Monday, June 05, 2006

Rainmaker for hire

I have a sure fire technique for inviting rain to begin falling. I wait until the sky is perfectly clear and I judge it safe to go outside and set up all the bits and pieces required to make paper on the picnic table. Then, shortly after I get into that pleasant rhythm of dipping, draining, sponging and layering that transforms a trough of water soupy with pulped old typing paper into a pile of new sheets the blue sky begins to precipitate gently upon me. Since often the sun continues to shine it is tempting to keep working, but unfortunately rain drops create holes in the mould of wet pre-paper. So I have to rapidly pack up all the bits and pieces into shelter.

That's why I sit, watching the rain fall like tinsel through the sunshine, surrounded by a scatter of paper making paraphenalia, waiting impatiently to take it all outside and continue working, or at least to be compensated by a rainbow. Some compensation has been provided in the form of my friendly kingfishers who feels no such constraints to continue their activities in the rain. They've been flitting round the garden all the morning on wings of sapphire. Earlier I was washing the dishes and one perched on the nearest tree in front of the kitchen window. Prompted by previous glimpses I had the binoculars within reach, so not even pausing to pull off the dripping rubber gloves, I got him in close up gulping down some hapless green bug and then looking round eagerly for the next snack. He's a fine fat fellow, with almost fluffy feathers on his apricot coloured chest contrasting with the sleek dark greens and bright blues of his back and wings.

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