The ice of memory is broken by rainbirds,* distant grackles before the day. High over neat, far-reaching rows of green, they switch, switch, switch, switch. Jets float out over the valley, scoring like ripped clouds the pale blue out of Boucher. Rapid, static, and feathering at the edges, a volley of water will spread as it shoots, till high, blunt, it descends and douses the hot land. Instantly reversing itself, it starts over again. *``Rainbirds'' are sprinklers used in the irrigation system of the San Joaquin valley in California.