Saturday, January 3, 2009

Have You Ever Seen a White Peacock?

Our neighbors have peacocks. We discovered this one day a few years ago when we returned home mid-afternoon. As we pulled into the drive, I noticed something on our front porch. It was too big to be one of the cats and it didn't quite look like a dog...let me put my glasses on...a peacock? Where on earth did that come from? It's not like they're native wildlife around here.

I saw one a few years ago, one morning at work. There I was, just cleaning someone's teeth and something caught my eye out the window. I looked up, to see a peacock strutting across the street. As you can imagine, that caused a little excitement. After calling the zoo, we learned that someone not too far out of town raised them and one must have gotten loose.

Our neighbors have quite an assortment of animals. You have already heard about Dolly the Goat, a sweet thing that really likes going for walks with us. And then there are the donkeys they used to have (they died last summer). There are turkeys, geese, plenty of cats (including Mr. Ugly, who actually is a she, we just found out), a couple of dogs, and peacocks.

I had my camera with me in the car, so I immediately got it out and started snapping pictures. It wasn't too long before Simba arrived on the scene and I thought to myself, "Oh no, this cannot have a good outcome," but Simba wasn't sure what to think about the strange bird. The cats weren't all that anxious to get too close either.

When I moved in to try to get a better picture, the peacock took off and whoa!! Did you know they can fly? I mean, they are birds, but have you ever actually seen one fly? It landed on the roof and we followed it as it walked to the back side of the house. When I saw that it was going to stay there for awhile, I went inside to hopefully get some good pictures out the window.

As I went up the stairs, I heard tapping. Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap. I went into our bedroom, which has windows overlooking the rooftop where the peacock had walked. And there it was - pecking on our bedroom window. Why does everything always want to come into our bedroom via the window? We finally had to take the screens out because the cats kept picking at them to be let in.

Later, we found out that the peacock belonged to our neighbors across the road. We'd not seen any before, but we've seen - and heard them (whew, they can cry!) many times since.

As you can see from the photos, their peacocks are brown. We have a peacock, too. A white one! This week, my 'White Peacock' amaryllis burst into bloom.

'White Peacock' is a double, and has pristine white ruffly blooms. It has a slightly green center, but what catches your attention is how full it is compared to single Hippeastrums.

When I went to the basement last night to check if other Amaryllis bulbs were showing any signs of new growth, I discovered several: 'Papilio', 'Solomon', 'Limona', and two that I failed to label, so those will be a surprise!

'Limona' is the largest bulb I have, and it's now putting out three "babies"

I potted them up and in a few weeks, there will be plenty of blooms to help me through the last weeks of winter. I've got two more peacocks, in fact: 'Red Peacock' and 'Blossom Peacock.' The latter is one of my favorites, with its red-tinged white petals. They aren't quite ready for potting yet, although I could probably do it anyway and the heat would likely get them started. I like to spread them out though.


Anonymous said...

You had me going there for a second Beautiful bloom on that Amaryllis!

Dana S. Whitney said...

I am in favor of the potted peacock as it is less likely to shriek unexpectedly. Your photograph of the bird on the roof, however, if lovely!

Connie said...

Your white peacock is ever so much more beautiful and manageable, in my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

i wanted a peacock but an acre is not enough space to keep it from making your neighbors unhappy. When I move to the more acreage, then I'll have one.

Kylee Baumle said...

Perennial Gardener ~ This amaryllis is just gorgeous! I can't stop looking at it! It looks like it should be fragrant, too, but it isn't. :-(

Knitting Painter Woman ~ I agree! Nothing but potted peacocks for me! I can see the neighbor's anytime I get a hankering for the breathing kind! LOL

Connie ~ Yes, it is. But the bird kind are fascinating!

MNGarden ~ We have an acre and I imagine the neighbor's don't have much more than that. Their peacocks have only visited us that one time and aren't annoying. Go for it!

Anonymous said...

Ha, what a twist to that tale! I was waiting for the albino peacock pics, but your peacock amaryllis is just as lovely. And yes, I have seen them fly, and they ARE loud.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I love all of your peacocks Kylee. That would be disconcerting to have animals trying to get into your bedroom window. The Pea fowl is quite attractive in a peacock kind of way.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

What excitement you have with both kinds of peacocks. Great pics!

Meems said...

Kylee, You have peacocks of all sorts around there. Ha. Did you know there really are white peacocks ... of the pea fowl variety that is? They are probably as rare as raising peacocks in Ohio. Very interesting you have them in your neighborhood and so do I.

The Amaryllis blooms are going to go a long way for keeping you in cheery flowers during your long winter.

Congrats on your 2 year blogiversary and Happy New Year to you too.
Meems @ Hoe&Shovel

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Your window to the roof was perfect for that situation! Great shot of the peacock, and how perfectly timely of it to plan the visit to coincide with your peacock amaryllis in bloom!

Anonymous said...

You're right, pea fowl make quite a racket. The school where I got my MS degree had them on campus, and the first time I heard them, I was walking through The Jungle (the school's tropical botanic garden) at night. I swear, my first reaction was that some woman was being attacked!!

