12.13.2010

WHITE PEACOCK, ETERNAL HAPPINESS


I came upon this fellow at a ranch in New Mexico; he started strutting and preening as soon as I pulled out my camera. The snapping sound of the fan of feathers as they unfurl is unforgettable; so too the blue cast of the radiant white feathers. As we are under a dusting of snow this morning, this powdery angel seemed to fit the landscape--outdoors, and of my mind. Tis the season for celestial visitations. Of course anything this beautiful has personality problems, and people who have lived around peacocks--including Southerners of the romantic persuasion, who understand over-the-top garden ornamentation--know the shock of being awakened by cries that sound as if infants were being tortured. Still, I'm going to declare white peacocks to be messengers of shimmering good luck, and I send him along to you with hopes for eternal, or at least, diurnal, happiness.

21 comments:

Sonia Florian said...

I have never seen anything like this before. Simply ... beautiful! Thank you.

William said...

Wow that's very cool. Where did you buy that thing? I want to get one.

Cristina said...

a very nice thought. thanks and same to you!

c said...

You take the most amazing photographs!

streams full of stars said...

Thank you for this beautiful photograph and lovely message. It's the first time I've ever seen a white peacock - 'he' looks like a chorus girl in the Ziegfeld Follies or those wonderful old Hollywood musicals! Wishing you shimmering moments of good luck and happiness too - and thank you again for brightening our days!

beverly said...

I reread your book, Paths of Desire, this weekend and wondered if you had a blog. A few clicks brought me to your blog and this stunning photo. Glad to be able to read your thoughts again and have them punctuated by such magnificent photos. Thank you.

Project Girl said...

That is an amazing photograph! Thank you! (May I hang it in my livingroom?)

Sparky said...

Thank you for sending the wishes attached to this magnificent fellow. I was approached by such a friendly beauty while traveling in the Lake District of Northern Italy. I had my own personal close-to-home peacock encounter this summer when a wayward adolescent "escaped" from our aviary just a few blocks away...
http://sparky-youngbloodstudios.blogspot.com/2010/07/new-roof-ornament.html

NM Tarheel said...

Where in New Mexico - From a fan living in Santa Fe!

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

What an incredible beauty! There IS a blue-ish, snow-like quality to these amazing feathers! Sending you the same hopes right back ;)

Lisa said...

It was the perfect message to start my day. Thank you. Your photos are always fantastic. What camera do you use to get this clarity?

quintessence said...

Wow - what a spectacular photo!! And I will happily accept your tidings of diurnal (I'll take what I can get now thank you) happiness!

david terry said...

Peacock Tales:

1. Just last week, I was talking with an elderly friend in Charlottesville about peacock-facts. For many years, she was one of the volunteer docents at Ash Lawn (James Monroe's meticulously restored house, below Monticello).

She amusedly told of how, during the 80's, the joint coughed up rather a lot of money to purchase a complete flock of peacocks. Wouldn't that look pretty on the lawns?

the problem was that the peacocks began being killed. Every morning, the docents (and these are nice, soft, gently-bred Albemarle county ladies) would find one or two more dead peacocks...splayed out under a tree, with nothing noticably "Wrong" with them, except that their skulls were cracked open and their brains eaten out by....something.

For those who don't know?....peacockcs roost in trees at night, unless you want to spend hours corralling them into coops (a generally futile effort).

In any case, my friend told me that, eventually & after many fainting-spells on the part of several docents and the death of nearly all the peacocks (including the replacements over that Summer), someone had the bright idea of borrowing a night-time video camera from UVA.

That was how they learned that a pair of owls had taken up residence at Ash Lawn. The owls rather lazily spent a lot of evenings simply bombdiving the huge, sleeping peacocks, trepanning them with a single blow of the beak, and then slurping their brains out.

Apparently, the video grossed out the Ladies of Ash Lawn, who decided to let the whole peacock-bidness go the way of Nature, red in tooth & claw.

My friend (who's no more fond of peacocks than I am, having grown up with the things) said "You wouldn't think losing its brain would bother a peacock that much....they don't seem to USE them very often."

2. I bet I'm the only person posting on this board who's eaten peacocks on a very regular basis for 10 or so years. My great uncle (an unsentimental economist) raised them...along with muscovy ducks, various pheasants,some black swans, and other assorted "exotics"on his big place outside of Knoxville. As I recall, peacocks aren't remarkably good eating (they're tough)...but the price was right.

When the whole place burned down in 1969, the peacocks were the only birds that died. They slept (VERY noisily, my mother would add) every night in the big trees surrounding the house. Apparently, they didn't have the sense, once they were alarmed by the smoke and flames, to simply move further out in the yard.

They are pretty, though.

Level Best as Ever,

David Terry
www.daviedterryart.com

Bruce Barone said...

Thank You for the good tidings!!!

Anonymous said...

wow! i'm wondering if you were just down the road from me in nambe where i see one every time i return from a trip. it's always been a harbinger of good fortune for me:-)

Lines of Beauty said...

Beautiful light. Like stepping inside a peacock.

Slim Paley said...

What a beautiful, blessed site to behold. So lucky you had your trusty camera at your side!
I would presume you have Good Luck Ahead !

Best Wishes,
Slim Paley

Lady Di said...

Ethereal! A stunning photo and beautiful sentiments! Right back at 'ya!

Jessica said...

Beautiful bird, gorgeous picture... They do make noise with their tougher feathers, I never knew that until I met one earlier this Fall, a sort of plastic rustling sound- probably very sexy for the lady watching ;-)?

And for all the thoughts of stupidity (that befalls turkeys too, I've heard), maybe they are poisoned by smoke easily? And they are not the one destroying the world they live on, that would still be us. Stupid, anyone?

david terry said...

Dear "Jessica",

My good guess (knowing a surprising lot about peaocks and their native habitat) is that peacocks simply don't have (since they never needed) a typical fight/flight response. Basically, all they ever had to worry about for a gazillion years were a few small predators on the ground....and, even then, only when they had chicks.

So, they go up into the trees and just stay put. It wouldn't occur to them that circumstances have changed and it might be time to keep moving on.

In that regard, they're markedly like me & my entire family, so I hope my remarks didn't seem too utterly condemning. Still, geese are worse.


Level Best as ever,

David Terry
www.davidterryart.com

P.S.?.....another less-than-entirely-"cheerful" (but true) peacock fact?....

I learned early on that they'll kill very small beagle puppies if they run across them. Those birds are enterprisingly territorial.

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