Jul 3, 2005

When it rains, it pours.

Not to be pushing Morton's Salt here or anything, I know that saying is just an old wife's tale. I know, because I last heard it from an old wife.

It's been raining here of late. And I mean real rain, rain wot's got teeth in. It's not playing around, it's playing for keeps. It's a rain that's good at it's job and takes pleasure in doing something so thoroughly that the frogs are ready to go on strike.

See, Louisiana is a place of extremes. Extremely strange people, extremely crooked politics, and extreme weather. We can't have summer, we have to have a sauna bath outside. I've heard it described as having a wet wool blanket tossed over your head when you step outside, and after 35 years of living here, I'm apt to agree. But it doesn't stop there--it's either boiling hot with 98% humidity (seeing as we live in a swamp) and it's raining all the time or it's 105 with 98% humidity and not a drop of rain for weeks.

We just broke a long dry spell here yesterday when the storms came out of nowhere and clobbered us. It rained, as my father used to say, "like a blind cow pissing on a flat rock." I mean it seriously rained. We lost power three times, once when the storm first hit, then again much later, apparently caused by the sunshine on the transformer, and the third time was caused, I believe, by the sudden setting of the sun. This morning I awoke to hear it raining again, though this time a little more desultorily.

I don't get it. O_o

The saying here is "If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes, it'll change." This is very true. Granted, it was very nice to wake to the gentle tapping of rain off the roof, and I'm certainly not complaining that it's raining. I cut the front yard day before yesterday and was treated to the sight of huge patches of my front yard withering in the dry. So in all honesty, I think I CAUSED the rain, simply by bringing out the Rain Tractor* and letting it loose in the front yard. (For those of you who don't know what a Rain Tractor is, I was going to supply a link to Lowe's or Home Depot, but neither of them carry it anymore. *gritting teeth*

Okay, a Rain Tractor is a steel body shaped like a tractor, painted bright yellow, with a bifurcated single front wheel (remember the old Duncan Butterfly Yo-Yo?--it looks like that) and two big spiked wheels in the back, with a pair of aluminum wands on top. You hook your hose to the back of it, lay the rest of the hose across the yard in whatever path you want the Tractor to take, rest the front wheel over the hose, and turn the water on. By a clever design the flowing water spins the wands in a circle to water the yard, and the spinning action of the wands also drives a gear inside that makes the back wheels turn slowly, so you get a moving sprinkler that slowly follows whatever path you set for it across the yard.

I cannot believe I just spent ten minutes describing a sprinkler. No wonder my readers are leaving. I can just hear you moaning in pain right now. Here, just click The Link. I should have done that two paragraphs ago, I guess.

So anyway, it did get me outside, and a funny look from the neighbor because I'm watering an already waterlogged front yard, but he can go stuff himself, it's for my Readers. One of the nice sides is that I got a lovely picture of a Chalybion Californicum (that's a dirt-dauber to me and you) emerging from his mud and daub house, which is the Picture of the Moment up there. Sadly enough, in all the years I've lived I've never seen one actually EMERGING. I've seen plenty of houses, and have left each and every one intact, and have seen them out and about, and saved many a one from extinction in windows and cars, and have seen the houses with their perfectly round exit holes, but never one in process, so thank you each and every one for making me go outside to get you a stinking picture of a stinking Rain Tractor, because it also got me a picture of a brand-new dirt dauber coming out of his larval stage.

Life is good.

* I think they're also called Rain Trains, because even thought they're really obviously tractor-shaped their front wheel is designed to ride centered on and therefore follow the track that the hose pipe makes across the yard, therefore they're sort of a train. You follow?

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