Sunday, 15 May 2011

Peacock Awareness

We're regulars at Harcourt Arboretum (part of the botanical gardens in Oxford).  This is Oxfordshire's own little garden of Eden.  Vibrant flowers arranged amongst lush trees in a place of tranquillity is more than we can resist.

But the best thing about the arboretum is the peacocks. They roam as and where they please, hide under bushes, lurk up the tress, and captivate us completely. We can't help following (AC calls it harassing) them.  Understandably they usually try to shake us off, but on our most recent visit we came across a beautiful fellow who seemed to take a liking to us. Maybe he fancied me. Possibly he was attracted to Beth's peacock impersonation. Maybe he liked Adams aroma. Whatever the reason we were enjoying it's company. The kids named him 'Catch It'.

AC warned me that although peacocks are beautiful,
they are still wildfowl like any other fat goose.

It was eventually time to move on. AC led the way. Missy and the A-Bomb sprinted after him. Shemily's sausage legs prevented her from keeping up and she was left behind. I reached out my hand to her as encouragement, and as I did so I noticed our new friend 'Catch It' launch an attack on the weakest member of the family. As quick and deadly as a bullet he sped towards the vulnerable Shemily. Thankfully my split second reflexes saved her. I barely made it to Shemily before 'Catch It' and managed to pull her out of the way, all be it by the neck, before his beak or claws made contact. Shocked and shaken up I made a hasty retreat to the rest of the family. AC's reaction: I warned you!

I echo AC's words of wisdom. Be warned that Peacocks are not the friendly genteel birds their outward appearance portrays. Rather they're killers that watch to catch any small unsuspecting victim off guard (This was also confirmed at a falconry display only the next day at Warwick Castle).

Shemily in close proximity to a very real threat.
Apparently warning us, not flirting with us.

1 comment:

  1. I reckon Shemily was about to demonstrate her kung-fu.