It is Spring here in Grass Valley, California.
Do you know how I know?
It could be from the blossoming trees or the abundance of green grass… but… no.
The reason I know it is Spring is because of the
noisy, loud, heavy, ever-present screaming, eardrum piercing… ahhhh because of the abundance of lovely Peacocks.
An ABUNDANCE OF PEACOCKS
You’ve all heard me wax lyrically about Bob, our neighborhood elder gent peacock. He is huge with an extremely long tail and has been around for several generations.
I wrote about him here.
Well, Bob must have been very busy over the past few years, because now he travels with about 14-25 other, younger males.
They romp around like a gang of ne’erdowells, sauntering up and down pastures – staring down dogs twice their size, thumping across barn roofs like a bad West Side Story dance number and thwacking the heck out of trees as they settle to roost.
All the while, they YELL at the top of their lungs, looking for chicks.
To me, as I sit here trying to work, their calls sound like:
“HHHhhhhhaaaaaalp! Hhhaaaaaallllp! Haaalp!”
“Call Yur UNNnnnCLe! CAwwwwl your Uncle! Hee Yaw, Heee Yaw, Heee Yaaaawww!”
and my personal favorite:
“Eeeeeee Ewwwwwwww, I know I know, EeeewwwwwwwwW! which is usually followed by a rapid succession of “Honk Honk Hooooonnnnnkkks”.
Imagine the Cacophony of plumage thrashing and birdy vocals to be akin to a coupla pterodactyls outside your balcony window.
It’s that good.
FAST LITTLE BUGGERS!
Yes, Peacocks are large, but they can move!
For example, I saw Lil’Bob on my neighbor’s fence while I was driving my car. I parked and tried really hard to get my phone out and up to my face and focused to get a few shots of his incredible tail.
Well, you can see what I got. The little bugger was hauling feathers to get away from the crazy woman running after him.
After that defeat, I retreated back into my car and drove around the block to my home – only to see Lil’Bob had beaten me there!
And, as I parked, I saw him up by my truck!
Peacocks are FAST.
Next time I need to get anywhere, I’ll just ride a peacock!
I think the most frightening experience with my dinosaurlike friends is their rooftop shenanigans.
You see, sometimes they roost on the roof of my barn or house. When they roost on the roof of my house, I am usually working just below them – like I am now.
So, when I’m totally focused and absorbed with what I’m doing, the peacocks delight in flashmobbing each other with a fine rendition of some Fowl Musical that only they know the tune while I try to put my heart back in my throat after mistaking them for a falling airplane or volcanic eruption.
For me, the most sad part about the Peacocks are the turkeys.
The sweet, docile, quiet, family raising turkeys walk around peacefully, pecking here and there, eating llittle bugs and teaching their babies all about life… and when they hear humans, the turkeys scurry away to other parts – making sure to honk their excuses as they pass by.
Buuuuuuut, the Peacocks are a different animal all together. The Peacocks scoff at the Turkey and their dull, mono-toned adornments. Peacocks don’t parade their families about town… that’s Peahens’ work.
And, If a Peacock sees a human, he takes a long look, flashes his colors and says, “Talk to the wing, Dude, talk to the wing.” as he lifts his giant claws to motor away effortlessly through the brush.
But, the most sad part about the PeacockTurkey divide is the plumage.
I used to delight in a turkey puffing himself up and parading around the yard, looking just like the cut-outs I made in Kindergarten.
But now, all it takes is one Peacock to flash his Rainbow Fan of Glory and all the turkeys run to hide their dull fluffery in crushing embarrassment.
It just isn’t fair.
NOW, I KNOW…
Once, I interviewed the famed Spotted Saddlebred breeder and amazing Show Goddess, Michele MacFarlane.
At that time, I was from West Hollywood and I had never seen a real live Peacock except on the NBC logo.
Well, peacocks were everywhere on Michele’s ranch (kinda like they are around here now…)! I was so enthralled to see these huge, beautiful birds milling about in large packs, jumping on fences, rooftops and cars… that I couldn’t contain myself…
“Wow!” I exclaimed to Michele, “How lucky you are to have these incredible birds all around you!”
I remember distinctly her response… She just looked at me, smiled and nodded as if she had a secret.
Yup, now I know her secret…
I’m laughing so hard. We too have peacocks, well now only one. You can usually find him admiring himself in chrome truck bumpers. My dog chases him around the bushes–looks like the Road Runner and Wile E Coyote. It’s a game they play. We also have turkeys and the toms and the peacock fan and strut their stuff. The peacock has “taken to” of of the turkey hens and fans and does a 360 the whole time she is out there. Now add some guinea hens to the mix (which my high prey drive dog won’t even chase as they are just too stupid). and you have a really loud and chaotic symphony.