Archive for May, 2008

The Mystical Mystery of the Peacock (a memory)

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

The Mystical Mystery of our Peacock & Where did it go?

Click on song of the day: Morning Dove lyrics are here

  My husband and I have lived in this house overlooking a visually dramatic valley in North/Central Austin for nearly 16 years.  But, before things became quite so static and smoggy, back through those years when the vision out the deck doors showed no buildings at all-and the sky was clear and a bright, light-cobalt-blue;  we were visited by one of the strangest  of all creatures, a peacock.  She was lovely, obviously lonely and made such a weird sound, as to catch the attention of anyone or thing near here. At first, upon her sight, I imagined perhaps she was a wild turkey–well another one, anyway; as I had seen those in back of our yard coming in and out of that forest of cedar trees.  However, that call, her constant cry, was so unusual as to stop me in my tracks (back then, when I had tracks, I had both real hips and both real knees, and was able to make tracks without fear of falling, unlike today.) And our yard has a dynamic slope, so she had to fly toward me.  Walking was much too undignified for her species unescourted.   And fly she did; first to where I offered her some bread and the outside cat’s water bowl.  Both of which she partook, in suspicion, for nearly 5 minutes, as I sat on one of the steps down that slope in amazement and dumbfounded awe.  She did not seem to mind my company, which seemed wrong, if she was a wild creature (however, even today, few do mind my company if they are wild…I guess that’s why we have a limited group of visitors, these days,or something of that nature.)   

  At that time, in early summer, my daughter was in middle school and still interested in visiting ‘wonders of nature’, when announced by her much revered mother,(ha ha…) and was still able to comply with her “Mom”, when she came inside proclaiming loudly; “Liz, you will not believe this!  But, there’s a Peacock outside, right now, in our back yard. Come Look.”  In those days she still had a tendency to follow a direct order, and also the curiosity of an intelligent child, something that only having children in residence allows us grown-ups to share.  So we both hurried out the main outside doors of the downstairs level of our home, which had only one flight of stairs to the patio and the Peacock.  She was still there, looking really puzzled.  We both said “wow..” at the same time (Poor child’s mother was an old hippy, even back then.)  The Peacock was unimpressed with our conversation skills, so off she flew to the roof of one of the houses (there were much fewer then, and far between) perched on the street going perpendicular from our hill’s view.  But the peacock still cried, and called her alarming reframe, as did Liz and I.   “Wow” seems pretty thorough, upon reflection of that summer morning.  We sat on the stairway and watched her fly from one roof to the other, until our attention span dwindled to some less exotic subject, who knows what it was?  But after a good 20 solid minutes of Peacock watching, we went back-inside.

     As I was inclined to do in those days, I thought  (over the presence of that particular  Peacock) for quite some time, wondering if she was really native to this area, or someone’s missing bird from a flock near here, that’s a genuine possibility.  We used to go to a lovely restaurant in the center of Austin, where  there were many peacocks, and peachicks, if that’s a word, roaming the grounds…well,that was an actual flock of peacocks; and besides the old fashioned, deep south, ambiance of that establishment, the peacocks were the main attraction back then.  And so, armed with the yellow pages and about 1/8th the population of Austin today, I made several calls to the Humane Society; Parks and Wildlife division of the City Government (I had a friend working there, way back then), and the County Agricultural agent, and on and on, until some kind soul says to me,” It’s impossible to know if “your(?)” Peacock is wild or not, although it is odd that she is alone.  So go bother someone else, etc…”  Good advice, that.

    Anyway, “our” peacock came to our back yard several times during the next couple of days and then disappeared like the water in the cat dish.  I still remember that unusual call, and the amazement of sitting right beside her as she ate and drank water.  Then, there is that factor- that next door to our house were three wild and empty Lots where in several gray fox had a den…  hnmmmm. Oh, well, I like to just think she found her way home. 

   Here is the view from a web-cam looking out side our house in the direction from which the peacock came.  Only ‘difference is this is happening right now, or with in a stream during these moments, and times, today.  Try and imagine what this would be like with most of these buildings gone:When we moved in our house there were hardly any buildings except the first few houses to the right of the view; click your refresh button (F5) to get the view of how it is right now, today; as It is best to stay in the present, even without peacocks.