Two Birds With One Stone

To set things straight at the outset, I am not suggesting throwing rocks at nature’s songbirds. Keep in mind, though, those songbirds CAN and DO create problems with bounty in vegetable gardens this time of year. What’s a nature-loving conscientious backyard gardener to do?

Those same hobby farmers might have children running around beginning to be bored with summer, whining about having ‘nothing to do’ with an over-abundance of free time stretching out for parents, too, the more the kids complain. The scenario could be especially troublesome for parents trying to limit device time.

There is a possible solution to both dilemmas. Scarecrows. Again, to set the reader straight, I am not suggesting that kids take on scaring the crows at the backyard plot, though they might do just that with normal rowdiness if the veggies are near the play area and IF the children are playing. Otherwise, it might be considered a chore that has payment attached to it, and that’s a whole different bag of worms and involves checklists and time clocks and perhaps raises and overtime. Might be cheaper to just buy veggies at the grocery rather than get into all that. The famous scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz was in search of brains. We want to make certain the kids don’t take advantage of weary parents who begin to act as though they have lost theirs simply for the sake of a whine-free afternoon.

A garden full of bounty is tempting to more creatures than just a few songbirds. One scarecrow can fight that battle. See where I am going with this? I am suggesting that you get those bored kids involved and declare war on crop-stealing vermin all at the same time. Build a scarecrow! I know we are accustomed to seeing them in fall harvest scenes, but why wait? There might not be much to harvest if one.does. Besides, school is in session then and half the issue is no longer that.

From my scanty research into the construction of a suitable one, it should move and make noise and somewhat resemble those pesky humans that scare critters off when in the vicinity of the bounty. There are stashes of scarecrow components in drawers and closets, attics and garages in most homes. Scarecrows are not particular. Heads out of stuffed Walmart bags will work just as well as those made of old pantyhose. Pack either well so he…or she…won’t miss the brains that will never materialize. I think it might be rather fun to have a pair. Full skirts could hide a heap of moving noisemakers from curious eyes of all kinds. Eyes don’t consume tomatoes, anyway.

In my summer reading I have learned of STEM ‘toys’ that help kids construct things of basic levers then work into elementary robotics. This oldster would need all summer to build anything that moves. Artificial intelligence would lose patience with me, but not with young eager minds who ‘get’ by osmosis some of the technology involved. Some proud gardeners could have a whole chorus line of scarecrows in a matter of hours to entertain and protect simultaneously.

It’s not a new idea. A few thousand years ago the ancient Egyptians used them to guard their wheat fields planted along the banks of the Nile. I wouldn’t be surprised to read hieroglyphic translations that revealed Egyptian scarecrows danced and sang. After all, Egyptians built the pyramids.

You can even turn the activity into a celebration. The first Sunday of every July is Build a Scarecrow Day. In 2019 that is Sunday, July 7th. HAPPY SCARECROW DAY!

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About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
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