Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Corn mazes? ...

Marlene Terry
It's here. Not just October, fall, cooler weather, and fun holidays ahead, but the season that kids especially, look forward to ... the corn maze days.

My first introduction to that amaze-ing pastime came years ago, when I, as the only reporter for a small weekly tabloid newspaper, took the challenge and entered the first corn maze EVER in our area.

And why?

To get the story. ... I mean people were wondering why in the world a farmer would go to the expense of planting acres of that crop, cultivate and water it all summer long and then cut out huge parts of it, making it unharvestable?
... We soon found out!

The day came and I took  a teenage daughter and son along with me to see their reaction, and also include them in a photograph or two.

"So you charge for this?" I remember asking the corn maze attendant  who happily took our money and then offered more.
"You're gonna want a souvenir," he said smiling.
There were corn maze T-shirts, corn maze hats and corn maze plush teddy bears to name a few.
"They're HOW MUCH?" I gasped aMAZEd!

It wasn't long before we learned that in addition to the entry fee and memorabilia, the ultimate purpose of a corn maze is to have participants enter the field on a trail that, with varying options, will eventually lead them back to where they started.
Off we went, in and faraway, through 8-10 foot-tall stalks that prevented us from seeing anything beyond.
One option is choosing which way to go at intersections. And after you've been looking for a way out for what seems to be a week or more, you can also decide if it's a good idea to leave the trail completely, and cut across to where you believe the entrance might be.
... Just want you to know that the "cut across" decision proved to be not a good one for us, as we passed by, more than once, the same signs we'd passed by before. ... Those that stated "This is definitely not the way," and "We told you not to leave the trails." ... I didn't think that last one was at all humorous.
... Needless to say we got lost, which we found is another prime objective of a corn maze.

Mazes are also just plain treacherous to those who suffer from hay fever or other allergies. ... ME! ... And did I mention that with 100 or more folks, plodding through those fields at the same time while they run, giggle, scratch, sneeze and yell to be rescued, that the temperature inside rises quickly?
... It felt like about 150 degrees by the time we found OUR way out.

One last note: Each corn maze is created and trimmed by secret methods into a massive design that no one can see at all. That is unless you are airborne. 
... Which makes them not only incredible and mysterious, like those scary crop circles we hear about, but also ...  need I say it? A little corny too!

To find locations of some great corn mazes in the Treasure Valley and throughout the rest of the state of Idaho as well click on Under the Nut Tree above. 

♦ Hope you'll let me share YOUR stories and photos here at my residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.