A NEWSPAPER SERVING THE SCENIC HILLS AREA

NOT YOUR AVERAGE FISHWRAP


Angry protesters gather outside the home of a Scenic Hills resident who refuses to read The Scenic Post!

Fishwrap has been defined as a journalistic effort so poor in credibility it is suited only for wrapping fresh fish.


Welcome to The Scenic Post (scenicpost.com)!  Never lacking for chutzpah, we are attempting to be an accepted voice from the Scenic Hills area of Escambia County Florida!  We feel the need to be a positive voice about an area worthy of appreciation.  We’ve weathered some storms around here.  This community survived then and will survive now and in the future.

We will attempt to keep this site organized using links in order to facilitate faster loading.  We will also
add new articles at the top of the page so readers will not have to scroll to find the newest articles and links.

Scenic Hills is a great place to live.  Properties are  well maintained and our proximity to a great university and its sports and cultural attractions make this a wonderful place for retired folks and younger families.  It's a refreshing mix. We are close to the great Escambia County and Pensacola cultural and athletic attractions. World class beaches make this area the jewel of the Emerald Coast.  The quality of entertainment far exceeds what you would expect to have in a community our size. We will highlight these features as time goes on.

    Copyright © 2013  Bill Stockland  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED  Email  billstockland@cox.net
All photos and articles are the work and property of Bill Stockland unless otherwise noted.
I reserve the right to publish emails I receive along with my comments and responses.
We sometimes repeat and/or update earlier articles as well as articles from an earlier site. ScenicTimes.com
As a practice we often repeat and/or update articles and photos.
Find more about Weather in Pensacola,
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NEWSPAPERS...NEWS FROM AROUND THE NATION AND THE WORLD
Click on the newspaper name to read other great papers
.  :-)
 Jerusalem Post
Jerusalem, Israel
 Tallahassee Democrat
Tallahassee, Florida
 New York Times
New York, NY
San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA
Dallas Morning News
Dallas, TX
Chicago Tribune
Chicago, IL
L.A. Time
Los Angeles, CA
Miami Herald
Miami, FL
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Atlanta, GA
Pensacola News Journal
Pensacola, FL
London Times
London, England
                  Palestine
Japan Times
Tokyo, Japan
China News
Beijing, China

  Granma
A Source From And About Cuba


PALESTINE...a new link!
NOTICE:  The links above had one that had somehow become corrupted.  I had the Al Jazeera English language newspaper but when I made an attempt to get another view of the Israeli attack on Gaza I found it to be no longer live.  I'm not sure what happened but I have replaced it with a paper to balance the Jerusalem Post and other pro-Israel voices.  The PALESTINE CHRONICLE offers a view of Middle East events from the view point of Palestinians. 
I hope you find it informative. 



9-16-15
UWF HAS FOOTBALL 
THEY'RE PRACTICING NOW FOR A 2016 START!
UPDATE:
THE FOOTBALL TEAM HAS AN EXCELLENT RECORD
AND HAS EVEN PLAYED FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!

UPDATE  11-2-18:  The football team has started in grand fashion.  In only its second season it was the runner-up for the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

5-12-15
SHOULD WE BE WORRIED?

Some of us rose up once to stop the extension of I-110 to or through our area and
others rose up to stop the ENPZ.  Do we have enough energy for any other struggles?
I have recently seen a message from a local homeowners group and one from the UWF entity overseeing the Scenic Hills golf course.  Apparently, the lake and dam which disappeared during last year's horrendous storm will not be replaced.  My concern is with the current look and condition of this water feature in particular and the course in general.  I'm not privy to the economic situation at UWF but the condition of the course property is visible to all from the road. I have recently toured Pensacola Country Club, Stonebrook and Tiger Point.  The last property is now publicly owned.  In my opinion, all 3 of these golf courses have nothing like the ugly conditions I see at Scenic Hills. 

Is the university up to the task of maintaining Scenic Hills to its previous status?  Is the course making a profit? In recent years the university agreed to being part of the Community Maritime Park development.  They  announced an on campus electric car plan for student transportation on campus and around town.  They  planned a housing/condo development for lifetime learners to retire and live on campus.  They had an elaborate plan to create an athletic development of practice fields, lockers and weight rooms to accommodate the planned football team.  They have had a fine program called Festival On The Green.  What do these things have in common?  All of these things have been cancelled or abandoned.  There had been plans for a motel and university housing at the Nine Mile Road entrance but I believe that has been scrapped.  Will the university allow the course to deteriorate and sell it to a developer?  School officials such as the Business Enterprises Inc. are obligated to pursue the interests of the university.  That's their responsibility.  What muddies the water even more is the arrival of a Walmart store and strip mall on the south side of Nine Mile Road.  Will that make the golf course land along holes 13 and 14 too potentially profitable for developers than the university can resist selling?  What is our neighborhood is in reality just an investment to them.  I can imagine the golf course being reduced to a 9 hole course or an even shorter executive course with the abandoned fairways being sold for house, condo and apartment sites.


Will Walmart cause a huge traffic problem?  Will it make Scenic Hills so valuable to commercial and housing development that the university sells it?
UPDATE:  The Walmart has been open for some time and traffic problems have been apparently
prevented by the installation and  timing of a traffic light at 9 mile road and Scenic Hills Drive.



Ugly?  This is the dam on the creek at the green bridge on Meadowbrook Dr.  after a  recent rain storm.
UPDATE 11-2-18:  The area has been greatly cleaned up and erosion fighting landscape and construction is working.


This was the lake that was lost during last year's dam failure on the back nine at Scenic Hills.


Scenic Hills as seen from Burning Tree Dr.


Scenic Hills Dr view of golf course


ODDS AND ENDS
EARLY MAY, 2015



"A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou." 
My apologies to Omar Khayyam but I was pleased to see this couple enjoying their hammock in view of the tee box on
hole 17.  They were properly attired and doing nothing wrong.  I hope they return.  They were a young and good looking
couple and I wondered if it wouldn't be a good idea to clean up this area and make it a little park with a picnic table or bench. 
 


How does a golf cart get LOST?  This sign was at the Scenic Hills entrance and I obliterated the phone number. 
It's almost as if I were driving and the cart slipped into one of my huge divots.  I'd love to hear the real story.



Some people should not play golf...it was hole 16 and the drive went about 50 feet
and was abandoned.  "Caddy, hand me my concrete curb wedge and stand back."




LOOK WHAT I FOUND
My golf ball collection now only lacks a gutta-percha to be complete!  Of course you must
know the cause of my joy...a Slazenger 7.  James Bond used a Slazenger 7 in Goldfinger!


3-23-15
LOOKING FOR A HERO?

SHANE WILDER PLAYED  CENTER FIELD FOR UNION UNIVERSITY AGAINST UWF AND HE PLAYED IT WELL.  BORN
WITH JUST ONE HAND, HE EXCELS AT BASEBALL.  HE WENT 3 FOR 8 AND ELUDED A CATCHER TO SCORE A RUN!


SHANE WILDER DIVES TO THE PLATE AFTER ELUDING THE CATCHER'S TAG.




3-23-15
LOOKING OUT FOR OUR NEIGHBOR

TWICE WE'VE TRIED TO REPORT THAT WE FELT A SPRINKLER WAS RUNNING HOURS TOO LONG (ONCE OVER NIGHT).
THIS ONE WAS JUST IN FRONT OF THE 17TH TEE.  We need to conserve even if it is well water—just ask the people in California.



SPRING HAS SPRUNG IN SCENIC HILLS
3-22-15






This wildflower is about the size of a quarter.







Each of these blooms is smaller than a dime.

















Scenic Hills residents like their neighborhood and mean well. If you live here you will not be required to join a homeowners association of any kind. People still come up with ideas they hope will keep the neighborhood beautiful. Not having a mandatory homeowners association has not stopped some from urging that Scenic Hills houses look like the front of a house on both the front and the back views.  Of course that is a daunting task in an age of swimming pools, vegetable gardens, clothes lines, storage sheds and play equipment.  They eventually gave up the idea.   Scenic Hills remains a desirable place to live.  There is much in the way of voluntary efforts to improve the area.  Area bridges are maintained by volunteers.  An active garden club promotes social activities as well as those things garden clubs do to beautify things.  There is a neighborhood watch program.  I've also seen neighbors looking out for neighbors without benefit of a formal organization.  A voluntary homeowners association creates a neighborhood directory for its members. They raise money for police patrols. The webpage you're reading is a voluntary effort freely provided for everyone and anyone wishing to know more about the best neighborhood in Pensacola.










Scenic Hogwarts...I see a wizard with his arms raised...c'mon, use your imagination...











THREE YEARS OF THE PENSACOLA BLUE WAHOOS
A RETROSPECTIVE
3-6-15


CLICK HERE

The Community Maritime Park is a gem.  It houses the Blue Wahoos, our AA Cincinnati Reds minor league team.  We've seen future stars and maybe even a future Hall Of Famer or two.  The park is beautiful and only about 12 easy miles from Scenic Hills.

February, 2015
    LOOKING OUT FOR EACH OTHER


Probably nothing, but I saw this vehicle driving along the 17th fairway and I reported it to the golf course.  I think it was just two people examining the
flood that wiped out the dam on Thompson Bayou but it was the golf course's call as to notifying the authorities.  We can look out for each other safely by
 calling authorities when concerned.  Taking a photo of something suspicious can be of value to the police also.  Just be careful and don't confront anyone.

THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA
February 2015
We virtually live on the campus of a vibrant university...why not come out to support it!
For sports see:  http://goargos.com
For photos about this area including the university:  http://uwfphoto.com

    A COACHING MILESTONE

Coach Stephani Lawrence Yelton won her 100th game as a head coach!
L to R  President Judy Bense, Coach Yelton, and coaches Keith Lindahl, Tessah Holt and Jessica Ivey

AN OUTSTANDING HALL OF FAME PLAYER AND COACH RETIRES

Coach Bob Stinnett retires as head men's basketball coach.  You may have seen this photo I shot for the Pensacola News Journal on 2-22-15.


A lesson during a recent tournament...KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL!



1-19-15

There have been many great men and women who have graced the pages of world history with their presence.  Buddha, Christ and Gandhi come to mind to name a few.  Lincoln, Churchill, DeGaulle, Kennedy and others have each meant the world to their own nation. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has meant the world to us.  His life and words are of a value difficult to comprehend as time slowly shrouds our memories in its fog.  You can't put a price tag on conscience and decency.  He gave us permission to dream important dreams and then live them out. He called forth the best from us and inspired a nation to do the right thing.  Good people everywhere remain forever in his debt.
Reprinted from uwfphoto.com


1-19-15
The Blue Wahoos announced that Bubba Watson has purchased a minority share in the team.
We love his down-to-earth attitude and his Forrest Gumpesque style of buttoning his shirts!


Bubba demonstrated his golf and baseball swings.




1-15-15
DEFENDING MARRIAGE

STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT MARRIAGE EQUALITY IN FLORIDA
Click Here:
Same Sex Marriage Comes To Pensacola
We have an editor...wouldn't you expect an editorial?


2015
I WISH YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Here are a few odds and ends to start the year.

Pearl Of Great Price?  Add this to the lost and found list. You can identify a real pearl by rubbing
it across your teeth.  It is hard to tell with this one.  What does it mean when the pearl tastes like tar?



Good news about Marcus Pointe...reports of its death were exaggerated!

Many golf course have closed in recent years and Marcus Pointe joined the list but golf course death is like characters on Dallas...they sometimes come back!  When it closed some worried about Scenic Hills folding next.  Selfishly speaking, closing other golf courses could help increase the play and profit for our course.  Some consider golf to be a dying sport.  Equipment is very expensive and in some places the cost of playing one round (sometimes around $100 in places) can be prohibitive for the retiree or the young family man or woman.   The purchase of Scenic Hills by the university is looking more and more like a brilliant move even if it fails as a golf course.  I believe they bought it with the intent of keeping it a picturesque and viable golf course but can you imagine its potential for commercial and housing development?

Can you imagine the building lots that could be carved out of this golf course?


Or this one?



Or any of the 18 beautiful fairways?

Golf is changing and some feel it is no longer the "gentleman's
sport" it once was.  One need not be rich to be honorable.



Gentlemen don't litter...besides, is it really a sport if you can smoke and drink while you're doing it?

For some of golf's modern "sportsmen" the idea of a code of honor regarding the rules has disappeared.


Scenic Hills is in my opinion a difficult and beautiful course that is well
managed and maintained.  It does have some areas that could be improved.

Design...I hate courses that are designed so that hazards such as this lake are located where only the
duffer is punished.  Hole 15 has a really rugged  (and wet) area right in front of the tee box.  Good
golfers aren't even fazed by the location but the  less skilled player often is in trouble.  I imagine the
designer has to play the lie he gets and this is unavoidable but I see this on many golf courses.



I wonder if the environmental laws would allow UWF to cede some wooded areas and even wetlands to the
golf course so that it could be redesigned to accommodate golf's new equipment and young Bubba  who can
drive the ball a mile.  I think the present course may be too short (not for me) to attract college or pro tournaments.

There are holes where flooding or trees prevent fairway grass from growing.  Wouldn't it be a good
idea to turn such spots as this into interesting features...maybe with bolders or cactus or palm trees.
How about a huge fairway sand trap that could also be used to collect and pipe flood water to the lake?



12-31-14

I don't want to brag but I got another birdie on #17 today.  I virtually own that hole.
 Contact me if you'd like a lesson.  Just kidding...about the lesson. 



The Herons have much slimmer pickings since the lake disappeared with the dam collapse.







12-31-14
A New Years message from President Obama...it's my honor to
relay it.  We'd love to publish greetings from other leaders.

"I am proud to be your President and I am honored by your continued support…But
you know, as I do, that we have challenges ahead and we owe our country even more."


12-15-14





These three photos are from the White House.  I didn't
take them but like all Americans I'm proud of the nation
.


I've been so good again this year these gifts are probably all for me!


