Portola Valley scarecrows out standing in their field again | January 18, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |



News - January 18, 2012

Portola Valley scarecrows out standing in their field again

by Dave Boyce

One good thing about being a scarecrow: if someone stabs and dismembers you and leaves you to molder on the cold, cold ground, it's not the end of the world. You may still not have a brain, but with willing hands, a few new clothes and a bit more straw, you can rise again.

Such is the case at the six-acre Spring Down open space just south of the Portola Valley Town Center, where at least seven and possibly eight people of the straw are again standing guard over $1,200 in wildflower seeds that local Girl Scouts distributed on the field in October in anticipation of winter rains that have yet to arrive. This week looks promising.

The scouts returned Saturday morning, Jan. 14, and spent a couple of hours on reassembling the six scarecrows that had been attacked sometime around Jan. 4, scout leader Tricia Law said. The 8-foot-tall crosses that serve as skeletons are thicker this time in the hope that they will be less vulnerable to being knocked flat, Ms. Law said.

Whoever attacked them the last time engaged in an act of misdemeanor vandalism, deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office said. Deputies have not made any efforts yet to identify the culprits, but they have methods that are more or less surefire if it comes to that, Deputy Eric Sakuma said in a telephone interview.

In an act of benevolence that is so far unexplained, an eighth scarecrow has appeared. It could be "quiet penance for someone who felt guilty or someone expressing camaraderie," Ms. Law said.

The native wildflowers, if they germinate, will include California poppies, California bluebells, white yarrow and sky lupine. The plan had been to celebrate the Girl Scouts' 100th anniversary in March with a pancake breakfast at the Town Center, adjacent to what they hoped would be a flowering field.

In their previous incarnations, the scarecrows did not scare the birds, as indicated by the vile presence of a bird's calling card when it sits somewhere. But hey, judge not lest ye be judged.


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