The day before the Stiles Farm Field Day at Thrall, Texas, I spent the afternoon driving farm roads and looking at the beautiful landscape and the crops grown throughout the Texas Blacklands. While I had visited this area years ago, I had never focused on the agriculture visible from the access roads, bumped up against the ever-growing Austin population and urban communities. And while Austin continues to grow, you can still find some country life thriving in small towns like Thrall and Taylor.
On the Texas South Plains, where I'm from, most crops grow in circles, pivots at the center and a turnrow between each crop. In Central Texas, cotton and corn or sorghum may grow one row over from each other in square or rectangular blocks with no irrigation, depending solely on Mother Nature to water their crops — something this region, as well as the South Plains, have been denied this year.
But in spite of the drought, there is beauty to be found in the Texas Blacklands.