Welcome to Scarecrow Country
Dear Friends – can you believe it? February marks just one year of me enjoying life at World’s End. It has certainly been a time of adventures coupled with amazing new friendships born out of the strangest CoVid circumstances.
I clearly recall arriving in Tassie and travelling down the curly, windy Channel Highway from Hobart along the beautiful D'Entrecasteaux Channel to our new temporary home at Verona Sands.
I was excited not knowing what was in store for me and Klady kept up a constant chatter to try and calm my curiosity (and my barking). On the way there were many beautiful views but also some very strange sights; along a 40km stretch of road, stood straw sculptures (some rotting), many with silly lop-sided grins.
Klady’s daughter and friends who were my fellow travellers, commented on how weird and creepy all this was – to the extent they didn’t want to get out of the car to have a closer look in case there was a chainsaw-swinging predator hiding in the bushes.
It really was a strange sight - children made of straw standing next to the road, murders of straw crows and ravens, scarecrows in trees and some strange round bobbly sculptures encased in plastic, whose identity we just couldn't identify. Maybe they were just piles of roadside rubbish?
It took a full year for me to uncover the truth. We had arrived in Scarecrow Country just after the annual scarecrow competition which lines part of the Channel Highway. The long-running competition is a highlight of the annual Middleton Country Fair.
CoVid ensured that the 2021 Fair was cancelled but luckily, as scarecrows are very CoVid safe, this year's competition was run.
Klady, SirD and I travelled up and down the Highway examining most of the 2021 competition entrants. So many were witty - interpretations of recent events such as Donald Trump’s Mexican Wall, puns on the event’s name, a Venetian Plague Doctor but again, but there were just a few we didn’t understand….. and so I didn’t photograph those and other exhibits on dangerous parts of the road.
Each year the entrants are judged by local residents at the Fair with generous prizes offered. With the 2021 Fair cancelled, so far I haven’t been able to discover this year’s winner but below are some of my favourites – I particularly like the Stair Crow as I was able to climb up, have a sniff around and leave my scent on the nearby bush!
I can’t wait for the 2022 Fair. I’m going to enter a competition too – not the Scarecrow comp as my creative, finger and knotting skills are not that strong, but I did see that there is a sheep herding competition in which quite a few fellow local kelpies compete. I hope that by joining in, I will be able to make even more friends here at World’s End but I know I will need to focus on practising all year round.
This means Klady and SirD better be ready for 12 months of active herding activities and my dear and energetic white woolly fluffy friend, Cottie, will also be recruited to pretend be a miniature sheep!