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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Autumn is Scarecrow Time!

What comes to mind as the first signs of Autumn - cooler temperatures, vibrant explosions of color, falling leaves, pumpkins at the local market, soups and stews, festivals, scarecrows?

"SCARECROWS?" you might ponder.

Yep! One sure sign of the Fall season is the sighting of scarecrows and they do not limit their appearance to farms, they are not distinctly American and they don't all look like the straw man from the Wizard of Oz. While at one time the only area they adorned was a field, perhaps of corn or wheat, today one might encounter a scarecrow hanging on a front door, adorning a front porch, staked in a manicured front lawn, imprinted on a T-shirt, sweatshirt or other article of clothing, as well as featured in various household decorations.

Embrace the Past. . .
Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org

"Caaaw! Caaaw! Caaaw!" The sound of pesky, hungry birds echoes across the corn and wheat fields. Not a welcomed sound in days of old. Since over 3,000 years ago farmers have battled keeping birds away from the crops else the only full bellies would be those of the crows! From wooden frames covered with nets (Egyptian) to purple figures with a club in hand (Greek) to carved scarecrows (Roman) to hanging old rags, meat, and fish bones from bamboo poles (Japan) attempts have been made to literally 'scare away the pesky crows'.

From the Middle Ages through Medieval Times, scarecrows evolved with their own special uniqueness. Even children found a special place among the keepers of the scarecrows. In Medieval Britain, boys nine years old or older became bird scarers or bird shooers. Each boy patrolled wheat fields carrying bags of stones. As crows or starlings landed in the field, the boys would wave their arms and throw the stones, thereby chasing the birds away

Empower the Present. . .

'Scaring crows' can still be witnessed all over the world from old men sitting in rocking chairs throwing stones (India & Arab nations) to scarecrows standing in fields. Of course, today's technology has had a tremendous impact on the modern day scarecrow: reflective film ribbons tied to plants to create shimmers from the sun or automatic noise guns that are powered by propane gas. Different designs and creative techniques earmark a country's uniqueness, some still reflective of the past. Many communities have scarecrow festivals, schools offer special scarecrow projects and contests provide scarecrow invasions where one tries to outdo another in creativity and design.

Enrich the Future. . . 

Scarecrow: Wizard of Oz
Within an era of spraying and crop dusting, scarecrows are becoming less and less visible, that is, in the fields anyway. They still hold a most important position in literature, movies, songs and especially when it comes to Autumn decorations!

There are some very creative minds when it comes to designing a scarecrow. Where 'once upon a time' the scarecrow was made of rags and straw representative of a poor vagabond, a different possibility exists in the techno age.


Who, what, where is/was your favorite scarecrow?
 
Donalsonville, GA, Fall, 2012

On a street corner perhaps?