Nine weeks without rain and the fen seeks liberation. Outriders of rain came for six minutes mid-afternoon yesterday, hissing into the ground and vanishing. Within three hours the weeds in the dead grass have formed flower-buds, ready to liberate their patch of earth from the tyranny of the lawn. Night falls and long barrages of thunder in the distance signal the start of the invasion. The water wants its waterland back. They work all night in the fen fields to gather the crops before the rain comes, like resistance fighters making secret runways. The distant thunder continues all night and not a drop of rain falls on the Night Planted Orchard. The sun has parched the earth to the point that there is no added moisture to hold up the wet air coming in from the sea. The low ridge is not enough to trigger the upsurge of air. Dawn comes and the barrage ceases. The sun breaks out and a curious haze like diluted milk blurs the distance, a mixture of crop-dust and yesterdays pitiful rain evaporating. But the armies of wet air are regrouping over the North Sea. Re-enforements are brought in. They go again at sunset. There is a total lunar eclipse tonight, perhaps they will come then, under cover of darkness, paratroopers of rain come to save the dying garden. The garden quivers in anticipation.

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