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I squint up into the sky, shielding my eyes with my hand. There isn’t a cloud to be seen, just acres of cornflower blue stretching in all directions. It’s mid-afternoon, when the sun is at its most furious, so I slip quickly into the shade of the barn to try and escape. It takes a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the darkness and I stand just inside, breathing the stale, dusty air. When I can see, I take the piece of chalk that is hanging on a string just inside the door and make another mark on the wall. I count them: forty four. Forty four days of endless, searing, mid-western sun. Forty four days without rain.