Monday, October 8, 2012

A Cotton Patch Adventure

I've been waiting for several weeks for the cotton to "peak" so I could get some pictures to add to my cotton photo album. There's a very small window between when it's defoliated and when the big cotton picking machines start sweeping the fields, gathering up row after row after row of those pretty little white fluffs of cotton.

I had been watching a certain field beside the frontage road of I-20 between Bolton, Mississippi and Clinton, and when I passed by it last week, I knew I needed to go back soon with my cameras. When I headed that way yesterday morning I was hoping that it had not been picked over the weekend.

My heart sank as I topped a hill and saw a white trail of cotton littering the roadside, a sure sign that the cotton picking machines had been busy ...

Sure enough ... they still had equipment in the fields!

This is the way the field looked after it had been picked ...

Not a pretty sight compared to the way it looked just a few days ago!

I was disappointed, but decided to travel US Hwy. 80 going back home to Vicksburg. Hwy. 80 cuts through the heart of farm country, and I hoped I might find a field that the pickers hadn't reached yet.

I hadn't traveled far before I passed a field with a cotton picker still in the field, and, thinking it might be interesting to see one up close, I turned around and went back.

There's just something about a tractor or piece of equipment with the name John Deere on it that commands my respect, and I would love to see one of these in action sometime.

By the way, that's bundles of cotton underneath the yellow plastic covers in the next two pictures, waiting to be picked up and taken to the gin (whatever happened to cotton bales, I wonder?).

The "leftovers" ...

By this time, I was getting discouraged, and was tired of taking pictures of sad-looking, almost-bare stalks of already-picked cotton ...

I had almost given up hope of finding my "perfect cotton patch," when I came around a bend in the road and my heart skipped a beat when I caught sight of this field of white through the fence row ...

I think you can see why we call it "Mississippi snow."

I was in my glory as I stood amongst the rows of all that breathtakingly beautiful cotton I had almost given up on finding ... and there wasn't a cotton picker in sight, Y'all!

I like the contrast of the span of white cotton against the large tree in the background in the next two pictures ...

I truly love photographing cotton fields, and especially enjoy capturing the stalks and bolls up close. Each one is different and beautiful in its own way ...

As I captured these pictures, I could almost feel the cotton pickers bearing down on me ... comin' 'round that bend ... and I'm so glad I didn't wait another day to go in search of my "perfect cotton patch."


The Quintessential Magpie said...

I loved this post. I have a poem that, if I can find it, I will share with you, Janie.

So glad you found your field and shared it with us!



P.S. I love Mississippi Snow!

Dorothy said...

Very nice post! I had to help pick cotton from the time I was old enough until I left home, so I have good and bad memories of the cotton patch. One thing that I think of when I see cotton in the field is my Daddy taking time to show me and tell me how God made the cotton bolls shaped so perfectly to fit the human hand. I was quite small, but this has stuck with me through the years.
I had much rather see a field of people pulling their cotton sacks and picking the fluffy white cotton, while singing those old hymns than to see the machines in the fields and leaving so much cotton.
My Daddy would have a fit to see all that cotton left in the fields and wasted

Pat said...

Hi Janie,
What a charming post.....only in the South!

Beautiful photos. Enjoyed traveling with you and seeing the process and the beautiful Mississippi snow.

Pat in Tallahassee

Carolyn said...

I never made it to the cotton patch this year. We passed some
beautiful fields near Tallulah on our way home a couple of weeks ago.
SO glad you shared your beautiful pictures.