September 23, 2015 marks the first day of Autumn for this year! What is Autumn exactly? Yes, it’s the season that falls between Summer and Winter but there is more science involved than that. Autumn or Fall is brought by the September Equinox.
Because Earth doesn’t orbit upright, but is instead tilted on its axis by 23-and-a-half degrees, Earth’s Northern and Southern Hemispheres trade places throughout the year in receiving the sun’s light and warmth most directly. We have an equinox twice a year – spring and fall – when the tilt of the Earth’s axis and Earth’s orbit around the sun combine in such a way that the axis is inclined neither away from nor toward the sun. Earth’s two hemispheres are receiving the sun’s rays about equally around equinox-time.
What are some of your favorite Fall activities? Perhaps jumping into freshly raked leaf piles? Wandering through a windy maze made from corn husks? Maybe sipping on some hot apple cider or something pumpkin spice flavored? Whatever your favorite Fall activity, this season is sure to bring beautiful colors and lots of fun!
Wishing everyone a happy Autumnal Equinox or first official day of Fall today! In celebration today’s post will be about the science behind building one of our favorite Fall pastimes, the corn maze.
There is way more than you can imagine that goes into creating a corn maze. First, the farmer needs to decide on which hybrid of corn he needs to plant in order for it to be the right height and stalk strength. Secondly, he must keep a close eye on the corn crop during the growing process for a disease called “stalk rot”. Stalk rot is a key factor when there is improper fertilization and moisture stress on the plant. Then the farmer needs to think about having an area large enough to plant his corn and produce his maze. Another note to keep in mind is that he should not overcrowd the corn plants either.
Once the corn is fully mature and tall enough, the farmer will start to cut pathways. Cutting the pathways isn’t just as simple as cutting out rows into the corn. Most corn mazes these days follow a specific theme or classic movie. So the farmers will use a GPS navigation device in order to plan and execute precise pathways into their corn maze! Some of the best corn mazes have “bridges” built into the middle of the maze, where tourists can climb up the stairs and look out over the corn that they are lost in!
If you have never experienced a corn maze for yourself, I encourage you to try out this extremely fun Autumn pastime! Here is a list of all the corn mazes in the United States! http://www.cornmazesamerica.com/