Durrow Scarecrow Festival: part I

scarecrow festival

Beautiful village of Durrow, Co Laois are hosting their annual Scarecrow Festival this week. It officially opened last Sunday afternoon, but a fantastic job of preparation and scarecrow making started long before the day. Colorful and happy looking scarecrows sitting on the perches, trees or simply on the ground follow you on your way through the village and promise a good time and lots of fun.

scarecrow festival

Oh, even the President and the First Lady are… wait… never mind…

The Scarecrow glorified by L. Frank Baum is one of the most loved characters in children’s literature. He is gentle and kind, honest and wise. Seeking to get a set of brains he still appreciates the straw he is stuffed with, and his logic is unbeatable:

Scarecrow: I haven’t got a brain… only straw. 
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain? 
Scarecrow: I don’t know… But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking… don’t they? 
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you’re right.

I will try to not do an awful lot of talking. The pictures will talk by themselves.

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

Scarecrow: Witch? Hmph, I’m not afraid of a witch. I’m not afraid of anything – except a lighted match.
Dorothy: I don’t blame you for that.

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

Who is the famous Scarecrow’s of Oz predecessor? It must be a Feathertop, the main character of the short story of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne,  first published in 1852. It is an almost Kafka-esque, thought-provoking story.

“Poor Feathertop,” Mother Rigby said, looking at the heap on the floor. “He was too good to be a scarecrow. And he was too good to be a man. But he will be happier, standing near the corn all summer and protecting it from the birds. So I will make him a scarecrow again.”

scarecrow festival

There is a long forgotten, but nevertheless brilliant movie Scarecrow (1983) directed by Jerry Schatzberg. It is a drama starring Gene Hackman and Al Pacino.  I was sure there is a comedy related to scarecrows, and  I did find a 1920 short comedy The Scarecrow. You can watch it here on Youtube it is just a few minutes of laugh 🙂

When did scarecrows become the horror icons? Some say that it all started with the 1981 horror mystery thriller Dark Night of the Scarecrow, directed by Frank De Felitta. I haven’t seen the movie, and to be honest, I haven’t seen ANY scarecrow horror movie. I would be terrified, I hate creepy things like murderous clowns and scarecrows. I’d better stay with this cute Snow White 🙂

scarecrow festival

There is so much to see in Durrow this week. Humans are watching the scarecrows ( you never know…) and…

scarecrow festival

..Scarecrows are watching humans…

scarecrow festival

There is even a local war going on!

Cowardly Lion: Come on, get up and fight, ya shivering junkyard! Put your hands up, ya lopsided bag o’ hay!
Scarecrow: Now that’s getting personal, Lion!

scarecrow festival

Children are actually very quiet here. I cannot blame them: the real and the surreal are tangled and unclear 🙂

scarecrow festival

Watching the performance I thought  I would take a picture of these fire red hair owners.

scarecrow festival

Suddenly all three of them turned back 🙂

scarecrow festival

That’s all for today. More pictures coming Friday.

I want to share a short fun video courtesy of Hattie Wilcox (the video is on this page of her website). It is filmed in Ireland, it is about the scarecrows, so it is quite relevant.

Hattie Wilcox is a terrifically talented composer, singer, poet, songwriter, photographer, and most humble and hard working  person. Please check out her website and blog.

Photography tip of the day: Use the White balance feature of your camera. Take pictures with different settings and chose the result you are happy with.

inese_mj_photographyHave a great week!

35 comments

    1. Sheri, I do hope you have festivals in your area. They are not properly advertised, perhaps. I wouldn’t know about the Scarecrow festival if my friends didn’t live nearby, and if the festival didn’t last 10 days which is enough to spread a word across all the country 🙂

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    1. Thank you Olga! 🙂 It just happened that a few months ago I reread all the 14 books of The Wizard of Oz 🙂 So the image of beloved Scarecrow is still present in my mind. When I heard about the Festival I knew I have to go there:)

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  1. What a marvelous festival… Great scarecrows… And some of them are so unconventional!.
    Really nice, dear inese.
    Happy week ahead to you. Sending you hugs,
    Aquileana

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  2. Thanks for this poetic post! I love your pictures, your reportage is very interesting!

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    1. Thank you Hattie! Your video is a cherry on top! 🙂 The festival page on Facebook found my blog on Google, what a surprise, and two more event pages shared it:) I wrote them that they can use your video if they link it to your website. So fun!:)

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