Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunny Reflections

Clouds moved in as the sun rose over the Coke Field 
 casting rich, seductive color over the landscape.
I turned around to see that the clouds had 
allowed the sun to take a peek at its reflection 
in the creek. What it saw was a pool of liquid gold, 
undulating through the field, at the beginning 
of a long trip to the Mississippi River.


dive said...

Simply beautiful, Speedway.
What lucky water you have there in Coke Field. It gets a long, leisurely vacation down the length of the Mississippi and then gets to swim in the Caribbean.

Speedway said...

Oh, thank you, Dive. You make me think about the most off-the-wall sorts of things, inspiring a bit of casual research, such as, "How long does it take the Sun's reflection to reach it's vacation destination in the Gulf?"

I looked up a formula for figuring the rate of flow for a stream, which involves a tape measure, flags, a yardstick, an orange float (the Sun!), a stopwatch, and a calculator.

Throwing out everything except the Sun, I closed my eyes to recall what the water flow looked like as it passed me, and tried to imagine how long it would take for it to bob along for 20 feet. I figured a couple minutes. Now, if it didn't get snagged on a branch or caught up on a broken beer bottle, or in a shallow, it might take the Sun about 2 and a quarter hours to get to the bigger creek south of the Speedway, then another 2 days to the White River.

It's problematic, although the formula is simple: Distance (D) divided by rate of flow (F). Since the flow is dependent on a lot of variables, such as the elevation, riverbed, precipitation, etc. I figure it will take the Sun's reflection about a month to get to the Gulf, if it didn't encounter any snags, such as security guards asking to its baggage, diverting it to other streams, or delaying its flow due to late arriving rain, etc.

dive said...

It's going to take a lot longer than that with all the sandbanks and eddies on Ol' Miss. Just think how lucky it'll be, leisurely meandering through the same landscapes as Mark Twain when he worked the riverboats. I realise most of the Mississippi will not now match my romantic, Huck Finn vision of it, but it still makes me ache with longing.

Speedway said...

I agree that it would take longer if the Sun's reflection were an object such as a ball, but it's really just a collection of light bouncing along on top of the water, isn't it? So, if we just regarded it as a bit of the water's make-up, it would be a part of it's flow, wrapping around rocks, sandbars and such. And if you ever do wanna make that trip, give me a call. I think we could take a canoe from the south side of town down to New Orleans. A couple guys did it in recent years.

There's a cool kid's book by Holling C. Holling, called "Minn of the Mississippi," that tells the story of a hatchling snapping turtle and its voyage down the Mississippi from Minnesota to New Orleans. It was published in 1951. And another called "Paddle to the Sea" about a carved wood canoe put into Lake Ontario and its voyage through the Great lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. It was made into a movie, but I like the book better.