Tag Archives: cotton bolls

Homestead Update 8/6/2017

6 Aug

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Things have been a bit slow around here as you might imagine when one is working 70 hours per week at my job. Our cotton is progressing nicely as evidenced by this large, grown boll. I haven’t seen any open bolls yet, but it won’t be long.

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As I was out working, I encountered these buzzards roosting on an electrical tower. I was fairly close and they didn’t seem too concerned with me being so close. I hope seeing buzzards eyeing me closely is not a portend of things to come!

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Sweet Thing and I went to a yard sale and I bought this Coleman cook stove for $10. The man said it had only been used once and I can believe it because it is so clean and shiny. I talked him into throwing in that electrical worker’s canvas tool bag for free. I’ve always wanted one of those even though I don’t know why!

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I picked up another Native American artifact, this tiny arrow head. You can see how tiny it is in comparison to the button on my sleeve.

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I hung some new flags in my barn storage area. Not much question where I stand is it?

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There is a cemetery adjoining a field I check each week and I noticed this concrete armadillo on a grave stone. The stone had the man’s name and dates of birth and death along with the caption “Here rests the Armadillo.” I guess the man’s nick name must have been Armadillo.

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Right beside the Armadillo was a gravestone marking where the ashes of this lady was buried. I’ve seen the ashes of people entombed in a mausoleum, kept in an urn in a home, or scattered in the sea, but I don’t recall ever seeing them buried. I see some interesting things in my daily travels. I don’t have any pictures, but my tomatoes and squash are doing well, and my okra is just starting to produce and my purple hull peas are blooming so my garden is doing fairly well considering how little time I have spent taking care of it. I went to a gun show last week and bought some reloading powder as well as some 22 LR. I haven’t seen any of that sitting on a shelf in several years. I guess we can thank President Trump for that. People must be feeling comfortable enough in our situation to slow down stocking up, but not me. I say buy now while you have the chance so when the next big shortage occurs so you won’t be caught unprepared. Keep prepping everyone!

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Homestead Update

16 Aug

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I didn’t do much around here this week although I did pick a few grapes from the vines I planted last Spring. I’ve neglected the orchard this Summer, but hopefully everything that survives will be tough and hardy for the future. I disked up a small area in the back preparing to plant some turnip greens when we get a rain. We have 3 days with a 50% chance this week so maybe I can get the greens planted then.

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I found the first open cotton bolls of the year this week. The bolls are small and dinky because they came from a burned up sand blow area in a field, but at least they are an omen of things to come. The end of this season is near! Finally!

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As I was working, I stopped under a tree to send a text on my phone and these chickens came running out to my truck. I guess they thought I was going to feed them. Someday soon I will have chickens here on the homestead. If you look at the top of the picture you can see the sun shining through the fog that morning. We have a lot of heavy fog days in August because of the high humidity. That’s what drives the heat index values so high in the Summer. It’s cooler this week, but the prior week the heat index was nearly 115 degrees. That is way too hot!

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This is a picture of one of the Cooper’s Hawks that live here at the homestead. When I do get chickens, I don’t know if I will ever be able to let them free range because of the hawks. Do any of you have hawks bother your chickens? Keep prepping everyone!

Antique Cars

15 Aug

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Sweet Thing and I ate lunch at Cracker Barrel last Sunday and we spotted these antique cars on the parking lot. I guess they had been to a car show in the area. They sure are spiffy aren’t they? I really like that truck pulling that camper, although I bet GMC never put out a stock model truck like that. That one is a purely custom job.

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This is a picture of one of the fields I work being replanted to soybeans on August 13th. And before you ask, yes, that is way too late to be planting beans. The river flooded out the original beans, but the land lord demanded they be replanted. The land lord has nothing to risk and everything to gain. If they yield 12 bushels he gets 4 bushels; if they cut 0 he gets nothing but it costs him nothing. On the other hand, if they yield 12 bushels, the farmer gets 8 bushels which won’t cover his costs of replanting and if they yield nothing he has to bear the entire costs of replanting. That is not a fair arrangement, but that is the feudal, share cropping system most farmers work under.

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This is a big ole’ bollworm buried up in this cotton boll. That is not something you want to see.

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This is a Fall Armyworm feeding on a cotton bloom. Soon he will be buried up in a boll as well.

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This is a milo leaf covered up with White Sugarcane Aphids. This is a new pest for us, one that is expensive to deal with. As you can see, there are several hundred aphids on that one leaf. They will suck the life out of that plant as well as dripping so much honey dew onto the rest of the plant that at harvest it will gum up the combine making it impossible to harvest the milo. More to come tomorrow.

Cotton Boll Angels

12 Dec

Sweet Thing has been really, really busy lately getting the new house ready to move in. But, in the evenings while we have been relaxing and watching TV, she somehow found the time to make some homemade Christmas ornaments.

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These are ornaments to hang up on a tree or anyplace else you want. They are made using fully matured and opened cotton bolls. She glued on wooden beads for the head, then glued on doll hair and added a wire halo. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well it takes a long time to make each one, too long for me. I just buy my ornaments at Wal-Mart, problem solved. Be Crafty!

Cotton Growth Stages

5 Jul

Part of my job is working with upland cotton ( Gossypium Hirsutum ), so for all you city-slickers out there I’ll give you a short primer on cotton development.

This first image is a fruiting bud of the cotton plant called a square. This first bud should occur about 35 days after planting.

This is a square ready to bloom, this occurs about 21 days after it first appears on the plant.

The cotton bloom is a large white to slightly yellowish flower on the day it opens. It will be available for pollination for only one day.

After the first day the bloom closes up and turns a pink then purplish color.

At this time it forms a small fruit, called a boll.

This is the fully grown fruit, or boll.

Approximately 50 days after white bloom you should see an open boll similar to this. This is what is processed into your favorite jeans and t-shirts

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