawals! No, that’s not a joke!

So I’ll get my next “nature hit” in about a week’s time and I’m all jacked up over it!

I like the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area for camping. This will be my fifth trip out to this choice nature spot and my second camping outing there.

You may remember from a previous post that you need a hunting permit to hunt Florida’s WMA’s  but not to camp. You just can’t camp in any hunting season.

It’s quite primitive. No hook-ups of any kind. Porta Johns and no showers. So it’s real camping. I’m one of those campers who carries a boat load of propane and every kind of battery powered device know to man, so I do just fine in these spots.

It’s also a time to take a jillion photos, so that’s a big part of the allure of camping for this puppy. I’ll have plenty pix to share on the other side of this very welcome outing!

If you love Nature like I do, make sure you get out there in the middle of it soon! Your Mother’s calling…

And you best answer!

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

Sheldon is New at the Zoo!

Sheldon is New at the Zoo!

There are three fine zoos within easy driving distance of my part of Florida. I love them all.

The Brevard Zoo in Melbourne is a real pleasure. I’ve spent many hours there checking out the wildlife and I’ve done the zip line, too. A fine facility from start to finish.

And now they have a new dragon! No, I’m completely serious!

His name is Sheldon, he’s an 11 year-old Komodo Dragon and you can find him in the Lands of Change exhibit!

If you’re anywhere around Central Florida, take a trip to Melbourne and pay a visit to Sheldon!

And tell him Bulldog sent you!

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

Deer in the Enchanted Forest

Deer in the Enchanted Forest

That seemed like a catchy title, so I went with it!

Alas, there are no actual deer in this forest. Let me explain…

I did a photo feature in mid-September about a little oasis of tranquility close to my neighborhood and about 200 yards from one of Central Florida’s busiest highways.

It’s just a patch of serene and unspoiled nature, and it’s situated on the southern edge of a development known as “Deerfield”.

As I took a second look at the photos I shot on that lovely September afternoon, two more  pix jumped out at me faster than a frolicking fawn on a frosty February morn!

The first is the lovely banner photo you saw when you clicked over just now.

And the second is the image of that beautiful and bucolic scene you see below.

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I hope you find some beauty in your world today. Maybe in an unexpected place. Maybe even close to home.

I hope you take a second look at something familiar and see something of great value. Something, perhaps, that you’d passed over before.

 

 

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

National Love a Tree Day!

National Love a Tree Day!

Well, that’s what day it is! I’m feeling like they made one of those cool “National Days” just for me!

I love trees. I worship trees! No, I do! I’m just so tickled that this day does, in fact, exist! If it didn’t, I’d try hard to create it!

The banner photo is of a tree or two that I’ll remember for a very long time. Put a trip to Moss Park on your fun list today. That gem is in southeast Orange County, Florida.

And these three at the bottom are special, too. I’m making my way back to the old neighborhood soon to see them again.

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Hey, tree-lover! Get out there and admire a tree or two today. And then give him a big hug! With all that trees do for our species, so many others and for the planet, they certainly have earned our admiration and a caress or two from grateful humans!

And not just today! The Arbor Day Foundation is a non-profit based in Nebraska and its mission is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. To learn more about the work of the ADF, follow this link.

 

 

An earnest and devout lover of trees, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Ben Lawrence Basile

 

 

From the vault for National Squirrel Appreciation Day

From the vault for National Squirrel Appreciation Day

I’m thinkin’ not too many folks know that today is “National Squirrel Appreciation Day!” Yes, that’s for real!

In honor of the occasion, here’s a piece I wrote quite a long time ago for my first (now dormant) blog site; I ran it here in May of 2016.

Enjoy The Squirrel and the Spiritual Experience!

I had just dropped off a fare in my taxi and i decided to stop in at
a fast food place in Altamonte Springs for a quick bite. If you do
know the territory, Backyard Burgers is a better-than average
burger drive-through in an Old Checkers location. It’s quite popular
with the locals.

It’s pretty popular with some furry critters up there too! I got
my “Black and Bleu” burger, an extremely yummy burger featuring
black angus beef and bleu cheese, and proceeded to make short work
of it. It truly was as good a burger as this dog had ever put into
his jaws!

Just as I was about to toss the last morsel down, this very tame
squirrel began to make her way over to the patio table where I was
enjoying this late lunch. (At Backyard Burgers, there is no indoor
seating.)

As she got a little closer, I became transfixed at the sight of her
approach and could not eat that last bit until I knew what she was
up to. In pretty short order she hopped right up on the bench next
to me and reared up on her hind legs. By now she was only about six
inches from me–from me and the last few crumbs of what had been the
best lunch I’d had in quite a while…

As I extended my hand in her direction, she actually put her little
claws right on my first finger and clasped my hand very gently
with a measured and seemingly purposeful pressure. I was quite
surprised to say the least. What I had expected her to do was to
reach for the bite o’ burger and scamper away like a bandit.

For a moment or two she just stayed there clasping my hand and
looking me right in the eye. Then, with consummate timing, she took
the morsel in her mouth and ate it in two or three bites all while
maintaining her eye contact with me, her very flabbergasted
benefactor.

Then she turned away, paused for just a moment and scampered
away towards a towering oak on the edge of the patio.

I suppose it’s a routine she’s quite comfortable with. I have not
been back to Backyard Burgers since but I’m thinking that she
probably has a regular stable of folks who share the last bite of
their lunches with her. I’ve even wanted to get back up there to see
if she’s still around, looking for humans who want to share their
grub with her, but I don’t get that far away from downtown
Orlando in my cab very often.

As I cruised back towards my preferred territory a little closer to
home, I could not get the image of her pausing with her paws on my
hand out of my mind… She seemed to be saying, “Thanks for sharing
your lunch with me! I hope you’ll come back and see me again” or
some such thing in her non-verbal squirrel language which humans may
be graced to understand just once in a while…

The memory of my shared lunch with my furry mistress comes back to
me often; especially when I’m passing any burger joint or when I see
squirrels scampering up and down our majestic oaks and through our
many parks. I would surely love to have a “Black and Bleu” burger
again. And you know I’d save the last bite for my new lunch
companion!

 

Bulldog Ben, respecting all of my

furry friends today just a bit more…

 

 

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

 

 

 

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.

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Enjoying the outdoors here in Central Florida, I am,

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

 

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile