Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Granny's Pantry # 29: The Peacocks of High Rock

Peacock (or peafowl)--Pavo Cristatus

  • I think the peacocks at High Rock  came to the farm in the 1950s because Granny Cole liked them and wanted to raise her own to decorate the place and to sell.
  • They have been there ever since. 
  • The males defy description with their incredible colors and fan-like tail displays. The ladies are rather plain in their brown feathers and short tails.
  • In the fall, the males nicely shed their tail feathers and leave them  strewn around the yard for us to pick up and decorate our houses. 
  • The peahens lay their eggs in the shrubbery where they fall prey to raccoons, possums, owls and foxes.
  • Once Aunt Ruthie picked up two stray eggs and put them out of the way on a shelf in the greenhouse, only to discover later that the sun and heat had hatched them. One baby peacock chick fell into  a pot of water and drowned, but the other little orphan lived. She named him Hoot.
  • Peacocks are better alarms than guard dogs because not only do they warn you with their calls when someone comes in the yard, but also the screeching they make is so loud and intimidating that no intruder without nerves of steel would stay around to identify the source of the cacophony.
All of the peahens are now gone from the farm. If they aren't replaced, which doesn't seem likely, when these males are done, the peacocks of High Rock will be gone.

  For the king [Solomon] had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tarshish, bringing
gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
I Kings 10:22

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