I remember one particular time when we saw them at Brookfield Zoo, too. The cock was literally strutting around with his full plumage on display; the hen he was trying to impress looked completely bored and clearly unimpressed. We couldn't help but laugh.

And, since I know you'd be disappointed if I let a Grammar Police opportunity slip by -- pea fowl would be the correct term when referring to the species in general, or when referring to birds of both genders. Peacocks are strictly males; pea hens are strictly females. Since I don't see the long distinctive plumage of the male on that bird on your roof, it would appear to be a pea hen, not a peacock.

Donna at Suburban Sanctum said...

Peacocks! I never know what I'm going to find when I open your blog! That's what keeps me coming back. The peacocks are lovely, both feathered and floral. I'm curious about the flying ones--do they have the fancy tails usually associated with the proud peacock, or is this a different variety? Probably one of those photos you'd have to camp out for hours to catch--and maybe you'd have to make like a lady peacock to get him to strut his stuff? :)

F Cameron said...

Anyone who has heard a peacock at night knows how bone-chilling it can sound until you figure out who was doing the screaming.

Your amaryllis is something else! On my retirement budget, I have managed to stay away from purchasing amaryllis -- so I admire those of others -- through all these gorgeous blog photos!


Katie said...

What a fun post! I wish we lived in a more rural area. Peacocks might just visit us then!

Kylee Baumle said...

Pam ~ I figured they could fly, but I'd never seen it. Can't say that now!

Sue ~ It made our day interesting, that was for sure!

Lisa ~ It wasn't really disconcerting. We were laughing about it. Stuff like this doesn't happen every day around here, just now and then. LOL

Meems ~ This isn't the first time I've encountered pea fowl around here. Once, when driving near Defiance (a nearby town), my daughter and I had to wait for them to cross the road. Then while doing some geocaching in the woods at night one time (in nearby Indiana), we heard some screaming and just about wet our pants! Fortunately, I'd heard them before and recognized what that screaming sound was. It just wasn't expected though!

Robin ~ The amaryllis is blooming now, but the peahen visit was a couple of years ago. I wish our yard and plants looked like that now!

Wasco ~ The only time I've ever seen a peacock display his "wares" was at the Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo, years ago.

Yes sir, I did know that as a group they are called pea fowl, and while I suspected the one on our roof was a peahen, I wasn't sure. I'm not that knowledgeable about them! I thought maybe it was a juvenile. I also thought only the males had that crown.

On the other hand, I call all cattle "cows" too, even though I know only a female can be a cow. (A female that hasn't given birth isn't called a cow either. It's a heifer. But you probably already knew that!) My dad was a butcher, plus my parents and grandparents used to raise dairy and beef cattle; otherwise I wouldn't know that.

And then there are the chickens. When I see a flock of them and there is a rooster in the bunch, I don't say, "Oh look! Some chickens and a rooster!" I say, "Oh look! Chickens!" even though I know the difference.

But thanks for setting me straight, and I'll get that corrected. I count on you to be the editor of my first book, you know! :-))) (I'm serious.)

Donna ~ I'm so glad you enjoy my blog! Well, this particular bird is the female, more correctly termed a peahen. I don't know that I've ever seen a peacock at the neighbor's, but that doesn't mean there isn't one.

Cameron ~ Isn't that sound just the weirdest thing? It's not a common sound, so it makes you stop for a moment until you figure it out. A juvenile owl is the same way, but we hear that far more often.

Goodness, you are a stronger woman than I. Amaryllis aren't costly, unless of course, you become addicted. I wouldn't know anything about that, though. :-p

Katie ~ Living where we do provides us with plenty of interesting experiences! Some may find it boring, but we don't!

Shady Gardener said...

Kylee, I thought I'd left a note here... hmm. Anyway, you really had me going with the white peacock. I kept waiting for him to change color, meet a peahen... beautiful amaryllis. I'm waiting for mine to begin growing. (Do you always remove the dirt from the bulb? Right away, or after it's dried out?)

Kylee Baumle said...

Shady Gardener ~ Sometimes my e-mail notices that a comment was left don't arrive, but I checked and there are no unmoderated comments. Sometimes Blogger just eats them. I've had that happen to me when leaving them for others. Grrrr...

To answer your question, yes I always removed the dirt from the bulb. I remove as much as possible when digging them up, then if any of it is damp and doesn't want to come off, I'll just wait until it dries, then rub it off. I don't wash the roots, because they generally come pretty clean without doing that. I make sure the bulbs are good and dry before storing them, because I don't want them to rot. I've had that happen a couple of times. I caught it in time and merely cut the rot away. It didn't affect the bulb.

I don't water my amaryllis in the summer. Whatever rain they get is all they get. I remember that they grow in Florida, in sandy soil that drains well, and they do fine, so I generally don't have to water them here. I will fertilize them a few times though, to help beef up the bulb and prepare it for blooming.

Karyl said...

This post made me laugh out loud. I love it! I'm so glad you always seem to have a camera close by.

blogger templates | Make Money Online