The first time I saw a picture of a peacock, it was so magical I didn't think it was real. I put it in the same category as unicorns and centaurs and turned the page of whatever picture book I was reading.
When I saw them at the zoo, I was amazed! Their iridescent tail feathers splayed out like some kind of splendid exclamation point, and sure enough, I could see the 'eyes' my mother had told me about.
I still think of them as being 'kept' animals.
They're from the pheasant family, and I'm not sure how removed they are from turkeys, but they're much more of a show-stopper. No offense to the turkeys.
And they are so incredibly beautiful and exotic, I just automatically think they should be protected. The male is actually the one with the dramatic plumage, and he displays it for all kinds of reasons, one being akin to Tarzan beating his chest.
There's a peahen (a female) running around St. Elmo, and has been for a while. She's been wandering all around the neighborhood, walking right up to the back doors of certain houses and nibbling cat food. McKamey has been called out, but, of course, when they arrive the peahen is long gone, probably sashaying down a side street somewhere, strutting her stuff.
The neighborhood is on alert and is concerned for her safety. Everyone has been googling peacocks, including me. Forest birds who nest in trees, they eat things on the ground: berries, bugs, anything! They're polygamous omnivores, which would explain the cat food, and brings us to another scientific point. A seven-year study of peacocks revealed that the females are virtually indifferent toward the male display of plumage. Hmmmmm. I'm not sure how much money they spent for that little scientific tidbit, but probably any woman could have clued them in for free.
Traditionally a symbol of eternal life, this particular peahen is proving herself as she successfully avoids dogs and cars and other dangers of civilization.
Peacocks are protected in Miami and actually roam around freely, adding an old-world, fairytale feel to the city. A flock of peacocks were spotted on the ridge in St. Elmo this spring, and residents are wondering about making St. Elmo a peacock haven.
With the Riverwalk extending to this charming, eclectic community, it might be the perfect fit.