Fill 'er up Saint Nick...mine's the big one in the center.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, HOLY DAYS OR SPECIAL DAYS!
Whether you await a Messiah, Mahdi, Prophet, Maitreya or anyone else...or the object of your spiritual affection is already here, this is the season when many turn toward their religious or philosophical underpinnings. Hopefully you find it a time of peace that spills over for an entire year—and then repeats itself.  The fall and winter months seem to have the lion's share of special days.  Some are moveable feasts while others are written in stone for certain dates. We celebrate the Buddha's enlightenment on Bodhi Day, Jesus Christ's birthday on Christmas, the Winter Solstice in several traditions (Saturnalia, Yalda, Samhain, Yule and others), Festivals of Light such as Diwali and Hanukka, the family oriented celebration of Kwanza, the Soyal Solstice of the Hopi and Zuni, Rosh Hashanah of the Jews and Chalica of the Unitarians join the Holy Day for Our Lady of Guadalupe and certainly many others I've missed.  It is a season of joy, dedication and the hope of good overcoming evil. We even have the mythical Festivus for those who have nothing else but still want a feast. Me? I see the value and goodness in all.  I wish you Happy --------- (fill in the blank and celebrate with our best wishes).


12-1-14
BASKETBALL CLASSIC

UWF recently brought 6 teams and their fans to Pensacola for a Thanksgiving Weekend basketball tournament.
Scenic Hills residents are virtually on the UWF campus.  If you're a sports fan there is a wealth of championship
athletics available within just a short drive from the neighborhood.  Schedules and details are at GoArgos.com
More about UWF athletics and life in the Pensacola area can be found at the site:   Unique West Florida Photos

Senior Brianna Williams scores.

The women brought Central Missouri, USC Aiken and Arkansas Monticello to their Comfort Inn Invitational Classic.


Lendward Griffin dunks as Demetrius Moore looks on.

The men had North Georgia, Chowan and Claflin here for their Thanksgiving Classic


Professional baseball voice Tommy Thrall broadcasts Argo games.  Here he's seen in show prep.

The Official Scorer's table requires a team of its own to put on a game. 


11-25-14
ODDS AND ENDS

Lunch at the feeder...Scenic Hills remains a birdwatcher's paradise.


Don't you love our brown fairways?  I do.  This is the 17th fairway.  To the right
a weed field has replaced the lake but either is a nightmare if you slice the ball.


I can pretty well guess your age if you can answer this question:  "Who knows what evil lurks
in the hearts of men?" If you answered,  "The Shadow knows!" you join me firmly over the hill. 
This is the bridgerail over Thompson Bayou.  Citizens often paint and/or repair the bridge.  It
is decorated at Christmas.  Citizens also step up to perform other acts such as picking up litter
and even mowing neglected common areas when needed.


The bridge/ fence on Meadowbrook looks good.


Local residents placed the bow, Mother Nature provided the icicles.


Taking a cue from The Shadow, residents have gone invisible and have done minor chores in common areas.

A WARNING

A road kill rat in Scenic Hills.  Be vigilant...they are disease carriers and destructive. 
They can compress themselves to  squeeze through tiny openings.  Constant chewing
to keep fast growing teeth worn down makes these pests a threat to electrical wires. 


The "crease" in the road between the bridge and the intersection at Scenic Hills Drive seems
to be getting bigger.  I have contacted the county and they should be monitoring the feature.


Thompson Bayou is now just a tiny stream...and the pretty blue
water is somewhat of an illusion...it is a reflection of a blue sky.


The golf course is a delight to walk especially when cold, rainy
weather keeps the golfers at home.  Even simple things have beauty.


Some of the great beauty of Scenic Hills is  in the well cared for golf course and private properties.
It's also in things we don't always recognize for their beauty...yes, beauty IS in the eye of the beholder.
 The Grateful Dead sang:
"Once in a while you get shown the light
In the strangest of places if you look at it right."


11-24-14
A MOVING VAN PULLS INTO SCENIC HILLS

Of course a moving van is a bittersweet sight.  Someone's friends and neighbors are moving away.  That can be sad and a loss for the
community.  On the other hand it marks the arrival of potential new friends.  The housing market is coming back.  Two fine looking
homes have been built and the beautiful lot at the corner of Meadowbrook and Burning Tree is being cleared for another new home! 
We have always enjoyed circling the neighborhood and admiring the varied architecture.  Boring it is not.  It is a fine place to live.

There is a great comic strip called The Middletons.  In one memorable strip the neighbors came to the Middletons to tell them that the neighborhood's aptly named slovenly family, the Grimes, had a moving van parked amid the knee high weeds and rusting wrecks and appliances in their yard. The family was known for being lazy and untidy.  Mr. Middleton was dispatched by the neighbors to investigate.  He returned and said, "It's a moving van alright.  It's up on blocks."



11-23-14
SCENIC HILLS 32514
A (Possible) New TV Show
Did you enjoy Peyton Place?  Knots Landing?  90210 or the new Party Down South?  If you watched these shows you'll be disappointed in Scenic Hills as a racy or wild TV series or outrageous book.  It's a quiet, friendly and peaceful place.
HERE ARE OUR CHOICES FOR THE TOP TEN EVENTS IN THE LAST TEN YEARS

1 & 2
Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Dennis (2006)
They tend to run together in my mind.  They were destructive but of course they affected much of the American Southeast.  We weren't alone and help poured in from FEMA and the rest of the country.  During one of our hurricanes the wife of a friend of mine took some leave from her position as a drug rep to join other nurses from New Jersey to collect supplies and head to the South at their own expense.  Locally, government functioned and Scenic Hills residents pulled together. There was much to overcome.  Many houses had damage. The golf course and clubhouse were heavily damaged and closed for quite a time.









Scenes like this were all over the Panhandle.


3.
The (peaceful) civic battle over the ENPZ
2004 (?) to 2007



Both sides in this civic endeavor stated they wanted to "Save Scenic Hills."  Don't bother to try to access the webpage on the sign. It was retired after its job was done and the ENPZ was defeated.  The site scenictimes.com was also used to fight against this ordinance but it was eventually replaced by ths scenicpost.com you're reading.  A local homeowners group briefly had a web site but as far as I can see went by the wayside possibly before the defeat of the ENPZ.


There was a vigorous civic campaign for and against the ENHANCED NEIGHBORHOOD PROTECTION ZONE (ENPZ).  The program called for the selection of a seven person board to propose to the county new zoning restrictions to impose on Scenic Hills homeowners.  It was a plan that some residents felt was promoted, backed or supported by a local homeowners association so they formed a loosely organized effort to oppose. This was a grass roots campaign at its finest. The local HOA is a voluntary association to which no one is required to belong. The opposition group had no formal membership and dissolved after the ordinance was defeated. The images are some of the items used to oppose the ordinance.  After numerous meetings and correspondence with county officials, the ordinance was not enacted by the Board of County Commissioners.  The entire episode remains a textbook example of how communities are supposed to function. It was spirited. Citizens campaigned door-to-door, debated, created websites, printed signs and contacted appropriate county officials.



4
The fight against building an interstate highway extension.
2006


Interstate Highway 110 stops before it reaches 9 Mile Road.  It was proposed to extend the highway to and beyond 9 Mile Rd.  That would have brought it next to or through Scenic Hills. Local residents helped organize a loose group of citizens and organizations to successfully defeat the proposal. It was another example of how governments and citizens should interact.



5
Mailbox bombing
September, 2006


Deputies collect evidence after a Scenic Hills mailbox was destroyed by a bomb.  At that time there was a series of similar bombings throughout the area.  Some felt the episode was a prank but authorities took the event seriously.


Local TV made the incident an item on the evening news.


"Film at 10."


6
The Great Zoning Code raid on Scenic Hills
May, 2007


Code enforcement officers descended on Scenic Hills to investigate violations of county zoning laws.  Some believed this was fallout from the local debate over the proposed new Enhanced Neighborhood Protection  Zone.  Others point to the fact that several real things were cited as being in code violation.  In any event, several changes were made.


One of the code enforcers is seen carrying a violation notice.  The code enforcers were friendly and obviously they have an important job to do.  It's not clear if a complaint brought them out.  For anyone who doesn't think code violations can be a hot issue, please note that this code enforcer is required to wear a sidearm.



7
Fire at the Scenic Hills entrance
May, 2007


The cause was never disclosed and to my knowledge no arson was charged.









8
The University of West Florida buys the Scenic Hills Country Club.
In an era when other golf courses are closing locally and all over the nation, the Business Enterprises Inc. at UWF paid between 2 to 2.2 million dollars for the
beautiful course and the 12,500 foot clubhouse.  The entire purchase includes 150 acres.  UPDATE: The university has since sold the course to a local group of investors.



9
The deluge and flood of 2014

During the period between April 28th and April 30th some areas in and around Pensacola received a record of almost 20 inches of rain! Isolated areas had even more. Low lying areas were flooded and higher spots that have never experienced flooding were also hit.  Roads were undercut, bridges destroyed and the dam on Thompson Bayou collapsed and flooded several homes and damaged some roads.  Similar events occurred all over the Gulf states. Had we lived in a cold climate, this rainfall would have translated to over 16 feet of snow!


North Scenic Hills


Meadowbrook Dr.


15th fairway


Meadowbrook at Thompson Bayou


Bricks washed away on Scenic Hills Drive



10
Obituaries
2004-2014
Of course this should have been first on our list.  Like any community our size there will be stories of people who have passed away in a 10 year period. 
I can think of at least 5 I have heard about
I believe at least one was a member of The Greatest Generation. All were special and remain deeply missed. 
For their individual family and friends their life and death would be the most important event in our time frame. 

Other events of note
Ten was an arbitrary number.  I'm sure there would be many candidates for an 11th event. In 2013 we had over 20 emergency vehicles respond to the wounding of a deputy.  The Winter of 2013 would be a candidate for inclusion.  I lived in the frozen north for years and never had a pipe freeze.  I had one freeze last year in Pensacola.   There have been other less destructive storms that might make an expanded list.  We had  lightning strikes.  The Scenic Post became a neighborhood's newspaper.  I had a par on 16 on one of the few times I played the course.  Lest you think that heralded in news of Hell freezing over I followed up with snowmen on 17 and 18.  Order was thus restored to the universe.  The restaurant at the clubhouse went through some changes and is now called The Grille instead of Caponi's. Also of some interest to residents is the 2006 renovation of the course. Our university won NCAA National Championships during this time period in Golf (2008), Men's Tennis (2004, 2005, 2014), Baseball (2011) and Women's Soccer (2012).  They announced plans to field a football team and hired veteran successful Pete Shinnick as coach! They have won numerous conference championships in several sports. This is their second year with a Women's Swim and Dive Team.

OK, I told you this wasn't Peyton Place. These are the biggest events that come to mind over the last ten years.  The best part of all of this is how residents survived and "did the right thing" in response.  I would argue that if your "worst" events include such things as a damaged mailbox and a brief grass fire in ten years, you're doing pretty well.



11-22-14
SCENIC HILLS IS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE

I mean, where else has birds that can read?  Granted, he's
moving his beaks to read but English is not his first language.

If you're considering moving to Pensacola keep in mind Scenic Hills is almost on the campus of a great university.  The cultural activities and athletic events are world class at The University Of West Florida.  The web page http://www.uwfphoto.com has a wealth of information and photos (If I do say so myself) about the whole Pensacola area and the University of West Florida.

Scenic Hills is served right across 9 Mile Road by an excellent shopping center.  It is anchored by 2 great department stores, Target and Kohl's.  There is a fine Publix supermarket anchor that stresses customer service (It really does).  There are more than a dozen good places to eat plus other specialty shops.  Parking is excellent as is entrance and exit.

Houses vary in style and architecture.  The one constant seems to be a desire to be proud of the looks of a home.

Natural beauty abounds as is illustrated on the site and the uwf.com site.  It's fall but nature doesn't take much of a rest as it prepares for the next seasons. Winters are comfortable with rare snow. The occasional cold is refreshing.  Spring is amazing.  Summers are hot.

Even our weeds and seeds have a beauty to them!









11-22-14
Can it really be 51 years since we were robbed of our president and our nation's youthfulness?
This Florida sunset is dedicated to President Kennedy.



11-20-14
COLORS


We don't get the fall colors they get in the North.  Ours are more subdued but they have their own charm.


11-20-14
"EARLY ON ONE FROSTY MORNIN'"
The beauty of Scenic Hills

Scenic Hills displays some of the frost, or near frost, that made us part of the early winter blast that arrived
across the US well before Thanksgiving.  Here the shade protects the remaining frost on Holes 16 and 17.


The 15th fairway looked as if it were trimmed in frost...


The frosty mornin' quote is of course from Dixie.  A friend of mine thought he was a better musician than he actually was.  We normally humored him but didn't dissuade him when he announced he was going to start busking on a street corner in town.   As I watched he began with his painful (to my ears) rendition of Dixie. He finished and noticed two people in the small crowd were crying.  He asked, "I couldn't help noticing you had tears in your eyes. Are you Southerners?"  "No, we're musicians," they replied.

OK, I didn't kill Vaudeville but I'm doing my best to keep it from coming back.


11-18-14
THE ADVANTAGE OF KEEPING YOUR HEAD DOWN
OR
LOOK WHAT I FOUND ON THE STREETS OF SCENIC HILLS

                                     I HAVE FOUND ENOUGH MEDALS TO START A RELIGION

On the left is a St. Anthony medal.  The reverse says Pray For Us. Some Catholics pray: "St. Anthony turn around, turn around, something's lost and must be found." He is the patron saint of lost articles.  I guess it didn't work yet with this medal.  When I found it I first thought it was a St. Christopher medal although I think they pencil whipped him off the Calendar of Saints along with St. Nicholas and the patron saint of explosives, St. Barbara..

