I grew up literally surrounded by corn fields. In fact, the house next to ours is an old farm house that used to have a huge barn and silo before it was destroyed due to tornadic winds. I walked to school, which had a corn field on 2 of its borders.
I have many memories of shucking corn in my parents' garage so that my mom could put up corn for the year. I think record years included 20+ dozen ears of corn. I always hated shucking the corn because of the bugs involved, but it usually went quick with 4+ kids working all day (we'd always convince friends or cousins to help out).
I grew up watching those green fields grow all summer & with the old saying, "knee high by the 4th of July". When Steve and I made the move down south, I wasn't prepared for the change of scenery. It was so bizarre last year when I started seeing fields of white, and it was too early for snow!
Cotton fields are still so strange for me. It's hard to wrap my head around the fact that the little white tuft on the plant will someday be something I can wear! While driving the other day, I made Steve stop and pull over so that I could investigate the cotton more closely.
After some research (and learning about Cotton at the Hermitage during our Nashville trip), I learned that the cotton plant actually blooms flowers over the summer, leaving behind a little pod. The plant dries out around September and by early October, the pod bursts open, revealing the fibrous cotton.
Here's a cotton plant in early September. You can see a flower bloom (white) in the center, and a little pod (light green) to the lower left.
The white tufts look and feel exactly like cotton balls. It's still really bizarre to me, even after knowing the process and seeing/feeling the plant. I guess I'm just an Indiana & corn girl at heart.