Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Move over Teddies, the Scarecrows are coming (not that we don’t love teddies)


Beautiful Scarecrow Wattle Queen, Hurstbridge, Victoria
-Photo courtesy of Sabi Buehler
I thought we needed something cheerful today, especially for those people still in lockdown, which includes a lot of friends in Victoria. At Hurstbridge where my sister lives, they normally have a spring Wattle Festival at this time of year but because level 4 lockdown rules still apply, they have gone virtual and local people have turned their talents to making a Merrymakers Scarecrow Village which attracted 150 entries.Although organisers have asked for them to be taken down this week out of respect for the environment, you can still catch them here. Nor are they alone. 

Ready to brighten someone's day and may or may not scare the birds
-Photo courtesy of Sabi Buehler
Many UK communities have scarecrow festivals too and the village of Kilkhampton in Cornwall is host to around 150 of them. The USA also produces large crops of scarecrows, especially around Halloween and when it comes to scarecrows, Japan has a long tradition of making Kuebiko as they are called and is very creative and prolific too. Among the more famous ones in Japan are those in the village of Nagoro  where its 35 residents are outnumbered by more than 350 scarecrows.  Most of these characters have been made by Ayano Tsukiami, who missed the people of her childhood who had lived in the village and who have since either died or moved away.  These scarecrows must be good at attracting rather than scaring people because a previous report put the number of residents at 29. 

This one really would scare the birds and everyone else
-Photo courtesy of Sabi Buehler
Scarecrows have been around since at least 3000 BC when the ancient Egyptians needed to keep birds off the grain they were growing along the Nile. Whether you need to keep birds off your setting fruit, your spring seeds and seedlings or off your strawberries or your autumn harvest or are just making them for fun, I hope some of the ideas below will inspire you to make your own.  Don’t follow them too slavishly. At worst you’ll have an ornament for Halloween.
As any search of YouTube will show, there are hundreds of ways to make your own scarecrow, but I favour those which don’t require you to own or use power tools. That way even children can make them and without adult supervision. I also prefer those which use natural or recycled materials, rather than store bought ones.  Nor do you always need straw. I saw one made with autumn leaves and Gabrielle Blair’s don’t use stuffing at all, yet the trailing fabric blowing in the breeze will probably be quite effective at chasing away birds.
Quick Easy and Traditional with Carly and Rosanne


I love the way Gabrielle Blair’s creepy ones make use of twigs in this one


Claire makes use of recycled materials and if you really want to scare birds away her added embellishments may prove effective.  (Don’t buy your bubble wrap though– use packing material that would otherwise end up on landfill).


If you are looking for really creepy, then see the amazing work of master scarecrow maker PumpkinRot



P.S.Thanks for letting me use your photos Sis!

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