The blue medal  is a "Miraculous Medal." Blue is Mary's color.  It's hard to read but it says:  "Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee."  I personally think the veneration/deification of Mary is cool. There is only one path and it's bigger than any one religion. This medal is related to the honoring of the Immaculate Conception—not to be confused with the Franco Harris immaculate reception or even David Concepcion, the greatest shortstop not in the Hall of Fame.

On the right is a crucifix.  I can't quite decipher the reverse but it looks like IHS.  I recall that to be the shortened Greek name for Jesus.

                                                                                                                                                       (This is revised from an earlier post. See 8-18-13)



11-18-14
THE DEATH OF RADIO AS WE KNEW IT
Local WUWF And Internet AM 1710 Remain Great Radio Stations Serving Scenic Hills
Modern radio sucks.  I hate to be so crude but I grew up in the Golden Age of Radio.  You'll have to excuse my bitterness at what "they" have done to a once noble industry. The only bright spot is public radio.  Locally, WUWF (FM 88.1) has evolved within the glory of The Golden Age.  Everything else borders on boredom.   For anyone who shares my nostalgia or just wants to experience a little history, there is Radio 1710 on the computer.  It's an actual low power station on the AM dial in Illinois.  The station signal doesn't escape the neighborhood where it is located.  You can find it at http://radio.macinmind.com/days.php  It replays the greatest programs from radio's Golden Age of the 40s, 50s and 60s.  It's FREE and I've listened for years without a problem of any kind.  The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke (with the rotund Wm. Conrad as Matt), Dragnet, The Whistler,  Lux Radio Theater (Featuring some great names in movies), Nero Wolfe, Superman, Sam Spade and so very much more feature great drama.  It's a trip down "Memory Lane."  Fibber McGee, Ozzie & Harriet, Abbott & Costello, Burns & Allen and tons more of comedy are heard every week. 

A number of Scenic Hills residents are in my age demographic.  For others a lot of the programming holds up even today.  Like reality shows?  Old radio featured shows like Nightwatch in the 50s.  It was a program featuring an actual ride-along with officers of the Culver City Police.  You will enjoy the old radio Gunsmoke after you get past the "Floyd Factor."  William Conrad (Matt) and Georgia Ellis (Kitty) are believable and dramatic.  Doc Adams is portrayed by Howard McNear.  Here is the "Floyd Factor." McNear's voice is easily recognized as that of Floyd The Barber in Mayberry.  It's hard to take Floyd Lawson seriously as Doctor Adams.  The radio Doc is also a little greedy as he anticipates collecting his autopsy fee for Dodge City's frequent gunshot victims.  Chester is also a difficult voice to take seriously.  Parley Baer later played Mayor Stoner in Mayberry and his voice is recognizable.  Conrad ends some episodes with "And that was the West."  Priceless.

By the way, old commercials are often included.  It is so interesting to hear Jack Webb promote the cigarettes that probably helped kill him.  You'll hear an announcer talk about how doctors would switch to a menthol cigarette when they had a sore throat!

Interesting asides: It wasn't a golden age for television. Superman transferred to TV as did Gunsmoke, Dragnet, The Lone Ranger and others. What I could never figure out as a kid was how a simple black eye mask or a pair of glasses and a cape made The Lone Ranger and Clark Kent so disguised as to be unrecognizable to even friends.  William Conrad wanted the TV role of Matt Dillon but his Five-By-Five figure just didn't match the tough, two-fisted role of Matt Dillon.  There is a great scene in Superman where people hit him with fists and objects and he doesn't even flinch.  He sticks out his chest as a half dozen bullets bounce off. However when the bad guy empties his gun and throws it, Superman ducks away!  Too funny.  He didn't  duck or try to avoid the bullets, a chair broken on his chest, a piece of pottery broken over his skull and a fist to the face but the thrown  gun was somehow a threat!   It is on Youtube.  Go there and request Superman Ducks Gun.


11-17-14
FMAO
(Freezing My Aperture Off)
Remember just last year?  The date is correct.  It's Scenic Hills Drive.

Reminders for cold weather...wrap exposed pipes and vulnerable plants...keep
blankets and something to scrape windows with in the car.  Driving? Read:
AAA BAD WEATHER DRIVING TIPS  Click Here


11-16-14
LMAO
(LAUGHING MY APERTURE OFF)


IT'S MARKETING 101.  Spend your advertising dollars where you will encounter potential customers.  The Florida Lottery is a form of gambling.  Do some golfers have an interest in gambling?  Duh, many of them bet on the game because they are gamblers or simply like the added competitive element brought by a wager or two.  It's mostly harmless and ignored even where gambling is prosecuted. Golfers will recognize the terms Nassau, Skins and and Bingo-Bango-Bongo among others.  Golfers are OFTEN interested in other sports and gambling is rampant among   American sports fans so they would be a smart target for casinos and the lottery. 

So why am I laughing?  Did I say you should advertise where you'll find potential customers in need of your services?  I found this ball along the golf course today.  Targeted advertising?  Too funny!



WHO'S YER DADA NOW?


I continue to get feedback about my golf ball Dada sculpture.  It's almost always supportive or otherwise positive.  Once in awhile a disgruntled golfer will express negativity or confusion.  Today a poor guy thought the golf course owned all of the property in Scenic Hills. He obviously needed the extra acreage as he started one of the worst slices I've seen well over private property before bending it back to the right rough on the hole he was misplaying.  Since players were scarce today I had time to tell him the basic story of the display he asked about.  As Paul Harvey would say, "Here's the rest of the story."

The area at the back of my property was heavily wooded and overgrown when I moved here.  It was home to snakes and huge spiders.  An occasional golfer with poor eyesight would mistake the area for a public restroom.  After hurricane Ivan the area was left with numerous leaning and twisted trees as well as damaged branches hanging precariously overhead.  I chose to clear the area to protect golfers seeking restrooms or hunting golf balls.  I 've noticed some golfers have a problem with the concept of private property.  I was left with a cleared area that was dotted with exposed roots and numerous tree stumps.  I hit on the idea of nailing balls on the stumps and other mowing/trimming hazards to make maintenance safer.  It evolved into a kind of environmental installation art-Dada-pop art thing that I hope would appeal to a Warhol or Christo.  Maybe it belongs with Anti-Art.  At least one college design and art institute recognized it as an example of "Dada influenced art."  Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  The display will remain and I will be adding to it.  Thanks to all who have taken the time to enjoy!




LIKE A BROKEN RECORD
11-15-14
Found Around The Golf Course

Ok, if this is all I have to complain about I must have a great life.  Well, life's sweet but I still have to comment on the passing show.  Scenic Hills is a fine neighborhood intertwined with a fine golf course.  All of this is virtually on the campus of a fine university.  I found these 2 balls along the golf course.  I assume they are balls from a driving range and not meant to be removed from that range and certainly not meant for regular play.  I have found other balls that were certainly from the Scenic Hills driving range which is nowhere near where they were found.  These all were found in the opposite direction from that direction the range aims its customer's shots.  The question is simple.  If you must play with stolen equipment can you afford to play golf?  I don't know but to me stealing balls from a range or someone's yard is not much different than lifting them from a sporting goods store.  To me it doesn't jive with the personal code of honor  that marks golf as a gentleman's game.  I shudder to imagine such a person in a tournament where no one is watching or counting that person's strokes.

And while I'm thinking about honor...

You are free to do a lot of things with the flag and the Supreme Court and I support your rights.  You probably didn't mean to be offensive and technically, this isn't the exact image of our beloved 50 star flag.  It sure appears to violate our beliefs about a flag being used along with advertising (the name of the ball is on the side).  The ball is designed to be struck and bounced along the dirt and grime.  It (and it's flag symbol) get muddy and grass stained.  I cleaned the flag portion of this one before copying it for display.  This is not the first of these I've seen on a golf course.  There is nothing illegal about this I guess.  Respect for the flag is largely voluntary in a free society such as ours.  Like golf's voluntary adherence to the rules, our respect for the flag makes it special.

It dawned on me a lot of young people may not know what is meant by a broken record.  I guess they also don't know what an album is or why we "dial" phone numbers.  Isn't it nice to have a tidbit of technical knowledge your 11 year old grandchild doesn't have?


11-13-14
TIS THE SEASON FOR HOUSE GUESTS

A  relative of this guy picked a night this week to visit our good friend here in Scenic Hills. It's that time of year.   These chilly days and cold nights have wild animals seeking dens or warmth or who knows what.  In the last dozen years we have had two squirrels enter our abode.  Our friend said he had his intruder leap from a drapery cornice and graze his shoulder.  There are many good hiding place in a house for these rodents.  The ending was happy for man and beast.  We are guessing the squirrel entered through a damaged screen cover on the chimney. 

                                                                       A HUMBLE SUGGESTION

There are many home schools in our community.  The ones I have seen in some detail are amazing.  I would suggest a science project for home schools.  After I moved here I decided to do an inventory of the natural life on the third of an acre I occupy. CONFESSIONS OF A BACKYARD NATURALIST ( http://www.billstockland.com/Backyard.html) is a web site I created to explain what I found after a brief study of my property.  It would be a great project to introduce school kids to biology, botany, and all the aspects of flora and fauna that each of our marvelous properties contain.  Web pages are surprisingly easy and cheap to create.  Free and inexpensive internet space is available.  Domain names are cheap.  Free applications are still available for processing digital photos.  There are free applications that can turn your discoveries into suitable code to create a web page.  It would be an interesting ongoing project for a grandparent to work on with a grandchild.  It is a great way to  explore both nature and the Internet with safety.  Of course modern young people can probably "school" us older people on the technical side of making this natural history study.  That sounds like a win-win to me.



11-4-14
In case you don't read my site/blog Unique Western Florida Photos I have a strange tale about funerals and animals.


We were in a funeral procession into the mountains of Kentucky when a deer descended a steep hill and attempted to leap over the hood of the hearse.  He shattered the windshield and tore off the side mirror.  He continued over the roof (see footprint) and landed in a heap on the side of the road.  Dead or crippled?  No.  He (an estimated 10 point buck) scrambled to his feet and climbed a very steep hill to escape.  The photos of the doe was taken 2 years earlier near the cemetery up in the mountains.  You might say the buck (and the doe) doesn't stop here.  Please be careful.  Deer and drivers can kill each other.  This day no one was hurt.



11-4-14
A Statue Of Buddha In Scenic Hills

 The Florida Panhandle is rich in opportunities for religious expression and introspection. 

We have a Messianic Jewish synagogue and out of the rich religious traditions of the Middle East we have a Muslim Mosque and the historic first Jewish synagogue in the state.  From the mystical richness of the East we have at least two Buddhist temples or congregations serving a wide range of believers. The Pensacola India Association can direct you to those pursuing Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism.  It promotes such things as The Festival Of Lights.  Christianity is represented by a wide range of faiths.  Most seem interested in welcoming visitors. Some of the Christian congregations are huge with equally impressive buildings while others worship in homes and smaller buildings.  There are Methodists, Seventh Day Adventists, Church of God,  Church Of God Inn Christ,Baptists of several stripes, Presbyterians, Christian Scientists, Unitarians, Assemblies of God, independent churches,  A M E Churches, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and Roman Catholics.  There may even be some Druids.  It is a religiously rich community and I've probably overlooked some options. Any week will find street preachers and also missionaries going door-to-door to win converts.

Let me know if you'd like me to tell you which of these religious groups have the truth.  In the mean time here is a view of religion from THE LIGHTER SIDE.

Where Is God?

        Two young boys were real troublemakers and their mother was at wit's end when she heard her church had a new deacon who had experience straightening out problem kids.  She contacted the man and sent the oldest boy to see him first.  The man looked at the boy and said: "Where is God?"  
        After a long silence he raised his voice and said, "Where is God?"
         Not getting an answer he almost yelled, "Where is God?" 
        The boy got up and ran from the room as the deacon shouted his question again.  The boy sprinted all the way home and to his brother's surprise, he crawled under the bed virtually shaking in fear. 
        What's wrong?" the younger brother asked. 
        "We're in big trouble this time.  God is missing and they think we had something to do with it."


Lama                                                       

    The woman was from New York City.  She explained to a travel agent that she wanted to travel to Asia to meet a certain lama who was reported to be living in a rugged mountain cave high in the Himalayas.  He tried to talk her into visiting a more easily reached lama.  She was adamant and said she needed to ask this particular lama an important  question. He arranged a complicated trip that included an air liner, a charter flight, train ride and an arduous trek into the mountains.  The lama's assistant stopped her and said she risked interfering with the lama's meditation schedule.  He said he'd take here to the cave but she could only speak 8 words to the lama.
    After another climb she stood near the cave entrance and said: "Sheldon, it's your mother.  So come home already."


OK, I stole the first joke from my friend Paul.  It's such an old joke it  may have inspired Nietzsche.   The second joke is stolen from Lama Surya Das.  He was born Jeffrey Miller in New York and was commenting on what he saw as the attraction of Buddhism to young Jews.  I hope you find the jokes as harmless as I do.

A Popular Church On Nine Mile Rd.  Barely Legal?  Legally bare?


11-3-14
Progress Report

Thompson Bayou is shown here at the green bridge on Meadowbrook.  It has shrunk to little more than a trickle. If you were flooded by this during the record rainfall you may think this is a good idea but I think it's probably more complicated than that. In normal times the water was usually close to the top of the wooden dam with the blue and black cloths.

I just thought this old fashioned roof brings back memories of old times.



A SPOOKY MOON RISES OVER THE CAMPUS...




10-12-14
WELCOME TO THE TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE
Word has reached me of some property crimes in Scenic Hills.  Sadly, the same thing that enriches our recreational lives and may raise our property values also can bring undesirable people into the neighborhood.  I was told some equipment was stolen from a pick-up truck while the owner played golf.  Apparently the truck was in the parking lot.  I am reminded of something I said over a year ago:  "I believe the mother of legendary basketballer Bill Russell once advised him to stay away from golf courses because of the people he’d find there."  One of golf's attractions has always been the character of players who routinely call penalties on themselves.  There was always a dress code and a sense of decorum.  Unfortunately I occasionally hear an " F-Bomb" shouted.  Some people claim they play for stress.  It must be working.  In this case someone couldn't resist an air compressor sitting in an open truck.  I saw a friend putting a very flimsy lock on a roof carrier compartment he took on vacation.  I commented on the lock and he said: "It will keep an honest man out.  Let us hope the thief in this story was merely passing by and not a golfer.

