Excessive Peacockery

I’m sure that somewhere it is written that it is in poor taste to mock a peacock, but really, when you see them shake their tail feathers, laughter is the only logical response.

On Saturday while visiting friends in Oregon I went to the Maryhill Museum and was treated to quite a show by the local celebs. The museum is home to a flock of ostentatious, loud, and beautiful peacocks and peahens. Before we could enter the museum my friends, Leah and Joanna, and I, were sidetracked by the colorful display and the gorgeous sunlight. When these birds decide to put on a show they are hard to ignore. There is the sound. They announce themselves with fervor. And then there is the famous spreading of their feathers creating their own private cove of eyes and color. But the funniest part of the show is the behind the scenes display.

The three of us managed to get quite close to a beautiful male. I think he was flirting with Leah and Joanna, but perhaps there was a peahen nearby that I failed to notice. On his own he was quite impressive, but in the course of his attention-gathering dance he had a tendency to turn in circles. And the moments when those incredible feathers would catch the sunlight, that’s when you had to catch your breath in admiration. Stunning.
But then, poor soul, he would keep turning, and the rear view is significantly less awe-inspiring. Comical would be a better adjective. Hysterical also comes to mind. It’s almost as if to balance the beautiful display from the front, Mother Nature played a practical joke on him and made him look like a fool whenever he decides to show off. Maybe that is lesson intended for us. A warning as it were. Or simply excessive anthropomorphism on my part. Whatever the case, we had a lot of fun photographing these boys.


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