In Praise of Blossoming Trees

There are few things in Nature as beautiful as a tabebuia tree. The photo here is of one I tended, watered and pruned for nine years. Lovely tree; it was a gift from our next door neighbor.

The fact that a tabebuia only blooms for a few days each spring does not detract from its beauty. It’s a reminder for me that life is fleeting and we blossom for a brief season, then fall away and return to the earth. It is good to have your day in the sun!

Though these lovely trees are barren now, there are some beautiful trees, fairly-common in the Sunshine State, which display their gorgeous, bright-yellow blossoms in summer’s sultry heat! I refer to the yellow poinciana, better known to arborists as the peltophorum.

You might say that the tabebuia and the yellow poinciana are cousins.

I’ve seen more than a few of them around Central Florida in the last three or four summers; they’re quite a spectacle for those of us who crave a little color in the Florida landscape before autumn’s arrival. They seem to blossom from the top down and the blossoms last a good, long while. They can grow up to 50 ft tall; I’ve seen one nearly that size near the entrance to Disney’s Jambo House Resort.

Count me as one of those Floridians who stays indoors a lot more at this time of year. Day after day of temps in the mid-nineties gets old pretty quick. When I do motor about from place to place here in our subtropical paradise, it’s such a welcome pleasure to be greeted by those lovely yellow blossoms.

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.

Photo credit Benjamin Lawrence Basile

The Environment: Good News and Bad News

It may sound like the lead-in to a joke, but that cliche does perfectly sum up where we are right now with the environment. Where we are as far as taking actions which are desperately needed today, to be more precise.

The situation is dire. That’s an understatement. There are thousands of studies and documents to substantiate just how bleak the situation is for our planet.

And here’s another study for good measure.

The good news is that the nascent Sunrise Movement has a huge potential, not only to change the conversation, but to prod us into taking some very, very necessary actions.

Or to slow down all the foot-dragging, at the very least.

The Guardian published an article yesterday to highlight the work being done by this largely youth-led movement; it’s well worth the next few minutes of your time.

The Earth is our common home. She is not dying. She is being killed! We cannot afford to go on with the status quo.

As you no doubt know, there are very committed, well-financed interests which are going all out to muzzle the voices calling for action and to stifle any change.

We’ll always have that to deal with.

But getting more and more committed friends of the Earth on-board for the fight–including the people who are being galvanized by the Sunrise Movement–may at least give the Earth a fighting chance.

Brother Ben

© 2019 Ben Lawrence Basile

Some Love for our four-legged Friends

A major emphasis for our movement is to show love and compassion for all the inhabitants of Earth. Not only for those who walk upright, wearing funny clothes and staring blankly into dimly-lit devices that keep getting bigger and bigger.

A big part of this commitment to animals is to support groups who are engaged full-time in the struggle to treat wildlife and pets with wisdom and compassion.

This is something I’m going to do regularly. For the first post, I want to highlight the excellent work that the Wildlife Conservation Society is doing.

The W.C.S. is active all over God’s Green Earth and focuses on policies and actions that help to save and nurture wildlife and wild places.

You can visit their excellent site on the world-wide web by following this link.

There are so many organizations doing this kind of work, that I’ll only be able to scratch the proverbial surface even by featuring an org each week.

But that’s not such a bad thing.

If you take the time to see what those folks are up to and want to get involved, the sites make it easy to do that.

If your objective is to learn and know more about what the organization is doing, following/liking on Facebook and/or Twitter is certainly a good way to go.

This will take you to the official Twitter page of the WCS.

Blessings on you today. Keep advocating for pets and wildlife. That’s what compassionate people do.

Brother Ben

© 2019 The Fellowship of St Francis, Inc.