March 05, 2012

Lagunitas Creek -- secrets revealed

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photo by Donald Kinney

Discovering gold at my beloved Lagunitas Creek never fails to enrich my soul.

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photo by Donald Kinney

And I would like to think that the abstract and colorful images I find in this rippled water beat-the-pants-off of some of the crap that hangs in San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art.

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photo by Donald Kinney

The creek can get busy--but never too busy to have a bit of fun with bubbles.

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photo by Donald Kinney

And my creek also has a mystery... The mystery of the mysterious golfballs showing up in one general area. Each year I find several golfballs along the banks and in the creek itself. For years I've thought these were errant hits that had made a 5 mile journey downstream from the San Geronimo Golf Course. But the mystery remained--why were these balls collecting in this one general area. Occasionally I would find a golfball farther downstream, but I have never found even one ball farther upstream.

Recently I was relating this baffling story to a buddy of mine and he instantly thought he had the answer. There is a rich and eccentric land-owner with a very quirky reputation (I won't go into detail) who lives at the top of Mount Barnabe. His mountain-top property looms almost directly overhead from where I've been finding these golf-balls, and the current theory is that this man has been using the area as a driving range.

So, how many experts on physics do we have in the audience today? I'm a terrible golfer, but I do know that someone with a good swing can knock a ball about 300 yards on a flat plane. But what if the plane isn't flat? How far will the ball travel horizontally if it is allowed to fall? At what point does the ball lose all forward momentum and start dropping straight down? Apparently, assuming that this eccentric land-owner IS launching these balls from the top of Mount Barnabe, they are traveling quite a bit further than 300 yards in the horizontal direction. Fore!

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Civic Center said...

Dear Donald: If they are anywhere in decent shape, I WANT those golf balls for my recreational pleasure.

As for the physics question, I'm stumped but will ask Tony. I do know that golf balls launched from a precipice tee box down a hillside, if hit well, can go many hundreds of yards in a downward arc and roll.

Unknown said...

Delightful! Love your water pictures as always, but when I saw the explanation of the golf balls... I LOL!!!!!! Thank you for the best laugh of my day... imagining that homeowner driving those balls off his land down into your beloved L. creek. Much happiness to you this week!

AphotoAday said...

Hi SF MIKE -- Okay, I'll start bringing those balls home. Those two should still be there and I have one here at home--I brought it home for Kitty but she wasn't interested it in the least. Probably would be different with your Tiger W...

And thanks, "UNKNOWN". What a nice note. And yes, this promises to be a great week--I'll keep you posted...

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