Back in July of 2013 I had another crime story of sorts...it was a case of reverse theft.  Someone entered my property and instead of taking someting he (or she) left me a cement mixer!  Either they were recognizing I live right or they were suggesting I am so poor I need help. There was real theft in the neighborhood a few days ago when stored tools were stolen from a construction site. 




10-10-14
   AN ODD LITTLE PLACE

The late great Jerry Garcia performed "An Odd Little Place."  CLICK HERE FOR SOUND  Sometimes
Scenic Hills can be an odd (but fascinating and funny) little place as the following photos might indicate.

A FORK IN THE ROAD
Yogi Berra once gave directions that included:  "When you come to a fork in the road take it."
He also once said about a lfamous restaurant: "Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."



TREES
If it can't grow in Florida, it just can't grow.  Below is a tree growing out of
debris on a roof.  Another photo shows a tree growing out of a storm sewer!




And I can't figure out what the golfer is doing with a tree in his cart.



ANIMAL TRACKS
The trail of Cro Hackus...said to remind us of Sasquatch but with a smaller brain.


?



10-9-14
DAM IT ANYHOW

Before the dam is replaced it might be time to replace or strengthen the old wooden infrastructure...just a thought.
UPDATE:THE SITE IS GREATLY IMPROVED.


The water is still alive with fish near Meadowbrook Dr.




And other life is present...



10-7-14
   SIGNS OF THE TIMES


We finally got tired of trespassers digging through our shrubs hunting balls.  It's working!


It pays to advertise...even out-of-bounds.


10-6-14
INGRESS AND EGRESS

Notice the UWF official colors?


SHCC?   Scenicpost.com Has Classy Communication?  Scenic Hills Country Club







The entrances to Scenic Hills could use some upgrading.  The Nine Mile Rd. entrance needs to have u-turns restricted for east bound traffic.  A traffic light would be wonderful but it's probably not possible given the traffic count.  Despite the cost of moving a storm sewer, enlarging this entrance to allow for a right turn lane for outbound traffic would also help.






The Time  Has Come For TheGreenbrier Extension
One man's carefully thought out  opinion...
The photo is of what I think is the next logical step for improving traffic into the university.  Greenbrier Road is being resurfaced and I'm hoping it will be paved and extended the short distance into UWF.  This would open up a road for emergency response—a factor to consider in this day and age.  The school may soon have a football stadium and access will be needed.  Build it...they will come.

I believe such an entrance/exit will actually raise property values for all of Scenic Hills.  There will obviously be some more traffic on Greenbrier.  Duh, ya think?  I believe the number of people coming from Cantonment into the university will be acceptable especially when you realize that same traffic will be removed from Nine Mile Rd. and the other entrances to the university.  Listen, in emergency situations you can't have too many options.  There are ways to minimize the impact of more traffic.  Furthermore, UWF is one of the major employers in the area.  Houses on Gtrrnbrier with such a convenient entrance could do wonders for the property values in the area.  Rather than fighting progress we may be better served by bending progress in an acceptable direction.




10-5-14
SCENIC SCENES AND SHADOWS

A Sunday Morning In The Scenic Hills Neighborhood













10-3-14
   WHY LIVE IN SCENIC HILLS?
It's an easy question to answer.  Above we mention the cultural and athletic events that are available to us because of our proximity to the city of Pensacola and the University of West Florida.  We're virtually on the campus of a fine school.  Those things alone make this area family friendly.  We aren't all that far from world class beaches either.  UNIQUE WESTERN FLORIDA PHOTOS  is a site that promotes a lot of what this area offers.

In my opinion the purchase of the surrounding golf course by UWF gives that institution a real stake in our future.  They didn't buy it to destroy it.  The school is also constructing housing, motel space and business activity at the campus entrance.  I envision tourists, conferences and visiting athletic teams making that part of the campus a picturesque and valuable development.  There is talk of creating a smaller development near the clubhouse to accommodate small conferences and weddings.  Some may see golf as a dying business but there will always be a niche for its followers and UWF is positioning us to survive any further decline in popularity of the sport.  The future looks exciting.  The golf course could be lengthened to accommodate today's realities where players hit the ball greater distances. The course could also be shortened to a 9 hole facility and retirement style housing could be built.  It is Florida after all.

Scenic Hills is safe and quiet especially for these times.  If I were younger and had kids attending UWF I'd be tempted to buy a Scenic Hills home for them to use for their housing.    This investment property could later be sold or kept as a rental until I was ready to retire.  I'd warn prospective buyers to investigate local ordinances.  A while back there was what I consider a knee jerk response to the number of unrelated people who could share a dwelling unit.  There is talk of creating a campus entrance from the Ten Mile/Greenbrier Rd. area.  Properly done, this could be a valuable addition to our neighborhood and the university.

Scenic Hills is not burdened by having a mandatory homeowners association with the dues, legal complications and controversies that sometimes accompany such things.  (Here are Florida examples:  http://www.floridahoalawyerblog.com/2014/09/video-of-fight-at-south-florid.html  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLxAEbBWWx4&list=PL7437BEA1DB717C83&index=6  I won't bother to link to these but you can Google them.)  There is an association and it voluntarily does things like presenting ideas to government. Christmas decorations, minor maintenance and raising  money for added sheriff's patrols. To my knowledge they don't have a website or frequent meetings. By the way, there is also an active garden club and a neighborhood watch program.  This newspaper is independent of any organization but it is provided in the spirit of community involvement and service.  Not everyone wishes to belong to organizations but Scenic Hills is a big tent and some choose to participate by keeping their property up and watching out for their neighbor. 

Why live in Scenic Hills?  The present is quite good and the future is promising.  Why wouldn't those things attract you?


10-2-14
IS GOLF A DEAD GAME WALKING?
Do We Have A Serious Problem With The Golf Course?

Recent developments  have me wondering about the future of golf in Pensacola in particular and America in general.  There are consequences for Scenic Hills no matter which way the ball is hit.  Marcus Pointe course is said to be closing by the end of the year.  The Moors closed a few years ago. They are/were excellent facilities.  Are more courses slated to join the  643 courses that have closed in America since 2006?  I've always defended the purchase of the Scenic Hills course by the UWF Business Enterprises Inc. as a guarantee that golf will survive in our neighborhood.  I grew a little concerned tonight when I saw the following notice posted near the 17th tee.
I read the small print.  On 9-22-14 UWF Business Enterprises Inc. was notified by Escambia County Code Enforcement that they were responsible for conditions conducive to the breeding of rats, vermin and insects that are a threat to human health.  The owners are cautioned to be "careful of snakes" as they correct the scene by mowing and cutting overgrowth. 

OK.  Here is my concern for the short term.  Has the golf course allowed rats, snakes, mosquitoes  and vermin to breed and accumulate on its property?  What will happen when the owner finally clears the property of vegetation and other pest habitat?  The troublesome creatures will have to go somewhere.  Will neighbors see an influx of these dangerous pests onto their property?  How big a piece of neglected property are we talking about? This can become very serious in a hurry unless we're just talking about a small patch of land near the bridge.

This morning (10-3-14) someone had turned the sign around and knocked it over.

     
Should  this overgrown creek be part of the abatement order?  IMHO I'd say yes.

This is on the slice (right hand) side of a Scenic Hills Par 5 fairway. I would think
that vermin would be too busy ducking errant golf balls to find the time to breed.

There is talk in this country of golf being a dying sport. The National Golf Foundation fears that the game will lose 20 per cent of the 25,000,000 golfers remaining from the 30,000,000 of just a few years ago. The Baby Boomers are retiring and they just don't play golf as much as it was hoped.  The Scenic Hills course doesn't seem very busy some days and I see another disturbing thing.  I'm not sure that everyone can afford golf because I find more and more range balls being used.  If you can't afford your own gold balls should you be playing an expensive sport.  The cost of the modern hi tech equipment and the cost of a round of golf may  be hurting the sport.  Business doesn't seem as tied to golf as it once was.  It's not an easy game to learn and fewer and fewer people have the time or money to practice.  On the pro level the US once had 60% of the top 100 players in the world.  Today the number is closer to 30%.

What can be done?  It has been suggested that clubs and balls should have no restriction on design.  Average hackers might be attracted by the hope of using new equipment to occasionally hit a 400 yard drive in bounds. One can only imagine 800 yard par four holes. Including mulligans per hole has been suggested.  (A mulligan is a do-over.  Many already allow one per round.)  Hitting the ball that far would only distance the modern game from its storied past and mulligans cheapen the sport.  Still another suggestion is to widen the hole to 15 inches or more!  When I first heard that I figured it was tongue in cheek.  In  that spirit allow me to suggest some things to save the game.  Build huge 50 foot tall windmills on each fairway and golfers will have to avoid the spinning blades to drive their ball through the feature.  A giant clown's head in front of each green will have an opening in front with several exit openings to direct the ball into several different parts of the green.  Hey, my suggestions are as good as having titanium drivers bigger than the golfer's head.  Let us keep our sense of humor.  These things will work out.  The University of West Florida is an honorable neighbor.  I believe they will address the code violations and even if the golf course fails due to the decline in golf popularity I believe UWF will do the right thing. 

I will monitor what I can of Scenic Hills and its future as a golf course and its willingness to keep up on property maintenance.

10-1-14
WARNING!
OK...I'll be the first to tell you I don't know what happened in the following 3 photos.  I was working in my yard/driveway when a distressed squirrel entered my field of view.  As you can see, it had a lot of damage to its fur and body.  There are many possibilities.  Was it struck by a vehicle?  Was it attacked by a raptor, coyote, fox or domestic animal?  Disease strikes me as a real possibility.  Recently I saw a mange ravished coyote in the neighborhood.  This squirrel had a disturbing manner of moving and exhibited no fear of humans.  Maybe an injury caused it to be uncoordinated and fearless but maybe there was brain damage as the result of a disease.  I've never heard of squirrels spreading rabies or any other human disease but I wouldn't bet my life on my animal medical knowledge.  My rule is to avoid animals (wild or domesticated) that exhibit bizarre behavior.  I don't see much upside in approaching wild animals at any time.  We don't know why or how this squirrel problem happened but it certainly serves as a cautionary tale.

We called Escambia County Animal Control and an officer responded quickly and gently removed the injured/sick animal.  Call them if you have an animal problem.  850 595 0097

Our first night in our Scenic Hills home included a squirrel encounter of the strange kind.  We were awakened by strange sounds from the living room.  Boxes remained to be opened and stored in every room,  We found a squirrel frantically searching for an escape.  Apparently the moving men had left the doors open enough to allow the squirrel to enter.  He froze in his tracks when he saw us.  Believe this or not but I picked up an empty box and folded the flaps inward. I threw the box in a frisbee motion and it landed on him on the first try.  My wife opened the door and I scooted the box (and squirrel) along the hardwood floor and flipped box and rodent into the yard.  I suspect the squirrel had as much trouble convincing other squirrels of his experience as I have convincing humans.













9-30-14

ODDS AND ENDS...HEARD AROUND SCENIC HILLS

A very friendly couple stopped by to comment on the golf ball sculpture near Scenic Hills Fairway 15.  They said it made their day and I told them the story of how a college recognized it as a "Dada Influenced Sculpture."  The overwhelming response has been positive.  Golf should be fun and I'm glad most find fun and recreation in Scenic Hills.

Someone raised an objection to my including The Palestine Chronicle among the links I have to various newspapers around the world.  I believe in free speech and fair speech.  I've had the Jerusalem Post linked first from the start and I will continue to have links to voices from both sides of the strife and trouble caused by ALL sides in that troubled part of the world...that includes Palestinians, Arabs and Israelis.  I grew up reading Scripps newspapers.  Their motto was: "Give light and the people will find their own way."

I believe the housing market in Scenic Hills is on the rebound. Word reached me that at least one house in Scenic Hills has sold approaching the 300K price!  There should be others. I've seen another new house being finished.  Living on a fine golf course has to be great for property values.  I believe the University of West Florida made a wise purchase.  I've heard they paid about $2,000,000 and if the golf operation ever fails the building sites alone should exceed that amount when the housing market fully recovers.

Scenic Hills is the home of great old oak trees and some great wildlife!


A little "Old School" black & white/ 



9-26-14
SCENIC HILLS IS A MYCOLOGISTS TREASURE TROVE
The mushroom...our unofficial neighborhood flower!









                                         HARSH WINTER COMING?  Reading the signs…
9-24-14
    I'm often asked if my position as an editor enables me to receive special warnings and predictions about the coming winter from the Weather Bureau or Homeland Security.  I'm dutifully bound to answer yes that I receive no special warnings.  I can still help you discern the signs.


"We were shown how a cold winter was expected because the
ants had banked their hills against the coming north wind."

    I grew up mostly in the frigid north.  No, that doesn't mean I only mostly grew up.  It means I lived mostly in the North (Ohio) as I grew up. It was there that I was influenced by my Uncle Albert. He suffered from an injury he received in 1943 while in uniform. Albert went into a long, quiet stare when questioned about his service.  It was only when I persisted  after several boilermakers (He called it firewater) that he allowed that in '43 he was injured by an errant golf ball while serving in the white jump suit of a caddy on a military base golf course near Washington DC. I think he said he was 12 or 13 at the time.

    The injury had a lasting effect.  During  seasonal changes in temperature the head injury caused him to take on the persona of an ancient Native American shaman named Sakful.  I'm not sure of the spelling but it probably doesn't matter because his tribe, like him, had no written language at its command and both relied on a pidgin of broken English for everyday communication.  His trance induced prophecies  were named for him and his  predictions and weather prognostications were referred to by locals as "A Sakful." 

