Build A Scarecrow in July
Celebrate Build a Scarecrow Day
Scarecrows aren't just for when the leaves turn red and gold, you can have one in July too.
The first Sunday in July is Build a Scarecrow Day so why not get friends and family together, build one of these age-old Farmers' Helpers and celebrate with a special meal.
Any excuse is good enough for a family party!
A Scarecrow by any other name
The Dutch build a Vogelverschrikker, the Japanese a Kakashi while the Italians are content with a Spaventapasseri.
Scarecrows have a long history in UK and, because of the different dialects once so prevalent, you can find a Mawkin, a Mommet, and even a Hodmedod. When in Wales, look out for a Bwbach.
In Scotland, they're called a Bodach-rocais and in the Isle of Skye, the locals celebrate a three month long Tattie Bogal festival
Isle of Skye Festival
I'd love to get to the Tattie Bogal Scarecrow Festival on the the Isle of Skye
The Minginish residents really go all out with the Tattie Bogals and the 2014 Festival will take place from 1 July and end with a Ceilidh in mid September! Sounds heavenly to me.
Scarecrows in Ancient Egypt
In Ancient Egypt, farmers along the Nile needed to protect their fields of grain from hungry birds.
They built wooden frames in their fields and covered them with nets. Children would then hide among the crops and, when birds came, scared the hapless creatures into the nets.
But they didn't just scare the birds, they cooked them up for a snack.
Back in the European Middle Ages, small children spent their daylight hours in the fields, guarding the grain by busily scaring the crows.
These little mites, some scarcely out of the cradle, would run after birds while clapping blocks of wood together. It sounds dreadful to us but times were a lot harder then. And not just for children.
As the number of small children (along with the adult population) decreased with the Plague, farmers had to make do with human-shaped figures of straw instead.
There were still plenty of real-life crow-scarers though. The photo of this lad is from the early 20th century, frightening away the crows in Norfolk, UK.
Scarecrow in Cumbria, UK
How to Make a Scarecrow
Have you ever made a Scarecrow?
I must confess I haven't tried to make a one since I was a child, too may years ago to count.
In my own garden, I have old CDs hanging from string to scare off the big, black crows (they certainly scare me) but I haven't yet discovered a way to deter possums. Maybe a scarecrow will do the trick.
My first Scarecrow Memory
Ray Bolger, the best known Scarecrow
How did the Scarecrow know he didn't have a brain?
Scarecrows from KettlewellClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Kettlewell Scarecrows
These amazing Scarecrows are from Graham Whitehead's photos of the Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival
The Big Scarecrow Contest in South Carolina
- Pendleton Scarecrow Contest 2014
Come to Pendleton, SC and enjoy seeing lots of creative scarecrow entries in the annual Scarecrow Contest.
© 2013 Susanna Duffy