Monday, June 28, 2010


The peacocks-that-we-don't-like-very-much lost their tails gradually at the end of autumn. Mostly on our verandah, but one unfortunate chap seemed to lose all his in one night in the orchard. We found most of it the next day. He may have been grabbed by a fox who found itself left with a mouthful of untasty stuff and left it. Effective escape strategy, that.

The lost feathers made an ornamental bouquet in an old stone jar, but not inside the house! Peacock feathers are apparently bad luck when brought inside the house. This is my grandmother's wisdom and she Knew Things. I'm not going to risk it.

Slowly their tails have been growing longer, then developing iridescent "eyes" that move down the length of the tail from the base to the tip as they grow. One strutting gentleman seems to have been seized by the tail at some point as he's missing some off the left side of it.

For a while the peacocks didn't have to do their skirt-flipping move to turn around in tight spaces. This involves holding their tail up over their backs at an awkward angle and pirouetting on one foot at the same time to turn around on a narrow path. Or when startled in the garden. Or when inspecting the shed they are not allowed into.

Their necks are always blue. Peacock blue, strangely enough. Their tails change constantly in the light. Sometimes they're green. Sometimes they're bronze. Sometimes they're almost rose pink.

As their tails get longer and longer the peacocks learn to cope. Like kindly moving them aside for me as I make my way to my own front door. Such nice peacocks, only eating about three quarters of the seedlings and generously leaving us some. They're quite used to us now, despite not being welcome. We tell them this. They ignore us. They like it here.