Wednesday, April 27, 2011


When we were at the Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City, IN, last weekend, the peacocks were strutting their stuff. His tail looks lovely here but boy, when he puts on a show! This photo best captures the colors of the plumage. The shape of the tail above reminds me of ladies' skirts from the 1880s.

I can see why embroiderer's have been inspired by peacocks--their colors and their feathers--for centuries. The plumes are HUGE!The zoo also has an albino peacock--he wasn't displaying like the others, but still, he's so elegant!Here is a peacock in action, trying to lure the ladies (they weren't having any of it).Here you can see, from the back the stiff feathers that hold the display. When he got going those would vibrate (causing the fan to vibrate, too) and he'd run forward toward the peahens. They mostly just ignored it, sometimes squawking in alarm.I found it fascinating.


Lelia said...

Glad you got out! We went up to Garfield Conservatory + enjoyed the hydranga, lilly, and everything else in bloom.

Jenny Woolf said...

I love and am amazed by peacocks too. I have never understood why having their feathers in your house is supposed to be unlucky.

Moonsilk Stitches said...

What I found was this:
The peacock's tail is emblem of an Evil Eye, or an ever-vigilant traitor. The tale is this: Argus was the chief Minister of Osiris, King of Egypt. When the king started on his Indian expedition, he left his queen, Isis, regent, and Argus was to be her chief adviser. Argus, with one hundred spies (called eyes), soon made himself so powerful and formidable that he shut up the queen-regent in a strong castle, and proclaimed himself king. Mercury marched against him, took him prisoner, and cut off his head; whereupon Juno metamorphosed Argus into a peacock, and set his eyes in its tale.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894

Rachel said...

Brewer's wonderful - full of strange stories about myths and fables!