The Rain Maker

Folks, last week I didn’t polish my car, go fishing, camping or to a wedding, and it still rained!

Now, this is not particularly exciting news, especially if you’re in NSW or North Queensland, but here in Central Queensland it’s the Easter-ish miracle we’ve been praying for… even us atheists.

March 2021 – same place 2 weeks apart

In a previous column I claimed rain shuns this area like a child avoiding a heaped bowl of brussel sprouts.  So, after a dry summer, it’s been hard seeing memory photos in my Facebook feed of previous big rain events, notably the last one in March 2015.

Now, here’s the twist to my tale: that was when I gave away my old rain-making motorcycle, ‘Monsoon’.

I loved riding ‘Monsoon’, but wherever we went, it rained, drizzled, hailed, pelted down, showered or sprinkled.  Which was why my mates dubbed it ‘Monsoon’ and soon stopped joining me on rides.

2007 – ‘Monsoon’, behind my mate (this was his last trip with me)

Apparently Eskimos have 50 names for different types of snow, well, I have a similar list for riding in the rain (with accompanying swear words, depending on the type of precipitation). 

Eventually, one of my ex-riding mates suggested I use my unwanted super-power to help others, by taking ‘Monsoon’ for a putter through drought-stricken areas to bring a bit of damp relief to parched districts.

Another added, with straight-faced sincerity, that I set myself up as an official ‘Drought Breaker’ and get the Government to fund these trips.

It was a tempting idea.

But you have to remember, this was in the early 2000’s, a time before someone could scam over half a million dollars out of the government as a water envoy and justify a three week taxpayer funded holiday by writing a report, i.e.: a few texts, to the Prime Minister.

If only I didn’t have this stupid conscience.

Anyway, in March 2015, after a particularly soggy (and solo) riding/camping weekend, I hung up my waterlogged leather jacket and slung ‘Monsoons’ keys to a mate; I was done.

Now, this may sound completely Pauline Hanson (i.e.: batcrap crazy), but is it a coincidence the rain stopped falling around this time?

March 2021 – water over road at Calliope Station

Unfortunately I can’t test my theory, because ‘Monsoon’ has gone to Motorcycle Heaven, but here’s what I’ve currently come to believe – trees attract rain.

Forty plus years ago our region was heavily deforested as part of the State Government’s agricultural land clearing policy, and it’s quite possible the lack of rain we’re now experiencing is because ‘the bill’ has arrived.

Reforestation is slow going, so while we’re waiting for the data (and hopefully increased rainfall), it looks like I’ll have to find another ‘magical’ method to bring rain back to our region.

Hand me the car polish… and my fishing lines.

March 2021 – a rare sight near Biloela

This article first appeared in the Regrow Queensland e-zine. Check it out!

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