La Nuit des Epouvantails

October 7, 2010

La Nuit des Epouvantails

October 7, 2010
Reading Time: 5 minutes

A few weeks ago, Morges celebrated its annual fall harvest "La Nuit des Epouvantails." Prior to the event, I photographed a few of the "epovantails" (scarecrows) in Denens on one of my bike rides. Denens is two-villages away from our home and occasionally the dogs and I walk that way, but I always ride by it on my bike rides. The first time I rode through Denens, I noticed the scarecrows and wondered what the heck was up. See for yourself, like this dude below:

I"m thinking this must have been the very first Iron Man, no?

Yes, that's my new bike. And like a real American, I bought a European maker. It seems all the European cyclists ride American made bikes, such as, Trek, Specialized or Cannondale. Rather than fit in like a European riding an American bike, nothing says "I am American" more than my French La Pierre bike. Oh, the irony.

Back to Les Epouvantails de Denens.

Check out this scarecrow wielding what would appear to be pesticide.

He's at the entrance to this here chateau where they sell "raisins." (Wow! English words really do come from French, huh?) Maybe that's why Swiss wines aren't so popular. If they're making wines from raisins and not grapes... Anyway,  I'm not sure it feels welcoming to have this dude at the gate, but hey, whatever Swiss peeps!

This house has a buddy for it's Scarecrow. Just like us at Wild Dingo, two is better than one, no?

Even Les Epouvantails wear their Swiss pride.

It appears this scarecrow above has more than one after-school activity. Skates, tennis rackets and track shoes. When does he have time to scare the birds away?

O.K. this isn't a scarecrow, but it's a bike and I'm on my bike ride and I like it. The artist probably doesn't know that reflectors are a faux-pas in the cycling world. So are kickstands, but I see them everywhere here.

This dude reminds me of Wall-E. I totally dig that corkscrew crow in sign behind him.

The Swiss are HUGE on recycling. In fact, at one time, trash bags were policed to find out if you didn't recycle. If they found cans or bottles next to a copy of your bill, you'd get a ticket. Now that's a job I'm not sure I'd want.

Out of all the things we bought at Ikea, my favorite purchase is our recycling container. It's actually pretty. And it makes recycling easy and fun. This fella above looks an artist had his own kind of fun.

Every year, Morges & Denens celebrate with a night of terror dedicated to scarecrows expected to frighten the starlings (Huh??) and protect the vines. Hey, we Starlings are not afraid of any stinkin' scarecrow so I put it on the calendar and intended to go.

The event began at 4:00 PM with the "March of the Denens winemakers disrupted by the Scarecrows", followed by a short play at the Morges Military Castle, then another pyrotechnical parade and finished with the burning of the King Scarecrow. Event spectators even dress up like scarecrows. But the event fell on the last day of our cultural training. When our training ended, we were exhausted and we missed the parade, the food and wine and the pyrotechnic show. Still, I insisted on attending so we walked downtown around 7 or 8 PM in time for the play. Mr. Wild Dingo was less than impressed with the non-specific era costumes, so we went to dinner and shared a bottle of Italian wine. The Swiss are not exactly known for their wines. And why would we buy Swiss wine when the winemakers are mulling about outside blaming the scarecrows for their woes?

After dinner, we ran into the last act. The burning of the King Scarecrow.

Here's the King. I don't know why he looks so darn happy. He's about to be toasted.

Ya, um, it was a little warm for a guy made out of straw, but what the heck, he seemed to have a good time anyway.

I'm still not clear on the logic of the legend. Sarecrows are supposed to protect the crops from the birds.

 

Yet in this legend they were tormenting the winemakers with loud noises and kept them from leaving their houses to harvest the grapes. That first part doesn't jive. So the wine makers retaliated by burning their main dude to end the curse of the scarecrows. And yet, the winemakers of Denens pay homage to the scarecrows with many artisan scarecrow sculptures. Does anyone else see the logic? Because I don't.

The smiling dude joins 4 other fellas and the fireworks begin. Ha! Wipe that smile off your face now King Epouvantail!

 

Mr. Wild Dingo said these guys were real hot heads and wanted to leave.

Apparently, this is the show we missed earlier:

 

Ok, so what does a burning dinosaur have to do with Scarecrows and the harvest?

We did catch the fireworks on the docked boat. The Swiss sure love their fireworks.

You can see a video of this year's Nuit des Epouvantails here.

Meanwhile, the dogs recently shared a drink at the local watering hole:

"Bonjour jolie femme, vous venez souvent ici?"

"What's your sign baby?"
"Buzz off Formosan boy. I'm only here to wet my whistle."

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12 comments on “La Nuit des Epouvantails”

  1. With all that concern for recycling, you would think they would not be so eager to set off all those fires with all that smoke in the air. But nonetheless, it was fun seeing all those scarecrows, we think our favorite was the corkscrew one too.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  2. This was a very much interesting post. I LOVE the scarecrows.. We know someone who made one of red clay pots!!!

  3. La Pierre is a good bike maker. Not a bad ride. For me its all about finding a bike that fits right. I've been looking at a new Giant road bike maybe for next year. Good times riding!

    Love the scarecrows, maybe I should try to find a metal "Morgan" and make something for so it barks when people go by.

  4. All those scarecrows are really cool! The fireworks are very pretty too! Such interesting things you are all seeing there!

    Holly and Khady

  5. I noticed no pictures of Loki with those scary monster things. EEEEE! I would have totally freaked myself. I say stay close to guard dog Juno until this whole scarecrow festival is over.

    Slobbers,
    mango

  6. Whoa, those iron guys kinda stretch the definition of "scarecrows"... I mean,over here, there has to be straw involved to qualify as a "scarecrow". But they are cool!

    jack a-roo & miss moo

  7. It is really neat to see how things are over there. I really like the iron scarecrows. I admire anyone who can make something like that. I am so uncreative. LOL

  8. Dear wild dingo
    I'm perplexed by the burning of smiley scarecrow too! Pyromaniacs! I think if a cracke dog surveillance should be used to protect the fields- that's a true iron man
    Nordude
    Ps we love living en suisse with u

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