Saturday, June 21, 2008

Water towers here & there

Sometimes one looms just above the trees, like a cruising UFO scouting for a likely landing spot.

At other times, they're quite out in the open. But what I was quite aware of while driving the Memphis environs with my nieces was the ubiquity of water towers. Here, there and yonder. Often with the name of the particular suburban municipality (or other owner).

What's that all about, I asked my hosts, displaying my ignorance. Why all the water towers? Answer, of course, is for the same reason we have those tanks you don't really notice here in Prescott. To store water. And store it high up, giving the system a good head. Doh.

Up here in the mountains, we simply don't need all those girders and that steel. A good substantial hilltop will do quite nicely, thank you. Nor do we have to paint them a screaming white for visibility from aircraft. The tank I depend upon is pictured above. It's the Indian Hill facility that the city wants to expand, a project that has some neighbors up in arms. Unsightly, they say. (They should look at those Tennessee municipal tanks up on stilts!) Actually, friend Patty and I had to circle the tank quite carefully to find a spot or two where I could get a good shot. Furthermore, she had never even been aware of the tank's existence, though she drives the area regularly.

Here's another local tank picture I found among my archives. Again, the tank, on a hill just east of the Frontier Village shopping center, doesn't impinge on the eye nearly as much as that gouge in the mountainside at right. Perhaps it's the bluegray color, matching the chaparral, because the big white tank (below) on the ridgeline among all those houses is very, very evident. No doubt there are other water tanks around town, hidden in plain sight.

Linkage: the recent pelican post prompted Lucy to locate her photos from a trip to Australia, which she has posted at Box Elder. Wow, such elegant birds! Quite unlike the drab brown fellows that I photographed down in Louisiana. On the subject of birds, World Photos recently offered a look at a nesting stork and her young. Another subject: I tend to avoid Causes like the plague; however, if I were going to take up a cause, guerrilla gardening is a likely candidate.


Lucy said...

I rather like that first bulbous one. We have quite a lot here, either cylinders or usually truncated cones on stems. There's one not far away that's been converted to a restaurant with panoramic views, but I've not been there. Down in the southernmost part of Greece there are very old stone cisterns, stern looking round towers, they give the landscape and towns a very mysterious, forbidding look.

Thanks for the link!

Antipodean Curmudgeon said...

Water storage reminds me of the two(?) large lined holes in the ground behind and left of Grampa M's place where folks tended to chuck things. Methinks they were underground 'ollas' and once used for water storage by early settlers in the area.


Desert Cat said...

It's amazing the fussing and carping people make when they hear we want to put a water storage tank in their vicinity. You'd think we were going to build an oil refinery in their tony neighborhood or something. Once they're built and painted and the landscape around them is restored, they're hardly noticeable, especially when I paint them to match the background landscape.

The biggest stink we dealt with recently was for a buried tank. Oh. My. Gosh! Threats of lawsuits, public meetings, raising hell with the Board of Supervisors. Now with the project complete, we have a small brick building that matches the neighborhood housing style, and a nicely restored desert landscape on our 5-acre lot. That's it. The 5 million gallons is all underground.

Anonymous said...

Nice post. They come in all shapes and sizes. Thanks for the mention.

Granny J said...

lucy -- wow -- a water tank converted into a panoramic restaurant!

bro -- sounds like a reasonable deduction.

dc -- sounds like the usual unreasonable neighborhood hoo-rah. I figure that the most intrusive items in a neighborhood are all those houses.

steve -- how many squirrels are you up to at this point?

Anonymous said...

Just the two that are stopping by that I know of. Red and Junior. The gray was nice, but he vamoosed.

Sheila said...

I live in Memphis, and found you via Lucy's blog. I never thought of water towers as interesting! It's so flat here, and where I grew up, that's how they all are, and I guess it never occurred to me that when I travel, I don't see them everywhere else...Now I'm going to pay more attention.

Granny J said...

sheila -- welcome! Funny -- all those water towers really, really popped into my vision, since I'm not used to seeing them. BTW, I've done several Memphis posts and have others yeet to do.

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