bird of a feather

Moulting season - only one tail feather left.

Moulting season – only one tail feather left.

For a while now it’s been two peacocks at The Ranch – yes, both males – which I know didn’t bode well for the continuation of the line, but at least they had a buddy. This last visit I only saw one. Made the inevitability of the end that much realer.

I’m still not sure why my Grandpa got peacocks, but they’ve always been there, well, as long as I can remember, and is part of what makes The Ranch The Ranch. They’re decorative, sure, and I suppose the hens laid eggs, I don’t really recall that though. They do have a distinctive call, and I suppose have a bit of a watch function, although mostly it was loud motorcycles going by on the county road that would set them off. I remember my grandma tsk-tsking about them getting all riled up. I’ll have to ask if anyone knows what the reason for getting them was. And how big the flock got to at its prime. Definitely into double digits.

They fly so much, but do get up onto and over the fences. I don’t particularly remember them getting up in the trees to roost at night, or seeing them up there, but I do recall at least once seeing them come gliding out in the morning. Improbable with that tail, but so it goes.

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Quite an amazing display when they put the tails up too. I know I’ve taken pictures of that, but now I can’t seem to find any. No matter how many times I saw it, it was always a <wow!> and wondering how they do it. Even off the bird, the feathers are really pretty, although not quite the same. Somehow I’ve managed to not acquire a whole bunch, but this time with the end of the line and feeling some nostalgia and him molting so there were lots lying around I did gather an armful. ooo shiny!

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Funny there was one of these small combination feathers with the eye that I thought was really cool and had never seen before. Then I got home and I had one already!

Funny there was one of these small combination feathers with the eye and the blue-green comb that I thought was really cool and had never seen before. Then I got home and I had one already!

Apparently these days you can get birds mail order, perhaps you could back then too, although I came across some post cards about getting peacocks from Sonoma County, of all places! Not sure if that ever happened, one of my aunts has a great story about peacocks that they got from another place up on The Mountain. At first they would wander back to their original home, and the people there would let Pop know to come pick them up. He went over with my aunt and one of her friends, they were supposed to hold the peacocks in the back of the car on the ride home but that didn’t quite happen so the peacocks were flapping around inside and they were trying to get hold of them again. Sounded like quite the wild ride.

So it will be sad when they’re gone completely. But then there haven’t been goats or horses for a long time either, and in some ways that was more what The Ranch was about. Another reminder of how life changes, time passes, stories to tell, what and how we chose to remember.

That tail feather hung in all weekend. Heck, might still be there. Like a loose tooth dangling by a thread it seemed to say "pull me out!"

That tail feather hung in all weekend. Heck, might still be there. Like a loose tooth dangling by a thread it seemed to say “pull me out!”

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