October 15, 2020: Through the COVID Maze

Halloween Die-ary #18

“It seems like peak foliage out there,” said Lindsey. Peak foliage is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot in our house at this time of year, and often it can be November before it happens.

“We should go somewhere after work so you can get some photos,” I said.

And then we said at the same time, “The graveyard…”

We sighed, both of us obviously hating our predictability a tad. “Is there any other places we could go?” I asked.

“Lavoies Farm has a COVID maze. That’s like a mile away.”

“A COVID maze?”

“They call it a corn trail instead of corn maze. One-way traffic.”

“Let’s do a COVID maze.” I said, thinking that maybe “socially distant corn maze” will be the hair that breaks my camel’s back this year.

We drove there after work…and nobody was there. It was a ghost farm. No cars in the lot, no movement in the fields. Only the sound of the wind rattling the plastic ominously on the greenhouses. We saw a cornfield in the distance, but no signs touting it as an attraction. Lindsey went inside to see if there really was a corn trail or if we were in an Invasion of the Blood Farmers situation. She returned, slipped off her mask, and said. “Yup, that’s it. And there’s no charge.” So very possibly an Invasion of the Blood Farmers situation.

So we walked the corn trail, and it was…beautiful. The wind blew the shocks in such a way that they seemed supernaturally animated, whispering and scratching together like they were hiding a secret from us. Above their tussled heads, the field was backdropped by soaring trees laden with orange and red foliage. “I can’t take these pictures,” said Lindsey. “It looks like an Olan Mills backdrop.”

“What’s Olan Mills?” asked our oldest.

We took turns running ahead and hiding among the stalks to jump out and scare each other. At one point, my middle child walked up to me with a piece of a human pelvic bone.

“Is this a bone?” she asked.

“Oh. Yeah, looks like it.”

“Why are their screws in it?” she said, flipping it over. Some poor plastic skeleton had been dismembered in the corn.

The trails deposited us at a picked-over, rotting pumpkin patch and an apple orchard carpeted in old, almost purple apples. It was my first experience with the atmospheric joys of a post-harvest farm.

So turns out, a COVID maze did the opposite of ruining dromedary humps. It provided one of my favorite moments of the season.

I recorded her while I jumped out and scared her. She wanted to see it.