Season of the Scarecrow

The scarecrows are back!

Trav and I met several on our walk to the post office the other day. He had a greeting for every single one. Well, OK, I’m not sure if it was a greeting or a challenge to do battle, but whatever it was, Trav was intrigued.

Miles Davis, @ Julie Robinson Interiors

Miles Davis, @ Julie Robinson Interiors

The scarecrows are a fundraiser for the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, which is just a bit up the road. Now in its 14th year, the Scarecrow Festival was the brainchild of Gwen Natusch. Paul Karasik has been Scarecrow Overlord for the last eight years. (And you thought he was just a artist, cartoonist, writer, and teacher??)

Anyone can make a scarecrow. Businesses then donate $100 for the honor of hosting one. The Scarecrow Overlord and his councilors then match hosts with scarecrows. This year there are a record-breaking 80+ scarecrows, and you can find them in every town but Aquinnah. (To plan your scarecrow tour, check out the Charter School’s website.)

This year’s theme is music. First up on Trav’s and my mini-tour was Miles Davis.


Devil Lady and Li'l Devil @ Tea Lane Associates

Devil Lady and Li’l Devil @ Tea Lane Associates

Next was Tea Lane Associates, where Devil Lady and Li’l Devil leaned against the signposts as if they’d been waiting for us to show up. That looks like a ukulele in the little guy’s hand, but s/he didn’t play for us as we passed by.

Devil Lady reminded me a bit of Morticia Addams. I wonder if they’re related.

At the M.V. Savings Bank we encountered a different breed of scarecrow. Trav tried to engage Tazcula in a duel, or maybe it was a duet he was after. Tazcula glared back, unimpressed, which only spurred Trav to greater effort.

Trav tries to engage Tazcula in a duet, or a duel, or something.

Trav tries to get a reaction from Tazcula.

Tazcula @ M.V. Savings Bank

Tazcula @ M.V. Savings Bank

The witch at Vineyard Gardens strums her broom when she’s not flying on it. Trav was fascinated. First he sang along. Then he tried to filch the witch’s glove. “Not a good idea,” I said. “The witch might turn you into a chihuahua.”

Trav wanted to know what a chihuahua was. “They are very small,” I said, “and they cannot woo.” Trav gave up on the glove. I gave him a cookie.

witch & trav

Broom Balalaika @ Vineyard Gardens

Last scarecrow on our mini-tour was Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, outside the supermarket. Another dog was tethered to the nearby bike rack, so Trav didn’t get to pose with Lucy. Maybe another time, or maybe another scarecrow. We spotted the Cat in the Hat outside Edu Comp in Vineyard Haven, and there are at least 75 more we haven’t visited yet.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds @ Up-Island Cronig's

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds @ Up-Island Cronig’s

About Susanna J. Sturgis

Susanna edits for a living, writes to survive, and has been preoccupied with electoral politics since 2016. She just started a blog about her vintage T-shirt collection: "The T-Shirt Chronicles." Her other blogs include "From the Seasonally Occupied Territories," about being a year-round resident of Martha's Vineyard, and "Write Through It," about writing, editing, and how to keep going.
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7 Responses to Season of the Scarecrow

  1. debmmorgan says:

    Great fun, Susanna. My favourite, for obvious reasons, is Lucy in the Sky. This would make a great idea for a book for young people, I think. Thanks so much for sharing.


  2. Sharon Stewart says:

    Wonderful custom! Too bad the summer folk miss all of this (their loss).


  3. Yes, Thanks for these. I have not been out and about the bright lights and big cities, so will have to set up some time to prowl around.


  4. Shirley says:

    Such fun! Thanks for showing us some of the scarecrows – the Charter School website lists every scarecrow made and where it is – by town…..


  5. Juleann says:

    Thanks for reporting on this and taking alll the photos — love your photos & love the scarecrows! Travvy is being very funny!


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