Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I remember so clearly the day in July when I was driving South on Rt 501 into S. Carolina and I suddenly thought it was snowing!

This was in 1980 and it was the first time that I’d seen a field of cotton growing. I’ve since found out that there is a time when bits of the cotton plant are carried by the wind and it does, indeed, seem like a July snowstorm!

I was fascinated enough to stop the car and gather some of the Cotton bolls…hoping that the owner wouldn’t come along and have me arrested for trespassing. The arrangement in the picture is my small attempt at artfully displaying the cotton and, believe it or not, this is the same batch that I collected 19 years ago. It’s been dusted and rearranged a few times but it’s held up amazingly well.

These cotton fields are absolutely gorgeous and I was very sad recently to learn that the Georgia and Alabama cotton growers this year faced a problem that could put them out of business.

The culprit is a plant called Pigweed that, for decades, the farmers have kept under control by spraying their fields with herbicides. Now this no longer works. The weeds seem to have adapted and they are choking more than a million acres of cotton and soybeans.

The plants grow very rapidly and literally choke out the cotton. It seems that the only way to combat this foe is by hand because it’s necessary to dig down and get the roots or else they crop up again… practically overnight.

Once again we see the power of Mother Nature. She fights back against man-made intrusions time and time again. I wonder when we will learn to let her have her way?


Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Pigweed is a common weed around here.

The herbicide "Round up" kills everything. Fields would have to be treated between crops to kill the pigweed. I suspect this is what cotton farmers will have to do.

Everytime I hear about cotton I think of Eli Whitney who invested the cotton gin. Whitney Avenue in New Haven is named after him. His home had been near the Universalist Church which I in the 60's.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

So many truths here Ginnie. We interfere and it creates more problems. Just like in our lives. Have a good Thanksgiving.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Ginnie, I never knew about cotton storms. I'm sure it was quite a sight.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

That would have been a wonderous sight Ginnie, that cotton storm..amazing.
The weeds are such a pain for farmers ..World wide I would say.,and you are so right, Motehr Nature rules

6:14 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

Ginnie, we saw cotton fields on our way to VA last October. I used to have some cotton, but mine got so dirty I tossed it out. I can't believe yours is that old!!

8:24 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

The cotton is beautiful in it's purest form Ginnie. It's so sad about the pigweed.
Love Di

6:32 PM  

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