I am privileged to live in a place where every now and again if one drives out to just the right corner West of town, they can occasionally spot the feral peacock grazing the ditches. Yesterday was one of those now and agains. Three iridescent beauties.
I’ve been here in the Nexus of the Universe for over ten years now, and a full decade has made its impression. Wild Turkeys roam the Nexus a-plenty. It is not unusual to see a few of Ben Franklin’s favorite feathered friends at least three or four times a week around these parts; they’re headed down the driveway, crossing the road and threatening the grille, marching up the fields. They really are everywhere.
And the peacocks? Well, they’re not exactly natives. Out around this particular corner, an interesting gentleman used to harbor the dream of having a zoo. Right out there in rural Colfax. He had a fine alpaca farm, probably enough to keep a yarn company pretty busy, and was slowly acquiring more exotic species. Whatever happened to the gentleman or the dream I don’t know, but I think a bankruptcy may have torn the two asunder. I am fairly sure he no longer lives around here, and I have no real idea what happened to the ragtag bunch of critters he was gathering to his ark. But the peacocks apparently made a break for it before anyone could haul them away to some citified bird prison.
On yesterday’s sighting of the shiny trio, it hit me like a bolt that those there peacocks are nothing more than glorified turkeys. They’re colorful, sure. And they’ve taken the tail fan to new dimensions, I agree. But really, they’re just turkeys roaming the wilds, looking for the same forage as their woodsy cousins. They’re built like a turkey, trot like a turkey, and scratch like a turkey. They just happened to be dressed as a pinata.
I wonder if Ben would have nominated the peacock as the America’s patron fowl had they immigrated a century earlier?