Friday, April 18, 2014

Peacocks are Pretty.... Pests

     Years ago in our town, some well to do doctor's wife, descendant of a founding father, thought she would like to look out her Florida room window and see peacocks walking across the lawn.  An indulgent husband bought her three.  

     Now, I don't know if the females came pregnant from whatever exotic peacock pet store, but...they started multiplying.  They were all over that side of town where the old lady passed away left to go astray after she passed.  But, honestly, I don't know how they assumed they would just stay in the yard when they first arrived, maybe they clipped their wings...I don't know.  But years later (twenty years ago) they were heard more often than seen.  Then one year, a pod of them showed up around the Burger King and they lost all fear of people.  

      They hung out around most fast food restaurants,I guess for the french fries, But, one day, I was pumping gas when I heard something like a transformer box overloading.  You could feel the electricity in the air.  Before I could hang up the gas pump handle, the fire trucks rushed to the Angel's (a 50's themed) restaurant where a peacock got a little too close to the edge of the roof, and somehow got caught in the neon lights.  The lights were shorting out, the restaurant went dim inside and the bird started roasting.  When the firemen stopped laughing, they did their best to get it out of the lighting but it had been electrocuted.  Please continue reading because there is a side note to this story later.

     I live about four miles from where these birds began their breeding and spreading out program and little by little they have come closer and closer to calling my neighborhood home.  There have been days when we had to stop on the exit road while a male made a huge display of his hundred eye feathers and shook his backside to either win the heart of a female or ward off another male.  I don't need to know.  It just happens. 

     So, there I was, enjoying a day off from the crazy winter we had this year.  I was opening the windows and doors to air the house on one of the first nice days in a while when out of the corner of my eye I saw a pea hen.  I turned and there were two of them walking through the front yard.  I knew there had to be a male nearby, so I grabbed my camera phone and standing in my doorway, I started to take a panorama of photos.  When I turned all the way to my left,  I saw the male just standing there NOT moving slowly through the yard.  Then my focus became clear and crisp.

     RAT Bas-----!  He was pecking at my broccoli.  I made some clicking sounds and shooed them.  But it was too late.  They had quietly, peacefully and thoroughly devastated ALL of the broccoli.  They took the heads, the leaves, and even the flowers from the plants that were going to seed.  They left my broccoli and cauliflower looking like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree!  
3 Ways to Care for Peacocks - wikiHow

     I Googled peacock food and found this image.  Who knew?  Can you see the broccoli in the image??  THAT would have been good to know!

     My poor little broccoli plants.  They were little sad green skeletons.

     As I shooed them across the street I counted a total of eleven in that pod.  Officially, a group of or herd of peacocks is called a 'muster'.  I don't care, you could call them broccoli zombies.  They ate the heads!

     I am devastated.  I am inside the city limits.  I cannot fire a weapon inside the city limits unless my life is in danger.  I cannot hunt peacock or fire upon them within 300 feet of a house or dwelling outside of the city limits. 

     Pity, (here comes the side story) those firemen told me they took that peacock home and finished roasting it.  They said it was delicious, tasting like wild turkey. 

     Now, that I have calmed down and resigned myself to buying broccoli and cauliflower at a store. I have the time to look back and pout!

     Peacocks are pretty.  Peacocks are wild animals.  Peacocks eat cool weather vegetables.  Peacocks probably taste good.  Peacocks are pests.

No comments: