Mornings at the Junkyard

Predictably, the course remains wide open in the morning.  You’ll see the occasional casual thrower out for a quickie before work.  For the most part, though, it’s all yours.  The wildlife is still: toads are silent, ants hide deep within their tunnels.  A few flowers open up before the heat of the day forces them to retract and save moisture.

Morning dew betrays the otherwise stealthy spider webs in the short  grass.  The course looks like it's littered with kleenex in the cool of the morning.  At the center of each web a tiny funnel holds a ground spider.   I'll have to see if I can ID the species...

Morning dew betrays the otherwise stealthy spider webs in the short grass. The course looks like it’s littered with kleenex in the cool of the morning. At the center of each web a tiny funnel holds a ground spider. I’ll have to see if I can ID the species…

This little flowering plant has tiny blue flowers.  It sits next to the prairie dog fence at tee two.  During the floods, this area was drowned out.  The high water mark was clearly visible for months afterward, about two inches below the wooden reinforcement pictured here.  Toads that live inside the fence are doomed to die early.  You can occasionally find mummified toad corpse up against the fence where it expired, hopping towards the open field that It could never get to.

This little flowering plant has tiny blue blossoms. It sits next to the prairie dog fence at tee two. During the floods, this area was drowned out. The high water mark was clearly visible for months afterward, about two inches below the wooden reinforcement pictured here. Toads that live inside the fence are doomed to die early. You can occasionally find mummified toad corpse up against the fence where it expired, hopping towards the open field that It could never get to.

There is no Lorien at the Junkyard.  The trees are vaguely menacing, and do not brook fools kindly.  The face of hole two is steep and mean: If you don't park your drive on or above the shelf, you will most likely roll all the way back down.  There, where the shadows lie, is the pit of no-return for your disc!

There is no Lorien at the Junkyard. Mirkwood is on the left.  Fangorn on the right.  The trees are vaguely menacing, and do not brook fools kindly. The face of hole two is steep and mean: If you don’t park your drive on or above the shelf, you will most likely roll all the way back down. There, where the shadows lie, is the pit of no-return for your disc!

Advertisements

Late April at the Junkyard

Lilac bushes between fairways 4 and 7, just west of basket 6.

Lilac bushes between fairways 4 and 7, just west of basket 6.  Flatirons in the background.

Since the disc golf course was installed about three years ago, the lilacs remained vegetative.  The domestic plants on the back side of the hill have gone untended for years.  After a month of good rain, things have begun to change.  These flowers have an almost burgundy hue, unlike the white and pale purple you see around town.  I admit it: I poached a few of the tighter clusters to brighten up the dungeon.

A different look at the lilac blossoms on the northwest side of the hill at Valmont Disc Golf Course.

A different look at the lilac blossoms on the northwest side of the hill at Valmont Disc Golf Course.

I drove up just before sunset last night.  I’ve heard rumors about what a zoo it is out there in the early evening.  Let me tell you, it is super freakin’ crowded.  There were SEVENTEEN cats backed up on hole 8 at one point!  Almost all of the holes were full.  I skipped around the crowds, playing open holes and avoiding the silliness as much as possible.

I finally connected with Wild Pete, who looks more like Calvin on school picture day, now.  We finished the back 10 holes with a pair of his buddies as the crowds thinned out.

Wild Pete’s new look is real real sharp!

Considering how much use the park gets, it blows my mind that they’re even considering turning the hill into kiddie adventure land.

Ruby Hill Park: Hole 4

DCIM100GOPRO

Long and downhill to the right, hole 4 at Ruby Hill is a lefty-friendly dogleg behind the pine trees in the background. Across the street, at the bottom of this hill stood a white pit-bull, daring us to throw OB into his territory. Luckily, this hole is so long that I don’t think anyone had to challenge him.

Same Planet, Different Worlds

I always feel bad for everyone involved in an awkward “Disc Golf Date”.  You see them often enough: a guy marching along the course, playing in a rushed and distracted manner.  A woman walking behind, maybe with a dog in tow, maybe pounding out text messages the whole while.

I feel bad for the guy, because his need to throw overwhelms everything else, including his need to spend time with his girlfriend.He is powerless to do anything but trudge out to the park, partner in tow.  And yet, he never plays well because his attention is divided: the woman he’s accompanying, and the throws he’s attempting.

I feel bad for the woman, as she is so often secondary to the game.  She strives to demonstrate her support for her man, and his passion for the sport.  Perhaps she is self conscious, and will not throw a disc herself, preferring to tag along, feigning interest in the activity all the while.  Occasionally, she will throw a disc or two, listening to the endless drone of advice and commentary provided by her partner.

You can see it in their body language: He never stops talking and frequently looks back over his shoulder during his run-up, his upshot, his multiple putts.  She unenthusiastically drags her feet while they “search” for that disc hiding in the tall grass.

Some rando Pix from recent Shootouts (April 11 or 18)

Don't let his easy-going nature and elegant humility fool you.  Pat McMahon hit TWO aces in this round!

Don’t let his easy-going nature and elegant humility fool you. Pat McMahon hit TWO aces in this round!

I don't know who donated the Atlas to the Shootout round (Thank you for the desirable disc!), but I do know that Eagle earned it with a low score on the same day his dad hit the two aces in the same round!

I don’t know who donated the Atlas to the Shootout round (Thank you for the desirable disc!), but I do know that Eagle earned it with a low score on the same day his dad hit the two aces in the same round!

Spring is Springing

Bluebells cluster around the base of trees between tee one and tee 6.

Bluebells cluster around the base of trees between tee one and tee 6.

Arizona harvester ants are beginning to stir.  Slow and groggy, they begin their foraging in the cool of the morning.

Arizona harvester ants are beginning to stir. Slow and groggy, they begin their foraging in the cool of the morning.

Hole 2 is beginning to fill in.  It won't be much longer before disc-losing season begins.

Hole 2 is beginning to fill in. It won’t be much longer before disc-losing season begins.

Hole 2 is also filling in.

Hole 3 is also filling in.

The crab apple trees all over town are in bloom.  These line Valmont Road, parallel to fairway 6.

The crab apple trees all over town are in bloom. These line Valmont Road, parallel to fairway 6.

Hole 6 from basket back to the tee.  The grass will prevent all but the most vigorous skips.

Hole 6 from basket back to the tee. Soon, the grass will prevent all but the most vigorous skips.

spring 033

You can still see basket 7 from the tee pad. Not for long, though. The lilacs and the elm tree stumps are filling in rapidly.

Daffodils blossom along the 7 fairway.  There are a number of domestic species that continue to grow here, long after the buildings have disappeared.

Daffodils blossom along the 7 fairway. There are a number of domestic species that continue to grow here, long after the buildings have disappeared.

No, the bums haven't discovered agriculture.  This is my iris patch, yo!  I hope we'll see some blossoms this year.

No, the bums haven’t discovered agriculture. This is my iris patch, yo! I hope we’ll see some blossoms this year.

I don't know what these guys are.  They always pop up on the top of the hill, right next to tee 4.

I don’t know what these guys are. They always pop up on the top of the hill, right next to tee 4.

New crab apple blossoms  along the path to tee 17.  The trees still hold dessicated apples from last year.

New crab apple blossoms along the path to tee 17. The trees still hold dessicated apples from last year.

What keeps you going?

Sometimes, hitting an ace is like stepping on a rattlesnake who bends back to bite your foot.

Tee Eleven at Valmont looks bare and empty.  I don't think the foliage would have made a difference, though, to this  drive.  LHBH, Opto Pure, 176g.

Tee Eleven at Valmont looks bare and empty. I don’t think the foliage would have made a difference, though, to this drive. LHBH, Opto Pure, 176g.

It’s been a long sloppy season. Even though I haven’t missed a Saturday, my game has stalled. I haven’t posted any negative scores at Shootout rounds, I can’t do anything but earn higher tags. For every good throw, I’ve got a couple going OB, or dribbling into water hazards. Straight-on putts fly over number plates, or drop just outside the cage.

I faced a casual round at Valmont yesterday with this recent history looming over my head. I threw two putters from each position, like I was “Cally” on a doubles round. This time there was no cold, no snow, no mud, no recent putting videos that I could blame for my goofy throws. A four on 8. A four on 9. Long-arse putts on 10 left me with three bogeys in a row.

I stepped up to hole eleven. First throw, feeling all four fingers on the rim. A mild headwind lifted it up. The disc glided right, and held the slight anhyzer. A good snap kept the disc locked on this trajectory, and POW! The chains rang out. A couple spectators turned in their tracks to look, saw the disc in the basket, tracked backwards to the tee, only to see me standing there, mute, with my hands up in disbelief.