    Sakful became locally famous when he predicted the blizzards that accompanied the bitterly cold winters of 1975 and 1976.  Rivers and lakes froze and fuel shortages were common.  By that time I was a stringer for a local newspaper.  As winter loomed on the horizon I was able to convince my editor that Uncle Albert/Sakful would be a great and informative story.  He agreed but insisted I work with a more experienced reporter.  Several preparatory articles appeared in the paper and even local television and radio included stories of the local shaman who would predict the coming weather. A date was announced by my uncle for his final weather prediction. Ohio had its own Punxsutawney Phil to predict what was coming.

    Somehow a local radio station and a television station had gotten word of the excursion and they joined us. My uncle was delighted to guide a group of strangers through the woods as he made his annual trek to read the signs for the coming season.  Fall had arrived with an unusual cold snap and Sakful had completely emerged from the depths of Albert's personality.

    He shushed us with fingers to his lips as we observed a rabbit scurrying through the woods. "Rabbit thick fur" he intoned solemnly.  From there he had us crawling for what seemed like the length of a football field.  I felt bad for the TV guy lugging his camera. Along the way Sakful pointed out the color and thickness of woolly worm fur.  The reporter's expression said what I was thinking.  They looked like regular caterpillars and without an example from a mild winter nothing seemed informative.  Perhaps sensing their growing mistrust, Sakful picked up an object and broke it in half.  He handed both pieces to the first man and bade him to hold them to his nose and smell  before passing them on.  "Animal  turd," was all Sakful said without explaining any relevance to a weather prediction.  The TV guy threw the pieces to the ground and we all wiped our hands on our pants and followed as Sakful continued crawling.

    Several other items were added to Sakful's growing collection of evidence. He took frequent note of the animal droppings he observed.  We were shown how a cold winter was expected because the ants had banked their hills against the coming north wind.

    We were almost to the edge of the forest when Sakful again shushed us and whispered,  "You four rest for a few seconds while I scout ahead.  There is one major sign to be read."  My companions were a little impatient and I calmed them with reminders of his earlier predictions.

    Sakful scurried back quickly with an ashen look on his face. "Come.  Quickly.  See.  Final sign is worse than I thought.  Blizzards and ice storms worse than ever before."

    We exchanged worried looks and scrambled after him.  Below in the valley we saw a farm scene straight out of a Norman Rockwell magazine cover.  A young girl laughingly chased a loping dog while 3 older children and their parents worked to stack wood behind a barn.

    Sakful turned to us and said solemnly,  "Cold winter coming. Sign does not lie.  Look. White family stack much firewood."

    I got a job at the mill a week later.



Alright, it's an old joke.  The signs point anywhere you want them to point.  I did grow up in Ohio but it wasn't until I reached Florida that I took an interest in animal signs.  Since I've lived here there have been two instances of non-fatal venomous snake bites.  Perhaps you should heed this example of a snake sign:  Snake Sign


9-11-14
The 13th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks

I believe the patriotic people of Scenic Hills joins us in our support of our Commander-In-Chief President Barack Obama and the magnificent young men and women he leads in our defense!  He said it best in his address to the nation on 9-10-14:  "May God bless our troops, and may God bless the United States of America."


9-9-14
SCENIC HILLS IS VIRTUALLY ON THE CAMPUS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA!
UWF fall sports are in full swing!  Check GoArgos.com  for schedules.  

One of 5 goals in a recent 5-0 victory.  UWF is one of the powers in NCAA Division II sports!


9-8-14


The Thompson Bayou is getting quite dry despite the recent rains. 



I recently saw someone fishing in one of the remaining pools. 




Scenic Hills continues to receive top notch attention from the county and its services!

We receive frequent patrols day and night.


Public Works is doing traffic counts on our roads near the bridges.




The recent severe lightning brought out the lineman in full force...Burning Tree Drive


SCENIC HILLS...A GREAT NEIGHBORHOOD!



9-1-14
I heard again from Escambia County Public Works with a further update about the road condition of Burning Tree Dr. between Scenic Hills Dr. and the green bridge.  They have investigated and found nothing urgently wrong but they will keep an eye on the problem.  It does seem to have become stable but residents should keep it under watch.

The beauty of Scenic Hills continues to amaze us!


















Moon over Scenic Hills


ESCAMBIA COUNTY GOVERNMENT
THESE FOLKS KEEP THEIR EYES ON THE BALL

The cyber ink in my email to our county government about Burning Tree Rd. hadn't even dried when I received responses from County Commissioner Steve Barry. the Public Works Department and the Roads Department.  Mr. Mead of the Roads Department best represents their timely and helpful response:  "...the area supervisor is going to have the french drains at that location cleared and then evaluate the road.  If you have any other questions fell free to give a call."   Watching out for your neighbors involves more than just the important job of observing possible criminal activity.  I have no idea if Burning Tree has a serious problem.  I write and photograph—I wouldn't trust me to investigate an infrastructure problem.  Thanks to the experts I do trust!

8-2-14
THE GOOD AND THE NOT SO GOOD
THE CREPE MYRTLES ARE SHOWING OFF IN SCENIC HILLS





EVERYTHING IS GROWING.  IT HAS TO BE THE RAIN WE'VE GOTTEN!



THE HIBISCUS THRIVE EVEN BEHIND BARS...

Scenic Hills Is Scenic!  Thanks to all who keep it that way.

BUT ALL MAY NOT BE WELL
There appears to be something happening under Burning Tree Drive between Scenic Hills Dr. and the green bridge at Thompson Bayou.  In my view, the road appears to be buckling and it seems to be getting worse.  There also appears to be a spring or water main producing water at the surface.  UPDATE:  Improvements have been made.



I have emailed Escambia Public Works about this.


7-20-14
"THE PLAY'S THE THING."
Or how Nickle Tickle saved fairy tales!

The set awaits its actors

OK, "The play's the thing" was stolen from Shakespeare (Hamlet I think) but Nick Tickle, Fairy Tale Detective deals with stolen props that threaten the future of fairy tales as we've grown to love them.  It has been performed by various theatre groups across the country!  I was fortunate to see the performance at the Pensacola Little Theatre by local actors and directors from Acorn Productions and the Pensacola Little Theatre (http://www.pensacolalittletheater.com).  It begins with Hansel and Gretel and ends with a papa bear who is afraid of porridge.  Along the way a hilarious detective does a Noir Genre performance in the best traditions of Mike Hammer, Sam Spade and Pat Novak (Look it up. you'll be surprised).

Classy and talented artistic expression thrives in Pensacola.  There seems to be more talent per capita here than just about anywhere.  A slick private detective would say "Pick your poison babe—literature, music of all kinds, dance, opera, theatre and the visual hearts including photography—it's all here and it's fascinating."

The entertainment and arts district is only about 10 miles from Scenic Hills!



GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS
7-20-14

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE...I HAVE NEIGHBORS IN MY PART OF SCENIC HILLS WHO LOOK OUT FOR MY PROPERTY.  WE SHARE SECURITY AND SAFETY INFORMATION. 

THE BAD NEWS IS WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE EVEN AN IDYLLIC SETTING SUCH AS SCENIC HILLS CAN BE A TARGET FOR CRIME.  I have recently received phone calls and emails warning of crime and suspicious behavior in our neighborhood.  To the best of my belief there is still some kind of homeowners association but I believe it  is only a voluntary social organization.  I've heard there is a neighborhood watch but like an hoa, there is no internet presence I can locate. If there is such an active group feel free to notify me and I'll list appropriate information if you wish.  In the event of dangerous situations, call 911.  Above all, if you have safety or security information share it with others.  Lets not be like Barney Fife when he told someone the sheriff  should get an unlisted number.

7-19-14
I LOVE THE NIGHT LIFE
(I'm sorry Alicia but I don't boogie.)
I love The Nightlife Disco round
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu2NzXb4x1s)

DISCO MAY BE DEAD BUT
THERE IS STILL SAFE AND EXCITING NIGHTLIFE IN PENSACOLA

Seville Quarter nightclubs have it all...music, great food and drinks all in a picturesque setting!


On game nights the Seville Quarter will provide a free shuttle back and forth to
the stadium.  Some call it the music bus because the driver/host plays great music!


And the stadium speaks for itself!


Talk about action!



And these guys will pedal you back to your car for a great way to end a
fun night if you're not heading back to Seville Quarter for the nightlife!

AND THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO LIVING HERE.  YOU CAN ALMOST WALK TO UWF FOR EXCELLENT ENTERTAINMENT, COLLEGE CLASSES AND GREAT COLLEGE ATHLETICS! 

Scenic Hills is a great neighborhood and we're only about 10-12 miles from the heart of a great American city!
 
THE SAENGER THEATRE AND VINYL MUSIC HALL BRING IN TOP TOURING ACTS.  THERE IS OPERA, BALLET AND SYMPHONY.  FREE MUSIC EVENTS,  CELEBRATIONS, PARADES AND FESTIVALS ARE THE RULE RATHER THAN THE EXCEPTION.  THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON!
  OH, DID I MENTION THE DINING?  THE WORLD FAMOUS BEACHES?  THE MEMORIAL DAY LGBT GATHERING?  THE GREAT CHURCHES AND TEMPLES?  THE BLUE ANGELS?


7-8-14

"Vee Are Too Soon Olt Und Too Late Schmart."

Sometimes I believe that could be the Scenic Hills motto.  It certainly seems to be mine.  I remember quite clearly when I first heard my great grandfather utter those wise words.   He built a roaring fire and we kids sat around it as he poured out such words of wisdom.  I remember it clearly because we lost our house that night.  The crackling fire was cozy but great grandpa and the rest of us failed to realize we didn't actually have a fireplace.  After the firemen left we realized we lost Great Grandpa that night also.  Fortunately (depending on how you look at it) we found him in the park setting  fires.

Anyway, the saying is a good one and it is my lead-in for saying Mr. and Mrs. Mock N. Byrd are alive and well.  They returned and continued their parental duties.  I was just plain mistaken about bird nesting habits in this warm climate.


Four hungry mouths to feed!  I'm going to give them space.

The next day I quickly took a few shots.  Note how much they matured in one day!







Mr. and Mrs. Byrd kept a close eye on me and even made a fake dive.  Be careful of mockingbirds...they'll
attack anything that gets near a nest...dogs, cats, I've even seen them attack snakes and dive toward humans.



7-5-14
YELLOW JOURNALISM AT ITS BEST
FOWL PLAY SUSPECTED IN DISAPPEARANCE OF LOCAL COUPLE
NOT SEEN FOR WEEKS
 SCENIC HILLS DUO LEAVES FAMILY OF FOUR BEHIND
NO TRACE OF MR. OR MRS. MOCK N. BYRD

POSSIBLE CRIME SCENE

We suspect Mrs. Katz but it's also possible a member of the infamous Jay or Raptor
families attacked.  I first saw nesting activity three weeks ago and kept my distance.  I
 noticed no activity and finally investigated and found this abandoned nest and four eggs. 


6-28-14

 THOMPSON BAYOU IS ALIVE AND GETTING WELL!
(The waterway along Fairway 17,  Scenic Hills Golf Course)

THE DAM IS GONE BUT WILDLIFE NEVER LEFT.  I'M TOLD AN ALLIGATOR HAS BEEN SPOTTED
BUT SO FAR WE'VE MISSED IT.  WE HAVE SEEN SOME OF THE USUAL SUSPECTS INCLUDING SOME
RATHER LARGE FISH, TURTLES AND OF COURSE BIRDS.  THEY OBVIOUSLY HAVE A FOOD SUPPLY!








6-28-14
HUNGRY FOR FOOD, MUSIC OR CRAFTS?

BUSKERS AT THE PALAFOX FARMER'S MARKET ON SATURDAY MORNING

THERE ARE MANY CRAFT AND FARM PRODUCE BOOTHS AND IT'S ONLY ABOUT 10 MILES FROM SCENIC HILLS.




6-12-14
IMPORTANT FLOOD INFORMATION

 Escambia County Engineering Administrative Assistant Rhela Ransom, 850-595-3440,  asked that  all residents who had flooding damage from the road right of way, drainage easements, water bodies etc.    call and inform her of the damage and location, as the county is compiling information so that emergency funding can be appropriated at these locations for remediation.   The deadline for submitting this information is July 25, 2014.  Please call her with your information as soon as possible.

6-7-14
MY BROTHER'S KEEPER
Here are some suggestions for keeping an eye on your neighbor's property while he is away.  I've heard there are local neighborhood watch groups.  I'm not sure I would join one if it existed.  It's like a homeowners association.  I see too many potential problems with them although I'm sure there are some good, well meaning people in these organizations.  The best protection is to watch out for each other the "old school" way.
CHECK LIST
1.  Be the neighbor you want your neighbor to be.  Agree to watch each  property when one is away.  Get an emergency number.
2.  Collect the mail for your neighbor.  It beats having the Post Office re-direct or hold mail.
3.  Be careful whom you inform you'll be away.
4.  Clear your neighbor's driveway of papers, fliers and religious tracts left in view.
5.  Put out and store trash and recycling cans.
6.  Make several trips around the property.  Check door knobs, windows and other points of entry.  Signs of entry need immediate retreat and police report.  Don't play hero.
7.  If you have a key enter (and lock-up) as needed.
8.  When circling the house check for damage due to fallen limbs.  If you live on a golf course check for broken glass.  Some golfers are idiots. They think they are Tiger Woods and swing wildly.  You may have to make temporary repairs to keep out vermin and weather.
9.  Sniff for the smell of smoke and gas. It is an emergency  if you smell either.
10. Listen for the sound of running water.  Check windows to see if they are "fogging-up" unduly.  That could mean a plumbing problem.
11. If your neighbor left in a sudden emergency he may have been too upset to be practical. It won't kill you to cut his grass etc.  Keep his property looking lived-in, not abandoned.
12. Keep watch for strangers and strange vehicles.



