I can’t be the only one with an unusual amount of refinery photos in my camera, huh? How can I help it? I’m taking photos every day and this is my horizon, no matter where I turn. I grew up here, yet no matter how familiar the tanks and stacks are, I’m amazed at how different they can look from one day to the next, changing in character with the light. As children, driving past the hundreds of little lights at night, my brother and I pretended it was a space colony, covered by an invisible dome, on a hostile planet. Yeah, we were nerdy then too.
Sometimes they’d burn off things that smelled strong enough to give you a headache. I believe it was my uncle who said that it smelled like bread and butter. It breaks up the natural view, true, but if the day is particularly beautiful, that silhouette against it makes it seem even more so.
In the suburbs of southeast Texas, despite city council’s big plans for the future, this will have to be our Painted Desert. This is our Devil’s Tower.