Lost River Cave Scarecrows
I recently visited the Lost River Cave for the first time. My mission: to photograph the scarecrows sponsored and created by local businesses, particularly the prize-winning SKyPAC scarecrows depicting Beauty and the Beast.
At the gift shop, an accommodating employee had given me a map of the trails, and I happily set off along the path she recommended. But soon, I was wandering off the path, forgetting my assignment, mesmerized by the spectacle of the site itself.
Excuse me while I extol the marvels of this seven-mile cave system with a river running through it. The Butterfly Habitat. . . the stone house, dilapidated shack and other buildings with mysterious origins. . . the shimmering, opaque blue pool. . . the purple flowers cascading over wooden fences. . . the dance floor with twinkling strings of lights where scores of weddings, proms and parties have taken place. . . the trail markers describing former inhabitants: Native Americans, early European settlers, Civil War troops, even Jesse James. . . the sunshine filtering through towering trees. . . and the way the river and pools appear and disappear beneath the backdrop of soaring stone walls carved by countless millennia of coursing water.
Excuse the digression; but, honestly, I was transfixed by the beauty and wonder surrounding me.
Finally, I came upon the first scarecrows and remembered why I was there. As my photographs illustrate, local organizations tapped the best of their creativity and put together not just scarecrows but complete tableaus depicting their organizations’ missions and operations.
A few favorites.
WEHS Art Club’s young boy attached by chain link to a really despicable bunch of monsters, reminding us that October is Bullying Awareness Month.
Hartland Family Dentistry’s friendly dentist, his head in the shape of a smiling tooth, dressed in a white lab jacket and blue scrub pants.
Bowling Green Visitors and Convention Center’s cheerful backhoe operator. That’s a yellow toy corvette hanging from a chain, reminding us that Bowling Green is “Geared for Fun.”
Farmers National Bank’s tableau depicting its “Through the Generations” slogan, with one of the three scarecrow generations watering a money tree.
A man and a woman dressed for a night out on the town (she’s carrying a little purse; he’s sporting a dapper black hat). Presumably, they are financially comfortable customers of Monticello Bank.
Re-Pets cute burlap-wrapped cat and red tee-shirted dog, reminding us that we can prevent homeless animals by spaying and neutering our pets.
By the end of my walk, I’d taken more than 50 photos, but failed in my original mission.
Jess Kem, SKyPAC’s Marketing Manager and Gallery Director, took the picture of SKyPAC’s Beauty and the Beast scarecrows. I never found them.
A final note. At one point during my ramble, an older woman stopped me and asked if I’d ever seen the spot covered with winter snow and ice. I told her this was my first visit. “You must come back,” she said. “But be sure to bring your ski poles!”
I surely will.