6-6-14
THANK YOU GREATEST GENERATION FOR D-DAY AND SO MUCH MORE!
You saved the world and rebuilt it from  destruction and depression. 
You built an infrastructure the envy of the world.
You provided great education and medical care and advancements.
You didn't whine that the taxes were too high or the sacrifices too great.
You gave us a great nation and all you asked was for us to do the same for the future.
If we fail it won't be because we had no role models.  We had the best.













6-5-14
MARITIME PARK IS JUST 11 MILES AWAY!

The Wahoos bring us high level professional baseball.

TURF?

St. Augustine and Centipede grasses are two of our most
important ground covers.  They'll spread right along the ground.

5-30-14
NEW COUNTY FLOWER

We nominate the mushroom as the official Escambia County "flower."  Enough already with the rain!  We measured  over 5 more inches on 5-30-14 and it's still cloudy.  On one of my nature sites I discuss recognizing edible mushrooms but it bears repeating here.  There are poisonous mushrooms so this advice could be life saving.  OK, here is the foolproof key to identifying safe mushrooms.  It all depends on WHERE you find the mushrooms.  The surrounding environment is important.  Generally, the safest mushrooms will be found wrapped in celophane and in the produce department of a grocery store.  Anything else is a gamble.  Glad I could help...


STORM DAMAGE UPDATE
5-28-14
Scenic Hills property owners continue to repair storm damage from the deluge of April 29-30.  The area was hit hard by over two feet of rain in a short time. Some of us suffered lightning strikes as well as water run-off.  Houses along Thompson Bayou were especially hard hit.  Thompson Bayou (I once saw a map calling it Ten Mile Creek) runs under Meadowbrook Dr. at the green bridge, along the 17th Fairway and eventually under Burning Tree Rd (at another green bridge).  Both bridges and roads were damaged. 

The Scenic Hills Golf Course has circulated a letter listing damages of $1,498,750 primarily to the lake and dam on the 17th fairway and the green and fairway on hole 16.  According to Club Manager Rick Gorman's letter, the collapse of the dam on Thompson Bayou accounts for $1.1 Million of the estimated damage. 

UPDATE ON THE WINTER FREEZE OF 2014
Many of the Sago Palms survived the big freeze.  Apparently our advice
to do nothing and wait was correct although some palms didn't survive.



DID A "DO-GOODER" RAIDER STRIKE?

A good friend has contacted ECUA to pick up an unused trash can.  The can was placed on the curb  for  pick-up  but someone moved the can back to the side of the house as if to lecture the homeowner  on the proper day of the week to place a trash can in Scenic Hills.  Too funny.

One observer (me) thought the episode was reminiscent of the debate over the ill-fated attempt to create a special zoning board to make special rules for the neighborhood.  It was called the ENPZ and it died a slow death due to the opposition of concerned residents. 

THE WAHOOS REMAIN A GREAT FEATURE IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY!
THE STADIUM REMAINS A GEM.

Baseball has been exciting.Robert Stephenson still throws 99 MPH.


They have great entertainment acts such as this Russian touring acrobatic team.




And the strangest things fly over


We thought this object was another bi-plane.


Look what you get when you enlarge the object!






THE TIME HAS COME

AN EDITORIAL OPINION
5-3-14
The recent natural disaster of April 30 has convinced me that we need to complete the Greenbriar (Ten Mile) connection to the UWF campus.  Granted, a similar type "once in a lifetime" flood would probably render that entrance/exit impassable but there are other disasters besides almost unimaginable flood level to consider.  Certainly such an entrance needs to be built with as much flood protection as possible.  IT IS NEEDED the sooner the better. In this day and age we must also consider disasters instigated intentionally. A Greenbriar entrance gives us an emergency option. It will add to the safety and ability to deal with disasters of all kinds for UWF, Scenic Hills, North Scenic Hills and to a lesser degree even Fox Run.  It gives Scenic Hills a fourth exit and entrance.  We're not done with disasters.  BUILD IT!


5-1-14
RECORD RAINFALL DAMAGED SCENIC HILLS
AND THE REST OF THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE



See Scenic Hills Rain  for details


4-10-14
IT IS OFFICIALLY SPRING—NOW WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE DAMAGED PALM TREES?




I know what I'm doing...nothing.  I think I'm seeing a little more green on each plant...maybe.
And if they die, Buddhism reminds us about impermanence.  Even a dying plant teaches a lesson.

SPEAKING OF TREES...

THE 16TH TEE AT SCENIC HILLS IS LOCATED NEXT TO ONE OF
THE BIGGEST SWAMP CHESTNUT OAK TREES IN THE SOUTH.

AND ON THE UWF CAMPUS IS ANOTHER MAJESTIC TREE


AND SPEAKING OF UWF...
(What a segue!)

UWF hosts, promotes and provides all of the athletic, social and cultural activities you would expect
from a top-notch university.  Recently they hosted the Festival on the Green that presented everything
from great dog shows to community groups.  Thanks to UWF, ducation is not limited to the classroom.













ENJOY SPRING IN SCENIC HILLS!







3-4-14

I SAW MY FIRST LEGLESS LIZARD OF THE YEAR!  CAN SPRING BE FAR AWAY?

Actually, this is an earlier photo but I did see a dead Legless Lizard (Glass Lizard) along Scenic Hills Drive today.  More than likely it, being cold blooded, died from the chill in the air we've been experiencing this winter.   They are harmless and actually, quite useful.  Of more concern, I saw my first robin of the year and one of the few I've ever seen around here.  I didn't get a photo yet but it was certainly a robin.  I think they are somewhat uncommon around here.  Sadly, I've read that robins are suspected of spreading the West Nile virus.  They spread it to insects and they spread it to humans.


2-7-14
UWF WILL BEGIN FOOTBALL IN 2016


Coach Pete Shinnick was introduced on 2-6-14 as the man who would coach the new UWF Football Program with its first game to be played  at the Community Maritime Park.  He's a winner.  He's started and/or built great programs at other schools and he comes from a football family that includes the late all pro NFL linebacker Don Shinnick.  He's a believer in the importance of character and fits the UWF coaching mold.

1-28-14
SCENIC WINTER WONDERLAND






Note the tulip tree blooms!




Roads and bridges were dangerous across the South.


Ice weighs more than some realize.


Ice made perfect forms of leaves and if they didn't slip off
they either helped bend trees or break off limbs and leaves.



1-18-14
ALONG THE GULF OF MEXICO

Scenic Hills is a beautiful neighborhood right in the center of the Gulf Coast.  You never know
what you'll see next in our area.  Here are some random shots
from an area that is never boring!


KEEPING HER DUCKS IN A ROW
I took this photo a few years ago right in Scenic Hills
and it has since appeared in sites as far away as Japan.


Mormon history tells of a time when gulls came in to save the fledgling Utah settlement from swarms
of damaging insects.  Even looking as if you're throwing food will get you swarmed on our beaches.


You can find uncrowded beaches here.


Many of the following photos don't need descriptions.


















































 





















12-21-13
THE NEW PENSACOLA DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY

The new ordinance gives domestic partners certain rights that were once held only by married couples. It includes the ability to make medical and funeral decisions for each other.  Domestic partners may visit one another in the hospital and participate in the education of mutual children. Registered domestic partners will be automatically notified in case of an emergency. Blogs and newspapers often include editorials and this one is no different.  

12-20-13
I attended the Nutcracker Ballet at the Saenger Theatre.  It was incredible.  The arts ARE alive and thriving in Pensacola.  Talent abounds and it was never more evident than in last night's performance.  I didn't take photos because it was truly SRO and I don't like to intrude or distract. 

12-19-13

DOWNTOWN PENSACOLA

Museums, Displays, Galleries, Parks And Theatres The Equal Of Any
Here are some attractions around the area of Jefferson and Main:

Educational Opportunities


OK...St. Augustine is the oldest continuous European settlement in North America
but Pensacola was the first.  Of course my Vikings got to North America earlier than
both.  And Native Americans were here when everyone "discovered" the New World.




UWF is working on a dig near the museums.


Footprint of an early settlement


Home of the very excellent Pensacola Ballet!


The Very Special T. T. Wentworth Museum


The Excellent Pensacola Art Museum
Wonderful Displays And Educational Programs





This train display (N gauge I think) is currently at the Art Museum.
Size: The yellow pick-up truck is about the size of a half dollar coin.







12-14-13

GOLF FROM SILLY TO SERIOUS
I love living on a golf course.  I've played the game but my clubs gather dust.  They're so old the head on the driver is smaller than my head.  One of my woods is actually made out of wood.  These are my modern clubs.  They replaced a set that had clubs named niblick, spoon, brassie and stymie loft.  OK, that's a joke but as a kid we played with hand me down clubs that sometimes included hickory shafts.  By the time we actually got on a real course we had metal shafts.  I digress.

A GOLFER AT SCENIC HILLS MADE A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL!
Yes, I found proof in my yard that a golfer apparently sold his sole to the devil...probably in exchange for a par on #16 or most likely a dry tee-shot on the water bordered # 17.  Satan, as he is prone to do, promptly discarded the man's sole after the damage was done...once again proving he is more than just a heel.  Once he has your sole he'll expect you to toe the line. You'll be instep with evil.  He's the last person to trust.  He's our arch enemy.  He probably invented the pun.

(Uh, I know the difference between sole and soul—please don't make me explain these
things.  See, saying "soul" wouldn't make sense given I found the sole of a golf shoe.)


You should not throw your club further than you've just hit the ball.  This man got excellent distance with a long iron...I'd say nearly 30 yards.  He picked up his ball on his way to recovering his club.  That's got to be a difficult walk in front of a camera.  I will not show his photo.  He's suffered enough.

Living on a golf course is like having the (Amateur) Golf Channel for free!

OK LET'S BE SERIOUS
LIGHTNING IS A TERRIBLE DANGER ON THE GOLF COURSE.
We can have thunderstorms even in the winter.  I've seen lightning in a snow storm.  DON'T PLAY GOLF IN A STORM.  PERIOD.   It's not worth it.  Seek shelter.  Almost 60 people a year are killed by lightning in the US.  Five to ten percent of them were playing golf.  DON'T do what these guys are doing.  I'd rather take your photo than give you CPR.

According to the US Weather Bureaus these are golf tips about lightning:
    1.    Seek shelter at the first sign of a thunderstorm. If the course's warning system sounds, head for cover.
   2.    If possible, get off the golf course or go to a designated lightning shelter (note: open-sided buildings do not provide                protection from lightning even if they have a lightning rod).
    3.    Do not stand under a lone tree. This is where most people are injured or killed.
    4.    Stay away from water.
    5.    Stay away from your golf clubs.
    6.    If your shoes have metal spikes, take them off.
    7.    Move away from your golf cart.

All you can do is improve your chances.  There are no guarantees.  Lightning has been known to travel 5-10 miles from a storm.  A few years back a high school football team was injured when lightning struck from an apparently clear sky.  Even indoors you have to take precautions.

12-7-13
IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR
Further reasons to like Scenic Hills

Volunteers place Christmas bows around the neighborhood



Oh...we do have an occasional cold spell in Pensacola...which pleases some of us.


Incidentally, volunteers paint, repair and decorate the bridges in Scenic Hills.  Some have their own voluntary association and some have a neighborhood watch while others conduct their own neighborhood watch and do routine things to maintain the beauty of the neighborhood by removing litter and even mowing when necessary.  A few years back the neighborhood saw two groups competing over something called the ENPZ.  Both groups wanted to protect Scenic Hills...some  through a zoning plan and others through opposing it. The plan was eventually shelved but I choose to believe Scenic Hills won because residents showed their interest in the community.  People invested money and time on both sides of the issue.


A volunteer's mower


Residents spent money and time on two competing plans to save Scenic Hills.  We (all) won.


Volunteers maintain the bridges and decorations.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS ARE PART OF OUR GREAT COMMUNITY!


Maritime Park/Bay Front Stadium is a gem in the crown.  It is home to our Major League connection—the Blue Wahoos, a AA minor league team of the Cincinnati Reds.  The Reds will play a Spring Training exhibition in Pensacola in 2014.  More activities are coming including some SEC Baseball and football from UWF!  
 

NEARBY IN MOBILE
There is a great museum and display in Mobile.  It includes a battleship, submarine and so much more.  To me it is second only to the Pensacola Naval Air Station Museum and display!  NAS has a great museum and the Blue Angels trump everything but Mobile is excellent.





INTERESTING AND HUGE SHIPS FREQUENT PENSACOLA HARBOR



Tall ship and a big ship!

11-22-13
PENSACOLA AREA CHRISTMAS  EVENTS


SOME OF THE CHRISTMAS SEASON ACTIVITIES IN THE AREA

11-29-13  Elf Parade and caroling starting at the T.T. Wentworth Museum
12-6-13   Island Christmas Boat Parade
12-8-13  Santa Rosa Island Surfing Santa Parade
!2-14-13  Downtown Pensacola Christmas Parade
12-31-13 New Years Eve Pelican Drop




SOME PEOPLE MIGHT CONSIDER A DIFFERENT SPORT
11-5-13
While walking along the golf course something funny was brought to my attention.  Someone had lost a golf ball.  That in itself isn't especially funny.  What was funny (or was it sad?) was someone had marked their ball with an obscene comment that insulted anyone who found their ball!  The rules of competitive golf require one to mark his or her ball but it's rarely done for recreational rounds.  The motive here seemed a little bizarre.  I didn't want to  photograph the ball because of the obscenity but I'm left worrying about the stress level of a golfer who appears to blame his own failure on total strangers who may play the same course later.  I wonder if he or she has a bumper sticker that says: "I may have a low self image but I'm in front of you."  The healthiest golf ball mark I ever heard of said: "Keep your head down dummy."

