I spent my freshman and sophomore years of high school in Delano, California; where oddly for only living there two years, we managed to live in two different homes. When I walked to school from the first house, which was on the “right side of the tracks”, I passed a large field of cotton, which I found most fascinating.
It took me a good long while to garner enough nerve to actually pick one of the buds, of white fluffy cotton, but when I did I found myself most entertained. I pulled the cotton apart, until I got down to the black seeds, imagining how Eli Whitney’s cotton gin worked, how difficult it would be to spend my day slumped over the field, and how in the world the little ball of cotton became fabric.
For some time, I regretted not having taken and retained one of the stems of these plants. On my journeys, driving down the highways, there have been many times I have seen fields of cotton, and thought back to the cotton fields of Delano.
Feeling empowered by an encounter with some gentlemen picking tobacco in the Carolinas, I stopped to photograph this field, and yes I picked a couple of stems of cotton, that now live in a vase, in the living room – a rather amazing plant and I have to wonder about the brilliant soul who first figured out that cotton could be woven into cloth!
The above photographs were taken at harvest time, but in case you are wondering about the cotton plant in bloom, let me share a few snaps from earlier in the summer.
I especially like that the blooms are both pink and white.
I know the picture is a little dark — but a nice view of the flower.