Ever heard of a Bird-scarer, a Moggy, a Bogeyman, a Shuft, maybe a Rook-scarer or a Kelson, Hodmedod or a Tattie bogle?  How about Priapus? web-o-025

 Let me enlighten you,  Priapus was the son of Aphrodite in Greek mythology. Priapus was a protector of gardens and orchards, and is typically portrayed as a hideous looking man.  Birds tended to avoid fields where Priapus resided, so Greek and then Roman farmers soon adopted the practice of carving wooden statues that resembled Priapus in thier gardens to keep crows from eating the corn.   web-o-026

In the Middle Ages children worked as crow-scarers.  They would run around in the fields, clapping blocks of wood together, to scare birds that might eat the grain.  Later as the plague claimed many lives, farmers found there were less children to shoo birds away so they stuffed old clothes with straw, put a gourd or turnip on as their head and mounted the figure in the fields.  These lifelike figures kept the crows at bay.  Also before the white man arrived, Native American men would sit on raised platforms and shout at birds or ground animals that came near the crops.  The use of scarecrows also came to North America with immigrants from Europe. German settlers in Pennsylvania called them bogeyman, which stood guard over the fields.

So now you know a quick history of where scarecrows came from.  We tend to only use them as decorations that represent fall harvests these days. Who amongst us doesn’t enjoy seeing a scarecrow overlooking a lush vegetable garden.    I know I do. web-o-039

~If I only had a brain! ~the scarecrow, Wizard of Oz

 

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11 Comments

  1. Hi T,
    LOVE this post. Not only am I a #1 fan of Wizard of Oz, I love Greek mythology. Great information. Did you make that bird scarer yourself? (I hadn’t heard of some of those other terms. Cool to know.)

  2. Teresa, I am fascinated with this information. I had no idea where scarecrows originiated, but I had just said something about that to someone. Thanks for all the neat info as well as the great pics. Love your scarecrow.

    Happy OW to you…

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

  3. Such an entertaining and educational post. Love the photos that went along with your post also.

    My O W is a nearby marshland with waterfowl and Autumn colors…and a surprise L N Monster visit!!!

    Come by and see

  4. Great post and photos on the scarecrows.

  5. Beautiful photos and a little learning on the side. We still see homemade scarecrows here in the south in gardens and fields. Mama used to tie aluminum pie pans in the garden.

  6. I love to learn new things and learn I did! Thanks for sharing the history lesson and your photos with us. This was a great post. Have a wonderful Outdoor Wednesday.

  7. This was a fun post. Thanks for the scarecrow history, which was all new to me.

  8. Waht a great and informative post. I love Greek Mythology and still have my books from high school and college! Your scarecrow is too cute!

    Thank you for sharing the history of the scarecrow with us!

    ~ Tracy

  9. What a fun and informative post. I love scarecrows, it was fun to learn more about their origins.

  10. Love all the information on scarecrows. Yours looks a great one!!

  11. Great post, Teresa! Fun and educational.