ARRGGH!
I don't know if they even allow golfers to use pull carts at Augusta National or Pebble Beach but I seriously doubt that if they did, golfers would drag their carts over the center of a green as I observed today at Scenic Hills Golf Course.  Lazy?  Inconsiderate?  Stupid?  Disrespectful?  Destructive? Ignorant?  Stop me when I hit the correct nerve.  It's a beautiful and well maintained course.  Staff works hard.  I'd say Mr. Inconsiderate owes it to the golfing community to be better than what he was today.  I'm reminded of the joke where a guy says:  "I play golf for stress and it's working.  I got it."  We sometimes hear a shouted "F-Bomb" or "S-Bomb" and I've seen golfers throw their club further than they hit the ball—that's never good. Have fun.  It's only a game.  Take a deep breath. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the companionship of your friends. Enjoy that you can afford such a sport in both time and money. Life is good. You can get a par on the next hole...maybe even a birdie. On that one hole you can be any golfer's equal!  Concentrate on the positive side.  Can you fit all of this on the golf ball?  No?  Well how about "Keep your head down?"

 

WINNERS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
11-4-13

UWF SPORTS TEAMS ARE PLAYING FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS IN VOLLEYBALL, MEN'S SOCCER, WOMEN'S SOCCER (DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS) AND GOLF. A UWF TENNIS PLAYER JUST WON A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, THE NEW SWIMMING AND DIVING TEAM HAS ALREADY WON A MEET AND THE SEASON LOOKS VERY PROMISING FOR MEN'S AND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL.  And they are right next door to Scenic Hills!  Since UWF owns the golf course that surrounds us we are virtually on the campus.  There is so much more of a positive nature going on at UWF besides athletics and I urge you to look into the opportunities for people of all ages.   For more information go to GoArgos.com  or UWFPhoto.com  (my site) or uwf.edu  There will be soccer, volleyball and basketball games this weekend...actually, beginning Thursday and running through Sunday.

Here are some random shots:








Uh, the net is over 7'4"and she didn't get a running start!  These are great athletes.


Note the knee braces.  NCAA volleyball is rugged and UWF is winning despite ankle injuries to 2 key players.


Sara Helgadottir is from Iceland.  True to the Nordic tradition, children sometimes take the parent's name for a last name...thus this is Helga's daughter.  Yes, I am Norwegian and my great grandfather was Ole's son...later Olson.  I'm proud of my Norwegian ancestry but you can keep the lutefisk, I'll have seconds on the krumkake though, thank you.








Bruno Savi   National Champion


BEWARE
10-1-13

This happened in the Scenic Hills vicinity.  I noticed it while walking in the area.  I'm sure the owner doesn't want me to disclose his location.  I found out the owner was on vacation at the time.  I waited to print this until the person could be notified and the box corrected.  The owner has since returned.  OK, it could be harmless graffiti.  Then again, this would not be the first house to be marked for later burglary.  "X" (or in this case "Z") marks the spot.  Everyone knows the drill by now—don't let newspapers or evidence of vacancy to accumulate.  Do the neighborly thing and watch out for your friends.  I've discussed the pros and cons of organized neighborhood watch efforts but I can't see a downside to each person being a one-man/woman neighborhood watcher.  Sometimes we all benefit from public spirited nosiness.


THE REDS ARE COMING ON MARCH 28!!
9-11-13


The Reds and Wahoos announced that the Reds will play the Wahoos in an exhibition game on March 28th.  Ignore the incorrect
date on this pennant that was hurriedly prepared or the early reports on local radio and in the press.  The date is 3-28-14 and ticket
information is pending.  This is a rare event for any city and marks the first visit of a Major League team to Pensacola in over 50 years.

The stadium!


THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST FLORIDA ATHLETICS ARE IN FULL ACTIVITY!
9-9-13


TO FIND THE SCHEDULE OF YOUR FAVORITE TEAM GO TO GOARGOS.COM
We are virtually on the UWF campus and as a matter of fact, the golf course surrounding us is part of UWF!








9-6-13
VOLLEYBALL LIKE YOU'VE PROBABLY NEVER SEEN

Today and tomorrow (Sept. 6 & 7) the UWF Women's Volleyball Team is hosting a huge volleyball tournament running from 9 AM until the last games finish sometime after the 7 PM starting timeTeams are here from as far away as Minnesota, Northern Michigan and Indiana.  Don't expect the underhand serving passive game of your youth.  This is championship level NCAA volleyball and players leap, dive and smash opponents with kill shots that seem aptly named. UWF plays at 11AM  and 7PM each day.

9-5-13
SCENIC HILLS  "HOUSE" SNAKE



A friend called to report this intruder in his spare bedroom.  I believe it to be a
baby black racer.  It was about 12-14 inches long.  It didn't survive the encounter.

9-2-13
DISRESPECTFUL OR IGNORANT?

This is the new green on Scenic Hills Number 16.  It's not even in use yet but it's really close to being ready.  It seems like it's been more than a month in rebuilding it.  I watched in disbelief as two golfers plowed across it in their cart. There is no doubt it looks like a green so I doubt it was mistaken identification.  These guys went out of their way to drive across the expensive grass. I went after a camera but I got back in time only to see their tracks.  Maybe they were ignorant of the situation...or maybe they were having a bad day and reacted in an immature and petulant manner.  Either way, they were wrong.  Scenic Hills needs to put large numbers on their carts for easier identification of  wrongdoers.  Anonymity is a vandal's friend.


9-1-13
I CONSIDER THIS TO BE A POTENTIAL PROBLEM
A few years back the predecessor of this blog/newspaper was the Scenic Times.  We changed the name but we still adhere to being dedicated to the absolute truth about Scenic Hills just as we've always been.  We will be repeating the coverage of certain things we thought were problems back then that are believed to still be problems.  I believe there is a potential traffic danger at and near the intersection of Scenic Hills Dr.  and Meadowbrook Dr.  There have been near misses at this spot and I believe it's only a matter of time until we have a wreck.  The problem is visibility for some drivers who are heading west on Meadowbrook.  At one point they cannot see some vehicles that are heading south on Scenic Hills.  Thankfully it doesn't happen every day but I, for onr, have had people pull out in front of meonly to appear shocked and shaken when my vehicle (or horn) become evident.  It might be the hills on the golf course that block the vision.  Consider thrse photos:



The following photos were taken from the passenger seat
of a car facing westbound on Meadowbrook.  Look carefully
and you can see a red vehicle heading south on Scenic Hills.


The vehicle disappears behind the golf course landscape.


The southbound vehicle is totally out of sight.  If you're driving west on Meadowbrook
and this is the time you look to check southbound traffic you could pull out into danger.


The vehicle re-emerges into view.  If you stop at the stop
sign and look carefully before pulling out you will be safer.
Possibly the hills need to be lowered or a three way stop should
be created.  These are old photos—note the old golf course sign.




8-31-13
WALKING IN SCENIC HILLS
ALL TRAILS BEGIN AT THE INTERSECTION OF MEADOWBROOK DR. AND SCENIC HILLS DR.

1 MILE:  Take Meadowbrook to its end and return to the starting point.

1.5 MILE:  Take Scenic Hills to the north until it dead ends at the second opportunity to turn left on Burning Tree.  Take the Burning Tree loop past the clubhouse and return to Scenic Hills and turn right.  Walk to include the Oak Hills loop and return to Meadowbrook.

2 MILES:    Take Meadowbrook until the first right onto Burning Tree.  Continue on Burning Tree until the first left onto Scenic Hills.  Stay on Scenic Hills  until you reach the Meadowbrook intersection starting point.

2.25 MILES:  Take Meadowbrook to the end and return  to Burning Tree and turn left.  Follow Burning Tree and turn left on at the first opportunity onto Scenic Hills.  Stay  heading south on Scenic Hills and turn right on Oak Hills before returning to the corner of Meadowbrook and Scenic Hills.

2.5 MILES:   Take Meadowbrook to the end and return  to Burning Tree and turn left.  Follow Burning Tree all the way past the clubhouse and continue to Scenic Hills Dr.  Turn right and make the loop on Oak Hills before returning to the corner of Meadowbrook and Scenic Hills.

5 MILES:   Begin walking on Meadowbrook and continue to its end before backtracking to turn left on Burning Tree.  Stay on Burning Tree and turn right on Tam O’Shanter until it reaches Greenbriar and return to Burning Tree.  Continue on Burning Tree making the Mid Pines loop and the Pine Needles Circle loop  until you reach the intersection with Scenic Hills.  Turn LEFT and travel to the other intersection with Burning Tree and make the u-turn to head back to the starting point.  Along the way make sure to make the side loops on Colonial Circle and Thunderbird.  Head south on Scenic Hills and make the Oak Hills loop before returning to Meadowbrook.

I'm not a cartographer.  Ya think?  I drew the map and realized it looked like something somewhere between an outline of Africa or a sketch of South America.  Scenic Hills seems to be a safe place to walk.We don't have sidewalks but I've stayed alert and faced oncoming traffic and not had a problem.  Be aware that some of the golfers can be inept.

8-30-13
3 PM
 WATER BOIL ADVISORY FOR SCENIC HILLS DRIVE


Residents on Scenic Hills Drive between the 2 intersections with Burning Tree Rd. are advised to boil their water before using it until further notice. This includes Colonial Circle.  ECUA advises you to bring water to a rolling (roiling) boil for at least a minute.  They advise you can also treat water with six drops of unscented bleach per gallon.  You should also take the usual precautions to run water through your pipes after the advisory is lifted.  The problem was caused by a water main break earlier in the day.





IMPORTANT SOURCES:   http://www.ecua.fl.gov/advisory
ECUA  476-0480

8-28-13
THE WAHOO BASEBALL SEASON IS OVER
.

Except for 5 meaningless road games, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos are finished.  It was an exciting year that can best be summed up by a photo.  We came so close just as we did on this play where a runner was safe literally by just inches.




8-25-13
DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER...Another item found!

The quarter is for size comparison with the 4 diamonds in this
fine little bauble!  I'm further enriched by just walking around!


8-21-13
AN UNOFFICIAL WORLD RECORD FOR SCENIC HILLS




The little private park that contains a Dada inspired sculpture (See:  8-4-13) also contains what is claimed to be the world record for the WORLD'S SMALLEST SAND TRAP.  Measuring approximately 150 square inches, it is located near the 15th fairway of the storied Scenic Hills Golf Course (See:  7-30-13).  If you landed in this trap you are, of course, out of bounds as this park is private property.  If you are one of those creative souls who chooses to ignore OB rules and play your ball as it lies, You may wish to rethink the whole idea of you continuing to play golf.  As Michael Corleone said to Mo Green in The Godfather, "You're unlucky."  I estimate you had over 30'000 square yards to place your shot and you landed in a trap that is about 150 square inches.  Bowling and billiards are calling you.

I've heard a lot of opinions about who is responsible for damage caused by golfers.  One theory says no one is responsible for damages and homeowners and motorists are out of luck.  A more frequently expressed opinion says that individual golfers are responsible for their damage.  Indeed,  residents have collected damages from guilty golfers.  There is a school of thought that says the golf course is not responsible for the damage caused by its customers.  I have heard it expressed that the golf course was here before houses were built or current residents arrived.  They would have known there was a risk.  This argument would not exonerate individual golfers because the residents were here BEFORE the individual golfer arrived on the day he did his damage.  It is interesting to contemplate the idea that the prior existence of the golf course included the use of balls and clubs that could only strike a ball to travel so far.  Today's drivers and long distance balls enable even poor golfers to occasionally drive a ball much further than was expected 10 or more years ago. The golf course might be able to solve the problem locally by increasing fees to include an insurance policy for liability or lowering the profit margin to provide the same protection. 

I was once amused by the wording of a set of rules for a golf course subdivision.  It concerned golfers being allowed to retrieve their lost balls.  As I recall it, the document said golfers had the right to enter private property to retrieve any and all golf balls that made their way onto the property.  It struck me as funny because to me it sounded like the writer was saying a golf ball had the human characteristic that it could make its way somewhere without some other force.  I wondered if I played that course  could I go into your garage and search your golf bag for a sleeve of new Titleists that had made there way in there?  I can't remember if the rules said retrieve golf balls or simply the more vague term balls.  If it said "balls" could I search your property for tennis balls?  Basketballs or soccer balls?  Language fails us sometimes...or maybe, we fail it.



8-19-13
WARNING DON'T FALL FOR PHISHING
THEY'RE LURKING OUT THERE.  Scammers and thieves are active and below is an example of one scammer trying to get my password.  There are many variations of this ruse but this one stands out because the grammar and spelling are correct. Trust me, if you clicked on the "Reset" link you would not reach Apple.  You'd be tricked into giving up your password and maybe other information as well.  The Apple ID support page link might be a legitimate link designed to gain your confidence.  I recognized the first link as bogus and chose not to test the second link either.  There is a great radio program on WPNN  AM 790 on Sunday 8-11 PM.  Leo Laporte is know as the TechGuy and he'll explain about scams, viruses etc. as well as information and advice about computers, phones, digital photography, notebooks and everything else about the new technology.  I use a Mac and Leo admits they are pretty much immune to viruses etc.  Despite that, he (and I) run virus protection programs on our Macs anyway.  It is my belief that Macs are safer because hackers go after the Windows format because there are more of them to infect but also because Macs have built in immunity to attacks.  Leo says there is a particularly nasty virus that will "pop-up" a screen claiming to be from the FBI (or Interpol or some other authority).  This will freeze your screen and accuse you of having pirated or illegal material or software on your computer.  You will be instructed where to send money to have your computer released.  Of course the FBI doesn't raise money doing this and the hackers aren't going to help you regardless of how much you send.




8-18-13
SCENIC HILLS LOST AND FOUND
CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS


8-17-13
Our Wahoos lost again but it was very exciting!
Tucker Barnhart is going to be a Major Leaguer!

CLICK  HERE for more Wahoo photos.




8-16-13
GREAT ENTERTAINMENT IN PENSACOLA

Unfortunately, Myron Noodleman won't be mistaken for Jack Benny or George Burns.  What he is though, is the Clown Prince of Baseball.  He appears in ballparks all over the country to perform his shtick.  He's funny and while he didn't kill Vaudeville he's doing his part to make sure it doesn't stage a comeback.  He entertained between innings of the Wahoo game.  He softened the blow of another loss.

