By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

There's simply no other way to describe the power of rain other than amazing. Even when so little falls.

It is truly the drink that refreshes. It clears the air, cools the heat and brings the doves back to my daily drive, if only for a single day.

Yes, this is about my daily drive to work, traversing 7 1/2 miles of rugged terrain (when you count the washboards the county maintainer likes to create just south of the rodeo grounds).

Prior to Tuesday, this drive was relatively barren, offering up the opportunity to see only a handful of mourning doves -- fewer almost than I have in my yard.

The drive into work Tuesday was a delight, thanks to the rain and the doves.

I had high hopes within the first mile, when perhaps 25 or 30 jumped up before my truck.

As the miles unfolded, there were even more.

By the time I made it to Hays, and the washboard jungle, I had counted more than 100 -- 104 to be precise, although you really can't be when doves explode from the side of the road.

Unfortunately, on Wednesday, the drive was a bit closer to normal. Even though I deviated slightly from my regular route, and it's a good thing I did, only 30 birds were seen along the way. Most of them were on a 2-mile stretch of road that I don't normally take.

And Thursday, opening day, wasn't any better.

The only difference between the three days was a Tuesday morning shower, all 0.16 of an inch of it.

Now, if only it would rain enough to put a little water in the ponds.