The graffiti was applied with some talent, but talent alone could not save the artist's work from erasure.
Nick Wilhelm approached the creation almost apologetically with a paint roller attached to a broom handle.
"[The taggers will] probably look at us as, 'Oh, you gave us a fresh palette,'" he said.
At least one city employee says that's not always the case. Besides, this particular work is located high above Burbank, overlooking the chimney and foundation on a plateau overlooking the city and Stough Canyon Nature Center.
"In my experience, graffiti begets more graffiti. If you stop it, eventually they'll move on," said Ernie Seiler, senior recreation leader for the city.
That's why Seiler and three nature center docents (plus one columnist carrying a bag of donuts) trucked seven gallons of paint and four paint rollers up the Verdugo trails to the old concrete cistern above a flat campsite.
Weekly Sierra Club fitness hikes often pass by the concrete cistern, labeled over the years with what Seiler described as "alien Morse code."