Scarecrows come to life at museum |

Scarecrows come to life at museum

BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal Emma Pence, 3, from left, makes a scarecrow with her cousin Katie at the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada on Saturday.

Nothing says Autumn like the dutiful scarecrow, those over-stuffed rodeo clowns of the pumpkin patch.

The Children’s Museum of Northern Nevada was brimming with straw men Saturday, thanks to organizer and chief scarecrow advisor, Penny Holbrook, four bales of farm-fresh hay, dozens of straw hats, extra pairs of scarecrow outfits and the limitless imagination of children like 4-year-old Tristen Blevins, busy crumbling newspaper for the arms and stuffing a pair of pantyhose with straw into a head for his new friend.

“I’m going to make a farmer,” he said politely smiling.

His godmother, painter Veronica LeBlanc seemed to enjoy the quality creative time with her godson and appreciate the hands-on learning and limitless different kinds of excitement the Children’s Museum provides.

Ardea McFarlane from Sparks, just 2-years-old, was in a zone – too busy to answer any questions on scarecrow-making technique.

Here for the second year in a row, 5-year-old Jacob Pence and his 3-year-old sister, Emma, had the art of scooping up huge handfuls of hay and stuffing them into scarecrow parts down to an assembly-line like science. Their cousin, 4-year-old Katie from Mountain View, Calif., joined them and quickly transformed a pair of old pants and a flannel shirt into a whimsical man-of-straw. Jacob plans on going trick-or-treating as web-shooting super-hero, Spiderman this year.

Not to be outdone, 11-year-old Cody Tucker had wonderfully mischievous plans for his scarecrow, once he got it home.

“I’m going to put a string on him and put him in a tree so he jumps out at trick-or-treaters as they walk by,” he said, much to the loud and clear but completely wordless chagrin of his mother.

He shrugged after checking out his mother’s reaction to his devilish plans. “Maybe not,” he seemed to say, then went back to work stuffing his raggy mannequin with two-hands full of straw.

After the scarecrows were stuffed, they were safety-pinned together and mounted on a cross-shaped stake to help them stand.

Now, if only they could get those brains they’re always singing about.

Contact reporter Peter Thompson at or 881-1215.