Wednesday, June 25, 2008
And When Those Cotton Bolls Get Rotten
Does anyone besides me remember that song that was popular a million years ago, I don't know the name of it, but the chorus said, 'And when those cotton bolls get rotten, you can't pick very much cotton, in those old cotton fields back home'.
If you ever picked any cotton, you know that you pick the cotton when the boll is open, white and fluffy. I'm attaching a picture of the cotton field across the road in front of my house. And I'm standing on a paved street to take it. We have some farm land that is in our incorporated town. This cotton was planted sometime between mid April and mid May. And I noticed they have started watering it. It will get about twice as high as it is now. It will have blooms, then they will turn into squares and this is where the boll will form. When it matures, the leaves on the cotton will begin to turn a rust colored red, and you will begin to see white as the bolls begin to open. The other thing about cotton, is the unmistakable smell when it is getting ready for harvest. It isn't offensive or anything, it just has it's own peculiar smell. Needless to say, if they make a perfume of it, I won't be buying any.
It's a big deal to find the first bloom, and a really big deal to gin the first bale. You usually get your name and picture in the paper for either or both.
I know many of you weren't interested in a farming lesson this morning, but cotton was once the bane of my existence while also being what put most of the food on our table and the proverbial room over our heads. There were few things I hated more when I was a kid than chopping cotton. This came in second only to picking it.
Now I just view it as a photo opp. There is no more hand picking. That has been replaced by machinery. As the cotton progresses, I'll take some more pictures and let you see what it looks like. Maybe, if I happen to be home when they pick it, I can get a picture or two of that as well.