Michael Melle sculptures make a treasure hunt for people of hay

Berkshire naturalist Thom Smith has gone searching for sculptures, from jazz musicians to refugees to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza …

I have often called Berkshire artist Michael Melle’s sculptures, ‘straw people,’ but they are not straw — he chooses second cutting hay chosen for the best results. These hay and stick sculptures are fluid, often graceful, and many look alive, thanks in part to adjustable stick skeletons, actual clothing and embellishments.

While many of his ‘scarecrows’ are inspired by real people and scenes, some are imagined, and this fall his sculptures are sitting, walking, flying, painting or sweeping, working and playing music in Western Massachusetts towns from Pittsfield to Easthampton, including Lenox, Cummington, Goshen and Plainfield.

How many can you spot? (We’ll offer hints here and directions will follow later — although once you find a few a couple of these sites, you may spend an afternoon.)

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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