This past week I was inspired by a friend's beautiful photo of a full cotton field, so I decided to take a nice Sunday drive through the country after church in search of a good cotton field to photograph. Fortunately, living in South Carolina during this time of year, its not hard to pass a cotton field or two when driving through the back roads.
Ever since I can remember, I've been riding the back roads from Columbia to Bowman, South Carolina where my grandparents live. Bowman is a beautiful, small farm and dairy town right outside of Orangeburg where most of my family lived and grew up. Throughout the year when driving through it's land, you'll pass corn fields, cows, peanut farms, and more. Remembering that I've seen cotton fields many times before around Bowman I was inclined to just cruise to my familiar neck of the woods. (Also, my mom has been telling me I need to drive down there to see the fields before they cut them....and so I did, but just in time!)
With no real destination in mind, except to find the best cotton field to photograph, I drove towards Bowman but via a different route than I normally take. I passed my first large cotton field right outside of Gaston where I pulled over and got a few good shots. I passed other fields that were just recently cut, but this one was still blanketed with white cotton balls as far as you could see. Cotton sure is an interesting plant! Well I didn't quite get the type of picture I was looking for so I continued on, but the further I went the less fields I ran into (or passed ones that were already cut). Finally as I was passing through Orangeburg and the evening sun was starting to get shorter, I decided I would just drive the 178 stretch to Bowman and turn around at my Nanny and Pappy's house to go back home.
It turned out to be a really special moment when I reached the old farm that my Pappy used to work on behind their house. Low and behold it was covered with a beautiful white sheet of cotton and the fall colors from the trees behind it were shining in the sun! It was just what I was looking for! Even better, it was a place that I felt comfortable and at peace taking photos of, knowing it as "home". I have so many memories growing up of going to my grandparents house and "Pappy's Farm" to see all of their animals. Several years before my Pappy passed away when I was really into photography, I would always bring my camera to Bowman when I visited them. I loved taking pictures of the beautiful nature and farm lands around their house, and even more so today! It was just a really special moment for me to be led back to my Pappy's farm as if I was to take pictures of his cotton field. And later the next day I found out from my mom that the field had been cut, so it was as if I was meant to go there!
On my way back home I passed a familiar location that I've always been curious about taking pictures of when I could. The little town is called Bull Swamp. The sunset was brilliant and it was perfect timing to pull over and take pictures of an interesting millpond and a rugged and abandoned Gulf gas station.
I'd say it was a pretty successful Sunday afternoon drive through the South Carolina country.
Thank you everyone for reading my blog post and for following my photography. I enjoy sharing pictures of the beautiful places we have around us in the Carolinas! I hope they inspire you to get out and explore some places, too! I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving and God bless!