Pre-heat oven to 425°F. In a small saucepan, heat the maple syrup and the butter together and set maple butter aside. Peel squash removing both the skin and the whitish layer. Cut off stem.
Carefully cut the squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Place squash halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with a little olive oil and then season with salt and pepper on both sides. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from oven, letting cool slightly.
Place onto a cutting board and sandwich squash halves lengthwise between two long wooden spoon handles. (This will act as a guide not to cut all the way through the squash.) Using a sharp knife, cut 1/2-inch thick slits all the way down till the blade reaches the spoon handles.
Return to a baking sheet and drizzle with the maple butter, a sprinkling of dried thyme and another round of salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup water to the pan and then bake an additional 25-30 minutes, basting the squash about halfway through.
Remove from oven and sprinkle halves with the pecans and the sprigs of fresh thyme, tucking them into several of the slits. Bake an additional 10 minutes and serve, basting again with any residual maple butter.