Birds of a Feather Flock Together

Photo by:  Karl E. Holland, 1975; Peacock crossing on Genius Drive, Winter Park, FL

Photo by: Karl E. Holland, 1975; Peacock crossing on Genius Drive, Winter Park, FL

I seem to have a connection to peacocks. They’ve been a part of my life since I was a small girl and my mother would drive us kids to a neighborhood in Winter Park to a dirt road where Hugh and Jeanette McKean had made their home on Genius Drive.  Hugh had been a former president of nearby Rollins College and Jeanette was the granddaughter of the founder of the Morse Museum.  They brought the first pair of peacocks to their property and as the numbers grew, they allowed the public to drive slowly along the winding road through an old orange grove that was their home.  At their peak they numbered into the 100s.  Eventually the property became Genius Reserve, a preservation area.

Many years later when I moved to Coconut Grove in Miami, I again landed in a neighborhood where peacocks roamed freely. I wrote a humorous story on an intimate relationship that I had with one of those birds.  You can read it here.  They’re very loud and their cries could be heard throughout the area.  The males are the beauties of course and when they spread their tail feathers out in full array, they are astonishing to behold.  Colors of iridescent green, turquoise, dark and light blues, browns and yellows add up to a brilliant display.

Later, after I had divorced, my youngest daughter and I shared an apartment not far from the wildlife preserve of my youth. And much to my surprise, I again had encounters with these astounding animals…even, on occasion, having to brake and wait as they crossed the road in front of my car.  I’ve marveled at my association with these birds throughout the years and somehow feel some sort of synchronicity in it all.

an air of sameness
blows gently through the orange grove
birds and human dance

Peacock display; Bing Photos

Peacock display; Bing Photos

Victoria is our Poetics host over at dVerse and asks us to write on the topic of feathers.  Head over there to read her full presentation and to add your link!

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36 Comments

  1. To live in their proximity must have influenced you. Or maybe you were chosen by them. They sound fantastic except in their noise.

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  2. What a lovely bird. We don’t have peacocks in Scandinavia, and I have never seen one. I understand quite a lot of symbolism has been attached to them. Being hope and pride I suggest they are … charming. 🙂

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    • They are very lovely birds and I believe they prefer warm climates to the cold of Scandinavia. I’m going to look up their symbolism and see how they may have been an influence somehow on my life…or just for fun! Thanks for coming by Anders. :~)

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  3. Oh wow. Thank you for sharing the chapters of your life, Gayle, with this majestic feathered bird. 🙂 I so love than haiku. 🙂

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  4. LOL! This is lovely, this memory. And yes, they are loud! I wanted one but our front yard is too small, and the dogs probably would kill it in the back. I don’t know though….Husband said that the neighbors would tar and feather me. The haiku at the end is wonderful. I am so glad poets are using haiku to end their writings….and not just for haibun.

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    • Yes, your neighbors would want to tar and feather you, Jane! This was so supposed to be a haibun but it may have turned out to be too long…oh well. I’m glad you liked it…thank you!

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      • Well, the current fashion is to mess with haiku, so I guess the top prose can be expanded. I don’t know. Just started writing haibun. Don’t know why I missed all this fun before! But yours was great.

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  5. I also lived near a peacock inhabited neighborhood when I was growing up–they really are quite something. That final line of your haiku…superb!

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    • I remember when you mentioned this before, Victoria, when I first posted my original peacock story. They do make an impression on you! Thank you!

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  6. Beautiful, Gayle. LOVE your haiku, especially.

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  7. This is truly phenomenal, Gayle 💖 Love the haiku!

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  8. So fascinating and no coincidence I’m sure. Thank you for sharing this, Gayle!

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  9. I went back and read your story. Beauty is attracted to beauty. It’s that simple. 🙂 ❤

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  10. When I was a kid we had a neighbor with a large fenced lot who had peacocks. We used to go see them and could hear them from my house. We moved away when I was 13, but I still remember their cries and their beautiful feathers. Thanks for sharing your relationship with these lovely birds.

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    • Peacocks are especially attractive to children…they seem somewhat magical I think. And you never forget their cries, right? And thank you for visiting and commenting, Linda.

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  11. Interesting birds, Peacocks. In CA where I use to live, when I visited some time back, my sister took me by a very large property that is close to a Target store, where you could hear the many Peacocks and their very loud calls. I also had a friend at one time that had a male and female Peacock and the male use to proudly roost atop his house. Like your post. 🙂

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    • Seems a few people have peacock stories, Renee. They are such striking birds and you sure can’t escape their loud cries if they’re nearby. Thanks for sharing and I’m glad you liked this. 🙂

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  12. Love your haiku and peacock memories. They are really something spectacular to see up close.

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  13. Oh my — smiling I am. First to read both pieces of your writing here; second to learn more about the very intersting person you are; and third to picture that magnificent male “shimmying” his fan for you. Yep! That was a courting dance and I can’t help but think, perhaps that male peacock finally left you because he thought you were deaf — as in, that shimmy emits a mating sound that only peahens can hear! 🙂 This really has me smiling! Perhaps the peacock is your “totem”? I think that’s the word….
    and how serendipity that we both chose to write of peacocks here! But mine were much more aloof — and those I’ve seen have never been “attracted” to me! 🙂
    REALLY enjoyed this read this AM with my morning cup. We leave Ptown on Saturday — this morning, I’m “sitting” for two portrait artists who are living in the rental next door to us for the month of September. Have never done that — should be a new experience!
    I shall have a hard time now smiling as I see you running away from your admiring peacock!

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    • So glad you enjoyed my peacock stories, Lillian. Perhaps the peacock is my personal totem. I’ll have to look that up and see what the meaning of that might be. Maybe that was our trouble, I couldn’t hear those important sounds that that peacock was making. 🙂 I did have an unusual and interesting life back in the day. Coconut Grove was a fun place to live and supported our lifestyle well. Well, it sounds like you shook off that infection pretty quick and was able to enjoy your time there in Ptown. Sitting for a portrait sounds fun. I’ve never had that done either but I did have an artist sketch me once when I was having lunch out one day. He just started drawing me and then showed it to me. That was interesting and it looked pretty good too! Enjoy your travel home on Saturday, Lillian. Your comment made my day!

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  14. The peacock truly does have beautiful plumage! His wife, the peahen is not so fortunate.

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  15. I only saw peacocks once and they are quite a beauty. 😊

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