Category Archives: Scarecrows

The scarecrows are back!

Some good news for once

yippee ki yi yay

yippee ki yi yay

by Bethany M. Dunbar              October 16, 2009

The scarecrows are back.  I’m not exactly sure why I find this story so completely fascinating except it seems like a small triumph of kindness over crappiness.

So I went back and slogged through a lot of really wet grass to get a lot more photos, which you will see posted here for posterity.  I don’t think I photographed all the scarecrows but I did get a lot of them.

One idea I got from an e-mail was that maybe next year, Barton can develop the whole scarecrow thing into a theme or a contest and possibly even make some events around it.  Wouldn’t that be fun?

The background on the story is this:  Last week Karen and Brian Chaffee put up something like 38 scarecrows along Route 5 between Barton and Orleans.  I covered this story for the Chronicle, but just after I took some pictures the scarecrows were taken down.  It seems some twerp had shot the hunter scarecrow and burned the soldier scarecrows, and the Chaffees were nervous that more damage might be done by leaving them up.

But Karen said she had so many phone calls (about 90) she felt that she just had to put them back up for everyone.  So far they seem soggy but fairly undamaged.  Yay!  Karen mentioned that Donna Bousquet of Irasburg gets credit for painting the faces, and that she did all of them in about an hour.  Now that’s some speedy talent.

Daisy, Daisy, give me an answer do.  I'm half crazy, all for the love of you!  It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage.  But you'll look sweet, upon the seat, of a bicycle built for two!

Daisy, Daisy, give me an answer do. I'm half crazy, all for the love of you! It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet, upon the seat, of a bicycle built for two!

Boo!

Boo!

A faithful volunteer

A faithful volunteer

Staying dry

Staying dry

Ready for a square dance

Ready for a square dance

Only nine more shopping weeks to go

Only nine more shopping weeks to go

Ready for any hair emergency

Ready for any hair emergency

An invisible scarecrow, now that's frightening

An invisible scarecrow, now that's frightening

How cute is that?

How cute is that?

No bunny slopes for her.

No bunny slopes for her.

He ain't nothin but a houn' dog.

He ain't nothin but a houn' dog.

happy sm

Thank you to the troops and their families.

Thank you to the troops and their families.

skeleton sm

The breezes get kind of stiff up here in the Northeast Kingdom sometimes.

The breezes get kind of stiff up here in the Northeast Kingdom sometimes.

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Scarecrows

What is wrong with people?

scarecrow convict

by Bethany M. Dunbar, October 9,2009

My question of the week is what is wrong with some people?  They seem to feel the urge to ruin something nice that another person has done for everyone’s enjoyment.

On Sunday afternoon in Barton, a local couple set up an elaborate roadside decoration celebrating fall.  By one count there were 38 scarecrows all along Route 5 between Barton and Orleans.  It was amazing.  Each one had a beautiful painted face and clothes.

A pair near the turn to Lake Region Road had a sign saying, “Go Rangers!” to encourage the high school’s soccer teams.  The boys are undefeated this year.

Others included a scarecrow dressed in rain gear and holding an umbrella, a hunter scarecrow in camouflage and an orange vest, one in medical scrubs, one in firefighters’ clothes and gear, a skier, and a convict in prison garb, to mention just a few.  A “just married” bride and groom were perched on a bicycle built for two.

At the beginning and end of the row were signs warning drivers to watch out for “scarecrows crossing.”  At the northern end of the collection were a pair of Santa and Mrs. Claus scarecrows with a sign, “Coming soon.”

The town was buzzing.  People kept coming in to the Chronicle office to tell us about it.  It just kind of made the whole town’s day.  There were rumors about who had done it, but part of the fun it seemed was that no one had taken credit.  These scarecrows were just out there looking cheerful.

My car was in the shop on Monday so I couldn’t go look until Tuesday morning.

When I did I was amazed.  It was quite a show.  It was hard to decide which ones to photograph; I knew we couldn’t fit them all in the paper.

In retrospect I wish I had taken a photo of each remaining scarecrow because I found out shortly later that some had been taken, burned, or vandalized.  One dressed like a soldier had been burned and two others were knocked over.

I got back to my desk and started to put the pictures into the computer, and in came Paul Doyle, who owns the sugarhouse along the route.  He said they were all gone.

What?

Photos by Bethany M. Dunbar

Photos by Bethany M. Dunbar

The people who made them had taken them all down because of the vandalism.  Mr. Doyle was clearly upset that someone would wreck this random act of kindness meant to brighten everyone’s day.

So this isn’t the biggest injustice in the universe.  But it just really stinks, particularly because of the generous nature of the placing of the scarecrows in the first place.  I hope whoever got their jollies ruining someone else’s nice work feels really proud of this little prank.

What goes around comes around.

DSC_0126

Thank you to the creators of the scarecrows.  Clearly you put a huge amount of effort into making them.  A lot of people saw them; it was a fun thing.  You did a good deed, and with any luck something good will come back to you.

To anyone thinking of visiting to see foliage:  This is the weekend.  It’s spectacular.  For those looking for activities beyond driving around looking at the scenery, there is a fall festival at the Orleans County fairgrounds in Barton and an arts and crafts fair at Jay Peak.

For more on these events, and other listings, check out the Chronicle’s web site, or better yet, pick up the actual newspaper!

Thanks for reading.