Build a Scarecrow Day is celebrated annually on the first Sunday in July. At first it may seem counter-intuitive to create these decoy creatures so often associated with autumn in the beginning of July. But in reality, many crops are growing during these hot months and crows and other birds pose a threat to their yield. Scarecrows are meant to keep watch over a growing garden, fulfilling their duties by frightening birds and pests away. In popular culture the scarecrow is often crafted in human form, but most practical modern “scarecrows” have evolved into different mediums, such as shiny decoy “ribbons” or automatic noise guns.
Like most people, I associate scarecrows with the beginning of fall and the approach of Halloween, one of my favorite “official” holidays. During the early autumn, as the leaves are just starting to turn, there are few things i’d rather do than spend a weekend at one of the local plantations or farms, wandering through a corn maze or going on a hay ride. But in spite of my love for those cooling months and the fun crafts they inspire, I’ve never actually built a scarecrow. So today we decided to start small.
Chris and I live on a three acre lot but most of it is given over to wild, natural vegetation. We don’t have much of a “garden” to speak of, but we do have one small plot we’d like to landscape currently overgrown with plants yet to be identified (we both have a hard time determining what is and what is not a weed). We figured that if the garden is small, then it’s guardian can be small too, so rather than creating a full-grown scarecrow today we decided to create a scarecrow baby instead. Actually, according to the adorable onesie I bought for the infant, it’s a scarecrow preemie. After stuffing our little boy or girl (we went for a unisex yellow outfit), with newspaper, plastic bags, and hay, I’m starting to realize that he/she won’t the least bit threatening to our fine feathered friends. If we put the baby out in the garden it’s more likely to get carried away by a bird of prey than it is to perform the traditional job as a scarecrow. That’s okay though — we don’t have much of a bird problem anyway.