Our neighbor on one side of us planted cotton this year. He plants later than other farmers because he farms on the weekends and in the evenings, so while other farmers are harvesting, I watch the transformation of the cotton plants.
The flowers are white very briefly, only 24 hours or so, then they self-pollinate and become a vivid fuchsia before they wither and die after another 24-36 hours. While the wind blows away the brown petals, the boll begins to form. The bolls are green at first then turn purple then brown. The protective part of the boll dries then opens as the cotton grows, and the cotton fiber spills out.
Do you see the puffy balls of cotton? They are deceptive because they aren’t soft at all. There are seeds inside the cotton, which actually make the cotton fruit. Who knew, right?
I walk around our field three or four times a day to stretch my legs between writing sprints, so I’ve seen each stage of the cotton growing next door. It’s a glorious celebration of cotton bolls at the farm!