"MILES, Texas -- After scanning the landscape surrounding this tiny (population 757) central Texas town, one immediately understands why the city's officials have decided to scratch the word 'cotton' from the annual September Cotton Festival.
In normal years, these fields would be overflowing with lush cotton crops ripe for harvesting. The locals say that around this time, it's typical to see the Miles central collection point so overflowing with cotton it looks like someone tore open a giant pillow. But the drought of 2011 has completely devastated the crop. Acres of flat brown patches are all that's left.
A Lutheran church sign sitting alongside a highway outside of town sums up the sentiment of pretty much all of rural Texas this year. It reads: 'Lord, please bring gentle rain.'"