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Corn Maze

We went to a corn maze today.

Well, first we got lost. The Press-Citizen neglected to print directions. So we drove south of town on the Avenue of the Saints, exited at Hills, and turned right.

Roads in Iowa are straight. Generally, they demarcate sections, following lines of latitude to infinity and lines of longitude to the point where the road must shift to the left or right to account for the curvature of the earth. Driving north, suddenly we would come to an intersection where our only choice was to turn left or to turn right. Usually, we turned right. “Right will get us back to Iowa City,” K said. I wasn’t sure but turned right anyway: we were driving around parts of the country neither of us had seen, and it was nice, like driving through a Grant Wood painting. Grant Wood, Young Corn (However, it was nothing like driving through Jones County, which is even more like driving through a Grant Wood painting.) We saw a few old bur oaks that once likely sheltered hundreds of species of grasses, but now shelter only maize or soybeans. We saw a white dove flocking with pigeons on a barn. We saw other birds, too, including mourning doves perched on wires and barn swallows skimming the tops of the fields for insects. Eventually, we followed a sign that pointed to a “Country Store,” which led us to a road that was paved which led past the Stringtown Grocery; past an Amish man compelling his two large draft horses to pull his wagon behind them; and to the Kalona Cheese Factory, at which we turned right onto Highway 1 to head back home.

That was when we found the corn maze. “Field of Fun,” read the sign, so we turned to follow the direction it pointed. Next to the field, a few tables were set up, but no one sat at them. The corn was at least nine feet high. We walked into the ma(i)ze. It was, we had heard, designed in the shape of the Big Brothers, Big Sisters logo. Evidence of that design we didn’t see. We did see mud. We did see corn. We turned right and left, left and right, until we got to a part of the maze that stretched from one end of the field to the next—we could see highway to each side of us. We turned left toward the car, and we tried to enter the maze again on that path, but every supposed fork led, in fact, to a dead end. We had no way to get back in. We stepped out of the field, walked back to the car, and went home.

Frankly, the corn maze was a little disappointing.



What a waste of arable land.

yeah, i can’t help but wonder when they plow the corn up to make the maze and what happens to it. is it mature enough to be used or does it go to waste? and some of the plants on the edge of the maze rows have been knocked down and killed…i wonder how much loss that adds up to? these questions we must ponder in life….

Re 1: Iowa’s arable land is over-planted, though.

Re 2: They don’t plow the paths. They use a form and plant the corn around it. Then, when the corn is high, they take up the form, and voila, corn maze.

re 1 and is responsible for the bloom in the gulf which is sapping the oxygen out of it and creating a massively huge dead zone.

and should be going into really good corn mash rather then corn syrup… so people could drink themselves to death in a fit of delirium tremens rather than drink themselves to death with in a diabetic seizure

yes, i think it’s safe to say that most of our corn goes to corn syrup, ethanol, and doomed farm animals. and if you’re fool enough to buy produce in the grocery store during the summer, more than likely the sweet corn you’ll find has been trucked over from illinois. er.

That’s why farmer’s markets are way cool here in the Arable State.

Re: 4, actually, the nitrogen fertilizers Iowa (and other) farmers put on their corn causes the bloom moreso than the corn itself.

oh ho ho! look who’s all sophisticated! it’s the nitrogen fertilizers and all…

i, of course, used corn synecdochally to refer to the man-made nitrogen fertilizers that are over-used to ensure an abundant crop. it’s not really totum pro parte but it is harvested product for part of the process.

but, as a staff writer here at hermits, i do appreciate the clarification of the editors on this one.

dude, you’re a Publisher of Hermits. Don’t you forget it.

And consider me duly chastised.

Anyway, insofar as causality can be determined at all, nitrogen fertilizers or synechdochal Midwest farming is the cause of the bloom. So, in that sense, the corn not planted in the path of the corn maze is good for the fish in the Gulf.

also, anyway, i really like the grant wood painting.

it is a good one, isn’t it?

Unrelated: I just ate the cutest little mushroom!