All of the rain we’ve been getting made me remember one of my favourite Footrot Flats comic strips yesterday morning as I cleaned up a few more fallen apples and pears in the orchard. The creator of Footrot Flats, Murray Ball, died a few days ago and I thought I’d post this memory as a tribute to him.
I read all of his books as I grew up – this was one of the only comic series I read, hence why I still confuse Marvel and DC characters on a regular basis. The first panel of this particular strip has the Dog thinking about how great the rain is – it’s filling the dams, etc – as Wal walks along with a smile.
Then the Dog starts thinking about all the problems the rain is causing and Wal walks along looks grumpy. It ends with the Dog looking up at the sky and thinking something along the lines of ‘forget it, God, you can’t please them.’
The rain is providing our garden with life-giving water and causing more fruit to fall at the same time (the birds are gleefully helping with this). The snails seem to be out in force, appearing around fallen fruit and cruising through the large container I’ve been growing cucumbers in (first at our old rental property and now here).
And, as I’ve already mentioned, a couple of our trees have symptoms of brown rot – fruit that quickly turns brown and mouldy, then quickly mummifies, thanks to the hot, humid weather earlier this summer and all of the rain that has since followed it.
However, I’m really not complaining (I can deal with snails and treat brown rot); I’m grateful for the rain we’re getting here in the Central West, as I once lived in a part of western NSW that was very much affected by drought. More recently, G and I have lived at a house that had a rainwater tank as its source of water and we will never, ever take rain for granted.
I’m also grateful for the Footrot Flats comics – thank you, Murray Ball, for Wal, Cooch, Pongo, Aunt Dolly, Horse the Cat, the Dog, and the smile that comic strip gave me as I worked in the drizzle yesterday.