July 1st Is Build A Scarecrow DayJuly 1st, 2012 by Craig Mullins
Scarecrows aren’t just for Halloween. In fact, scarecrows aren’t even really for the autumn months at all.
It may not seem like it on the surface, but July 1st is the perfect time for Build a Scarecrow Day. Most field crops grow during the summer months, thus creating a need for the scarecrow during that time, and not during later months.
Scarecrow – noun
1. an object, usually a figure of a person in old clothes, set up to frighten crows or other birds away from crops.
2. anything frightening but not really dangerous.
Building a scarecrow on Build a Scarecrow Day is a fun and easy activity the whole family will enjoy.
Here are some ideas and hints to help you with the creation of your very own scarecrow.
1. Decide what your scarecrow is going to wear. Denim and flannel are sturdy materials, so using an old pair of jeans or overalls, along with a long sleeved flannel shirt is a great choice. Be sure to have some safety pins or a needle and thread on hand so you can attach the clothes to each other; this will be helpful once the scarecrow is stuffed. Accessories for your scarecrow are fun too; like gloves and a big straw hat.
2. Find stuff to stuff your scarecrow with. While it’s most common to stuff a scarecrow with hay or pinestraw, leaves and other natural yard debris can also be used. If you’re not able to gather enough stuffing to fill your whole scarecrow, a couple of ½ gallon plastic milk jugs can easily fill the gaps. Put a jug in each leg of the scarecrow’s pants, down in the ankle area; to add a bit of weight to the scarecrow, fill the jugs with something heavy like sand or rocks. Use string and/or rope to tie off the end of the scarecrow’s arms and legs so the stuffing doesn’t fall out. While stuffing your scarecrow, keep in mind that the stuffing will settle in time, so pack down the stuffing to make it tight; otherwise you could end up with a limp scarecrow.
3. When it comes to making your scarecrow’s head, there are several ways you can do it. A gallon milk jar with a mask over it or face painted on is quick and simple; so is filling a trash bag or pillowcase with leaves.
Fun Facts About Scarecrows:
- Scarecrows have been around for over 3,000 years acting as ‘guardian of the crops’.
- In ancient Egypt, scarecrows were lined up along the Nile River to keep the quail at bay.
- In the United Kingdom, scarecrows are called many things, including “jacks-of-straw”, “shoy-hoys”, “hodmedods”, and “tattybogles”.
- In Japan’s oldest surviving book (compiled in the year 712), Kojiki, a scarecrow known as Kuebiko appears as a deity who cannot walk, and knows everything about the world.
- Scarecrows come in shapes other than human form, like in the southern Appalachian Mountains, where they use a dead crow hung upside down from a pole, and on California farmland where highly reflective aluminized PET film ribbons are tied to the plants to reflect the sun.