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 ...
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?).
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 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 word lagniappe, as defined by Webster's, means "something given or obtained gratuitously, or by way of good measure."
"Time never turns backwards
Its old charms to give,
In photographs only
Can yesterdays live."
~ Edgar A. Guest
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