Thursday, September 29, 2011

Week of August 29 2011 : Scare Eyes

Here is a photo of Nathaniel helping rotate the scare eyes out in the sweet corn fields. He is carrying the new yellow eye out to the field. Soon he will carry the black eye in from the field. Notice the purposeful stride and intense stare. This job was getting done right!

Late in the season, flocking birds congregate around corn fields and scavenge the field for bugs and worms. Unfortunately they also quickly learn that, with just a few pecks, they can shred open the corn husks and eat the kernels.

Damage is worse during hot, dry seasons as birds aggressively search for sources of water. Once the birds establish an eating pattern, it is very hard to break that habit. So it is a wise investment to spend a little time now to prevent this bad habit from forming later.

Various scare tactics are available and each offer varying degrees of success. My favorite, of course, are the propane cannons which are very inappropriate for our farm. The only appropriate tactic are the scare eyes. This tactic is effective ... the trick is to rotate colors and positions every few days.

Nathaniel likes to ride on my shoulders as we walk through the rows. The neighbors cannot see me; what they can see is a 3 foot short toddler with shaggy red hair carrying giant eye balls floating above the 7 foot tall stalks. Kinda scary!

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