I am amazed at the talent that performs in Pensacola.  Big names like Bob Dylan and Neil Young have come here.  Grand Funk Railroad is coming.  We've seen Hot Tuna, Dark Star Orchestra and Bela Fleck among others.  The Saenger and Vinyl are great venues.  Bands on the Beach is free, outdoors and great.  There is great local talent in all genres from Rock, Rap, Blues,  R & B as well as Opera and a great Symphony.  There are music festivals in and near Escambia County.


8-15-13

WE WUZ ROBBED...Maybe

The Blue Wahoos lost to the Mississippi Braves 3-2 in 14 innings.  One umpire's call stands out.  Wahoos catcher Tucker Barnhart is seen going after a Mississippi player who has slid past (and missed) home plate.  The umpire, the runner and the catcher all are showing that they believe the play is still live. I believe this photo supports the contention that Barnhart slid his glove under the runner's hand and thus tagged him out.  The umpire disagreed as you can see.

Allow me to explain my grammar and spelling before an English teacher raps me on my knuckles.  "We wuz robbed" is an old sports term first used in 1932 by the manager of boxer Max Schmeling after he lost a decision (and title) despite having clearly defeated Jack Sharkey.

The worst baseball call I ever saw was in the 1970 World Series when umpire Ken Burkhart fell down but still called Bernie Carbo of the Reds out at the plate despite the fact Orioles catcher Elrod Hendricks had tagged Carbo with an empty glove!

In my opinion the worst event in boxing occurred in 1990 when Boxer Bobby Czyz was staging a comeback from nearly a 9 month layoff and was clearly outpointing Uriah Grant.  Czyz ran out of steam in the final round and was getting pummeled by Grant.  I thought he was about to be knocked out when the bell sounded a full minute early!  Czyz was awarded the decision.







8-14-13
ON THIS DAY IN 1945 PRESIDENT TRUMAN ANNOUNCED THE SURRENDER OF JAPAN.
We will forever be grateful to the Greatest Generation.  Thank you.


8-14-13
Reminder...wild animals are cute but even these baby Scenic Hills raccoons could carry rabies.
I have spotted another animal with mange...a squirrel.  I'll try to get a photo if it still around.



8-12-13
    POWER OUTAGE AND A WRECK ON BURNING TREE
Scenic Hills power went out about 3:30 PM (Joe Friday was about to crack a case on ME TV).  We called Gulf Power (505 5711) and got informed that we had about an hour to wait.  When 3 Gulf Power vehicles passed I went out to see where the damage may have been.  These guys show up so fast and work in all kinds of weather.  The first 2 photos were taken on Burning Tree between Scenic Hills and West Club.

WRECK ON BURNING TREE?
Photo 3 was taken on Burning Tree near Mid Pines and photo 4 was taken around the corner and further south on Scenic Hills.  I'm not sure #4 is related to the damage shown in #3 but the statue looks like it could be of similar material.  I had come through the area earlier and don't recall seeing the damage but coming from the clubhouse the damage wouldn't have been as noticeable as it was when I returned from the other direction around 4 PM.  I was driving around looking for the other Gulf Power trucks and I drove up to check on the progress at Fox Run and Nine Mile.










8-10-13 & 8-11-13
Somehow our beloved Wahoos lost 2 games.

Carlos Contreras throws a knuckle curve.


Yorman Rodriqiuez plays right field and is a top prospect from Venezuela.

8-9-13
District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry has emailed to assure us that DOT has agreed to correct the problem.  There will be a dedicated left turn lane exiting Fox Run eastbound and an eastbound left turn lane will again serve Fox Run.


8-8-13
THE BLUE WAHOOS
OUR LINK TO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Photos 1 & 2 are from a great game last night at the Maritime Stadium.  Pensacola defeated Jacksonville 2-0.  In this sequence catcher Tucker Barnhart held onto the ball despite a collision that sent his mask and him flying.  The perfect throw came from rightfielder Yorman Rodriquez.  We have seen a number of stars on their way to the Majors.





8-8-13
FOX RUN TRAFFIC

This photo is of the construction going on at Nine Mile and Fox Run.  I'm hoping this is part of widening Nine Mile while returning the entrance/exit capabilities to Fox Run.





8-7-13
THESE HARMLESS CREATURES ARE EVERYWHERE IN SCENIC HILLS!
Click HERE for more photos of them and other things about Scenic Hills.


8-6-13
ONLY 15 HOME DATES REMAIN TO SEE THE BLUE WAHOOS PLAY BASEBALL
Ticket Information (850) 934-8444
To see how the award winning mascot Kazoo risked his life click HERE




8-5-13
SEA FEVER
PENSACOLA IS ABOUT THE SEA
Click HERE for photo reflections on the sea


8-4-13
IS IT ART YET?

Click HERE to read about this evolving work of art that can be seen from the Scenic Hills Golf Course.  It has been recognized as a Dada influenced sculpture by a college. Remember that art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  I hope the same can be said for humor and meaning.  Thanks to all who have received this so kindly!  Golf courses can make good neighbors and I believe many Scenic Hills residents have tried to return the efforts.  It is a good place to live.

8-3-13
MYCOLOGISTS JUST LOVE TO HAVE FUNGI
OR
MAKING THE MOST OF THIS WET WEATHER IN SCENIC HILLS

This Scenic Hills mushroom is called a PSUEDOCOLUS FUSIFORMIS.   It's common name is the Stinky Squid.  I nominate it to be the official fungi of Scenic Hills...NOT.  Click HERE for photos of local mushrooms and a guide to edible mushrooms.



8-2-13
RAIN RAIN GO AWAY
Pop-up showers?  Hmm.  How about pop-up monsoons?  I installed a rain gauge and it was at 2 inches yesterday when it was kicked over by several  pairs of animals we were trying to load onto our newly built boat.

The Doris Duck Family was seen moving to higher ground.  Apparently it's not good weather for ducks like everyone says.
 

On the bright side...honeymooning couples are now coming to my front yard and other places in Scenic Hills because it's cheaper than Niagara Falls and the cruise ships now feature trips to Ferry Pass and Cantonment. (This is actually Little River in Alabama. The ducks are local.)



BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR
The predecessor to this newspaper was The Scenic Times.  Here is an article from the  spring of 2007:
                5-31-07 MYSTERIOUS LIQUID FOUND IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY
A strange liquid has been spotted throughout the area.  Scenic Hills residents awakened to find this clear liquid on their houses, grounds and plants.  Old timers in the area weren't sure but several of them believed the substance is called rain and was once common in the area.  Several residents filled jars and took them to UWF for analysis.  Preliminary reports indicate the material is thought harmless and could be similar to the bottled liquid we buy for drinking and the substance we pull out of the ground to moisturize what's left of our lawns.            (The Scenic Times  5-31-13 Page 1) 

I guess the rain isn't all that bad.                                    
8-2-13
PENSACOLA'S GOT TALENT

Last night's Wahoo game featured another reminder of the talented people of all ages in our midst.   This young lady threw out the first pitch.  She is Chloe Channell and she is a singer featured on America's Got Talent!




The game featured another young and talented star.  Winning pitcher, and key Red's prospect, Carlos Contreras had a no-hitter into the 6th inning as the Wahoos won 2-0 over the Mobile Bay Bears.  The other photo shows former (and future) Major League player Mike Costanzo.






8-1-13
THE PENSACOLA BLUE WAHOOS WON THE FIRST 2 OUT OF 3 IN THEIR SERIES.
CLICK HERE


7-31-13
THE ARTS ARE ALIVE AND WELL IN PENSACOLA
BALLET IS MOST IMPRESSIVE





7-31-13
I ALMOST CAN'T BEAR TO TELL YOU THIS
The Pensacola News Journal featured a story on 7-30-13 that bears (Black Bears) are becoming more populated and problematic in Santa Rosa County.  The Florida Wildlife Commission reports an increase in sightings from 249 to 360 in Escambia and nearby counties.  Read More     Check a Google map of the area and you'll see an awful lot of wilderness around us. We'll continue to monitor reports of animal sightings in the area.

7-31-13
LIFE IS COMPLICATED
To "neighborhood watch" or not to watch?
A while back the New York Daily News raised the question about the neighborhood association in the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case being sued by the young man's family. The paper opined that  his (Zimmerman's) "clearance or acquittal wouldn’t stop Martin’s parents from suing The Retreat at Twin Lakes homeowners association..."
READ MORE   I'm not an attorney and I don't even play one on TV (I played a prosecutor once but I had a script).  To me it seems ludicrous to sue well meaning people.  However,  I also believed O.J. (the running back, not the breakfast drink) and Casey Anthony were guilty but I didn't watch either trial for the duration. The record says I'm wrong and they are not guilty.   I'll continue with my one man neighborhood watch.  If you are considering moving to Scenic Hills but are concerned about being legally entangled by a homeowners association you may be comforted to know that Scenic Hills does not have a mandatory homeowners association.

Facing an emergency?  911 is still the number.  Otherwise the sheriff's number is (850) 436 9630.  Get to know the neighbors on either side and across the street and look out for them.  We have a solid middle class (upper middle class or better for some of you) with solid values.   Vandalism  sometimes happens everywhere and even the "best" neighborhood can fall prey to people driven by boredom or envy.  I've observed disgruntled golfers embarrass themselves and even had one idiot drive his cart across our yards to retrieve his ball.  Most golfers are quite decent and I could build a case for claiming golf courses make good neighbors.  I've seen car tire tracks across the golf course. I doubt if Scenic Hills residents were responsible.   The most bizarre case occurred back in the spring.  Someone abandoned a concrete/cement mixer in my yard.  It was neatly parked.  I called the Sheriff (non-emergency number) and after they made a diligent search for the owner they hauled it away.  I told the deputy that had it been a boat or jet ski I wouldn't have bothered them.  He had a sense of humor.
 

The deputies said this mixer was one of their stranger calls.

7-30-13
CAUTION
I recently spotted a coyote on property along the Scenic Hills Drive boundary with Hole 15 on the golf course.  Unfortunately I didn't have a camera handy.  It was a fairly young coyote and it was suffering from a very bad case of mange. I'd be careful about leaving pet food or small pets unattended.  It is my understanding that mange is caused by parasitic mites. I believe that in humans the disease, or a similar one, is called scabies.

We are not unique.  As populations grow and come into contact with wild animal habitat there will be stories.  Friends of mine in Ohio recently found a young timber rattlesnake in their pool skimmer.

7-30-13
In some ways we can be viewed as a golf course community. The major employers in Scenic Hills are the Scenic Hills Golf Course and its related entity, The University of West Florida. 

Mark Twain and I are in agreement that a round of golf can best be described as a fine walk ruined.  I believe the mother of legendary basketballer Bill Russell once advised him to stay away from golf courses because of the people he’d find there.  How can I argue with either a great man’s mother or the greatest American writer of all time?  It’s a disgusting sport…wait…we have a tee time in 20 minutes?  OK, I’m on my way.  I can finish this later.



The University of West Florida Owns Scenic Hills Golf Course

In my opinion it is a win-win situation.
CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT GOLF IN GENERAL AND SCENIC HILLS IN PARTICULAR


The Athletics at the University of West Florida are soaring
like this bald eagle I photographed above the campus







UWF is a school of champions.  Home games are fun, exciting and affordable! 
I urge you to check the schedules and attend and support UWF teams in Soccer (M & W),
Cross Country (M & W), Basketball (M & W), Swimming & Diving (W), Volleyball (W),
Tennis (M & W),  Golf (M & W), Baseball (M),  Softball (W) and coming soon, Football

CHARACTER COUNTS
It's about character!  UWF recruits coaches and players of character.  They win conference and National Championships.  Some graduates go on to play their sport professionally.  Most go to the community to make their contribution. Below is a photo of Monica Malavassi.  She was a key player in the recent UWF National Championship in Soccer.  Before that, she led the national teams of her homeland (Costa Rica) in basketball and soccer.  All along she played hard and she played hurt.  The Gulf South Conference named her as their nominee for the NCAA Woman Of The Year Award.
The official athletic site is found at GoArgos.com
CLICK HERE TO SEE UWF ATHLETIC PHOTOS


Scenic Hills, like so much of Florida, is a birdwatcher's paradise!

This female bluebird is part of a site containing photos shot in a Scenic Hills backyard.  DRAMA AT THE BIRD FEEDER  is about birds (and squirrels) in our community.  The original rustic feeder was damaged by squirrels and the birds who defended the site against them.  You might notice blue screws and other material holding the unit together.  Bluebirds chose to build a nest here and when it was damaged I had to sneak up and make quick repairs so as not to damage the nest.  The hatching was successful.


GOD'S THIRD OF AN ACRE
Confessions of a Backyard Naturalist

A frequent visitor to Scenic Hills...The Black Racer
I believe you could make a career studying one residential lot in Scenic Hills.  Confessions Of A Backyard Naturalist  is about both the visible and the rarely seen life around us.  There is a world of wonder above our heads and under our feet.

OUR WILD NEIGHBORS


The most famous nature trail in our neighborhood is on the UWF campus.  As the sign says...you should use caution especially if you get off the boardwalk trail.  Yes, I agree the sign should say venomous rather than poisonous but I make too many mistakes and typos to start searching my neighbor's eye for specks.  Anyway: NATURE TRAIL  will take you to some photos of the trail

BUY ME SOME PEANUTS AND CRACKER JACK


It's just a short drive to see the team that replaced our beloved neighborhood team the Pensacola Pelicans.  It was fun while it lasted but now it's even better.  THE BLUE WAHOOS  is a site about our AA minor league team of the Cincinnati Reds!

OK, I told you this wasn't Peyton Place. These are the biggest events that come to mind over the last ten years.  The best part of all of this is how residents survived and "did the right thing" in response.  I would argue that if your "worst" events include such things as a damaged mailbox and a brief grass fire in ten years, you're doing pretty well.