Saturday, October 31, 2009

Amazing Maize Maze

This being our first real fall since going to San Francisco, we have been really enjoying the wonderful fall colors and cool temperatures. One of the really wonderful things about fall is fall apples. Ohio has wonderful apples, and so Max wanted to do some apple picking this year. Unfortunately, we are a bit behind the curve this year and apples have all been harvested for the year. But that doesn't mean you can't go to the apple farm and enjoy all of the other fall festivities.
I've never "done" Halloween successfully. Just ask Amber. I just didn't quite get it. I don't decorate the house- I tend to be the one who hangs pictures on the wall- and they stay there for the next 10-20-30 years (which explains why I'm having SO MUCH TROUBLE putting the pictures up on my newly painted walls- I know I'll look at them well past when I'm too old to care). So no decorations. And then some years I never got around to pumpkins. And costumes- well I made this really great- I mean really great clown costume for Brandy when she was 18 months old- it was terrific- and I had lots of "tucks" so I could let them out as she grew- Well she refused- I mean absolutely refused to wear that costume when she was 4- Don't know where that clown is today. After that it was the dime store type -though those look a little better now than they did when my kids were little. I believe they are all scared for life from having to wear those not very exciting dime store costumes. Of course I could mention the year I tried to be creative- and used a temporary "rinse" on Brandy's hair- so she could be Dracula- only it wouldn't wash out- she had to grow it out- and she lost her blond curls- all because of her Mom's one attempt to be creative.
I have a real bad Halloween history. But what the h... It's a new year. And this year was terrific- it is my favorite- I'm going to do it again- I had sooooooo much fun!
We started with breakfast!
I know, I know, I know- you want to know what we ate- well- in keeping with the season- apples on buckwheat pancakes (you've heard of them before)- and pumpkin bread with maple flavored sausage and fried eggs for those that absolutely have to have eggs with their pancakes.

And then we were off to our next adventure.

So on Halloween Max and I, Mary Ezra, Sarah, Deseree and Anthony drove up to the Irons Fruit Farm just north of Cincinnati.

I have to preface this with the fact that Deseree went to her first ever Halloween party the night before. Then Sarah got her up "early" (9:15) and she just wasn't into spending time with us old fogies, especially when she would much rather be sleeping in a warm bed. But she did have her cell phone and thus the ability to text with her friends.
As we were on a hay ride out to the corn maze and the pumpkin patch!

Am I the only one that thinks Sarah looks so, so, so much like her dad???
Now Max kept talking about the maze and the pumpkin patch that they have at the fruit farm. So once there we climbed aboard the hay wagon pulled by an old Farmall tractor and rode out to the maze. This was the 10th year that Irons had planted a maze and it was really pretty amazing. It was a complicated maze of trails, that spelled out the name of the farm, had images of an ear of corn, a pumpkin and a tractor, all as part of the path in the maze. Here is a map of the maze. The black lines on this paper are the paths and the path from start to finish took you through each of the images and the name "Irons".
The start of this maze is the line on the lower right side that comes out to the edge. The end is the line just above the start that also comes out to the end.

This maze was in a corn field that covered 20 acres and the corn was anywhere from 9 to 12 feet high. So once in the maze, all you could see was the path in front of you and a wall of corn on both sides. This was no simple maze.
Now in case you're wondering. I think it is possible that except for Don- the rest of us would have been still wandering about that corn patch. But Don had the map. We got a little lost at the beginning. Don was trying to multi-task- carry Anthony on his shoulders and read the map. Didn't work very well. But when he focused we were right on track!

Note below that Deseree is still texting her friends, as though they might figure out a way to get her out of this maze.

Now I was pretty curious about just how to grow a maize maze like this one. So of course I asked and, although a bit complicated, not nearly as complicated as I had imagined. See below- Don in deep consultation about the design of a corn maze.

At first I thought it must have been done by space aliens who could see it from high above the earth and who cut out the maze with powerful lasers. But instead is was not so terribly complicated. They initially plant the whole field in corn and while the corn is germinating and starting to grow, they use a computer to plan the paths in the maze. Once a computer plan is done, they map the growing corn field with small flags that show where the paths will be. Then as the corns grows higher, they use the map and mow down the corn where the paths should be. After the corn grows more, they mow it again so that a definitive path is carved in the maze of corn.

But we did find out way out of the maze and moved onto the pumpkin patch where Anthony found just the right pumpkin for him to sit on.

We did find a few more, but decided to instead just buy some that had already been hauled back to the farm house instead of trying to haul them back from the pumpkin patch.

And as we got back home, Anthony and Brutus made some arrangement to the pile of pumpkins that we brought back.

And then finally it was the eve- and the trick-or treaters were out. I have to admit (don't tell anyone) we've actually "skipped" this part- and would go out to eat- or something. But we were ready this year- We are back! And we have just the porch for sitting!

Notice that Brutus is ready! If you think I was going to listen to Brutus barking at the door for two hours you are out of your mind- or maybe a better comment is that I would have been out of mine! So Brutus joined the fun- and he loved it! And he was very, very, very well behaved!
And Deseree and her friends stopped by for our treats!

I did take Don a glass of wine- to finish his night on the porch!


Amber said...

i love that sarah is the only one smiling in the first picture at the table! and poor deseree having to spend saturday with her family, yuck yuck yuck! and it looks like im going to have to fight don AND Anthony if i ever want to bring brutus to chicago--he's so loved!

Amber said...

and I agree sarah and don have the same dimples! and what a great picture of sarah and the kids in the field.

Lucas said...

Well look who is officially a teenager! Those pics of Deseree are hilarious! I'm glad to see a few of her smiling in the end but I especially love the one of her texting while the rest of you pose for the picture. PRICELESS!!!!

As for corn mazes, they are a little scary to me. But I would follow UD anywhere! Looks like a great time and a very successful Halloween!

Myrtle Spyker said...

looks like a great time! i've never done a corn maze before but that looks like a particularly good one! See you guys in a few weeks!

Brandy said...

What a picturesque Halloween! What fun. Mom, I would have to say that the fact you thought I would want to be a clown for Halloween year after year after year after year after year...says it all! The black hair was awful, but I can't blame you, I didn't decide on the costume until late and you did everything to make it happen!