When he’s not tending cherry orchards outside Beijing, Yu Yonggang can be found behind the twin barrels of a 37mm anti-aircraft gun, blasting shells at passing clouds.
Yu is one of 37,000 peasants enlisted by the Chinese government to help produce rain in parched areas. The 45-year-old farmer works with China’s other trigger-happy rain men to water the crops, break up damaging hailstorms and put out forest fires. After a sandstorm blew through the capital in May, he lobbed shells and rockets skyward to coax rains that washed sand and grit from city streets. [Full Text]