Valve Wheel with Landscape | Mark Lindsay

There is, along my daily walk, a valve wheel that controls the ebbs and flows of the bay into a small, flood-control pond. Sometimes the wheel is up, sometimes turned down. I've never actually seen the man or men who perform this task. I simply notice the position of the wheel each and every time I pass it. Yesterday, the wheel was down, way down. I immediately wondered why. That position is rare for this particular contraption.

I find the wheel to be aesthetically pleasing. There is a beauty to mechanical things that photography render into urban monument. I pondered that concept in my blog post entitled, The Fountains of Corte Madera (with apologies to Robert Smithson). Having covered that premise, I move onto different and sillier obsessions.

As I walk past it, I have this odd feel that there is some dark mystery behind the valve wheel. The people who control such things can't fool me. I figure it's a secret code of some sort. An up-wheel probably means there is a clandestine meeting to be held in one location. A down-wheel might mean it's to be in another. Why people are meeting is beyond me. But, I've decided to photograph the wheel every day and see if there is some kind of correlation between wheel position and town events. This is a nice thing to ponder right around July 4th. After all, healthy paranoia is as American as Betsy Ross. And if I'm simply as goofy as I think I am, I'll have a nice series of wheel photos.

If the wheel position means something mundane (that would be sad) like water level in the overflow pond, then the intrigue will end and we'll go back to thinking of the wheel as urban monument or sculpture. That will be a blog post for another day. I should have plenty of photos to share.

Stay tuned, wheel-conspiracy fans.