Thursday, March 08, 2007

Things that go bump in the night twilight

The house was quiet except for the clacking of the keys as I typed my last blog entry, and my dogs and granddogs, exhausted from a long outdoor play session, were sleeping soundly. The light that filtered through the blinds was fading fast. I'd need to turn the lamp on soon, then think about making some dinner.

THUWAAAAAAAAACK! Something hit the house, something bigger and heavier than the neighbor boy's basketball, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. Inside, the dogs went nuts. They ran to the door, digging at the bottom of it, climbing on top of one another in their urgency to get outside and see what was going on. Outside, the neighbor's dogs raised an equally loud ruckus. I looked out the window and saw them behind the fence on the other side of the driveway, crouched in attack position, barking, snarling, eyes fixed like lasers on the roof of my house.

In that instant, I knew what made the noise, and my spirit soared!

I let the dogs out into the backyard, then grabbed the camera and hurried out the other door to the driveway. It took only a split second to confirm the source of the disturbance. I aimed the camera and took a dozen shots over the next few minutes, hoping to get some good pictures to show you (especially Sister-Three).

Unfortunately, all the photos turned out blurry. Low-light conditions might have been the problem, but it's more likely that my excitement caused my hands to shake. I'll post this one in spite of its fuzziness:





Welcome back, old friend. I've missed you.

31 comments:

  1. you mean the peacock hit the house?? Hope you get a better pic tomorrow! I can imagine the fuss the dogs made.

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  2. Janet, yup!! He must have jumped up from the driveway onto the roof right outside where I was sitting. Kim said he jumped up on the shed roof today while she was in there working; she heard the heavy thud, then saw his tail hanging down in front of the window.

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  3. Oh My God, what good luck you have and will have!

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  4. Velvet, I envy your pics of your beloved peacock. We have a flock in my neighborhood and I find them darn near impossible to photograph.

    My godson likes to pick at me because I drive a block or so out of my way several times a week just to catch a glimpse of them.

    Your pictures are all wonderful. I love this shadow picture.

    Holly

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  5. He's Baaaaaaaaack.... I had been thinking about him.

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  6. I am glad he is still around. I have been wondering about this ole
    friend. Or maybe this is just a ghost of Pea! I bet he was out doing what Mom called "sparkin".

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  7. glad he made thro the winter.

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  8. I have obviously missed the background to the peacock! How did you come to have a peacock living in your neighborhood?

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  9. I love that photo! It looks kind of sinister and spooky. Not things you would normally think of with a peacock. Glad he's back and hopefully he'll stick around for the daylight hours. Carmon

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  10. I thought peacocks couldn't fly or at least not fly very far-that's amazing that he could get from the driveway to the roof!

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  11. Velvet, I love the photograph! You underestimate yourself as a photographer. I guess you've made this fellow feel as at home as you've done all your readers! I'm looking forward to seeing more of him. In color!

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  12. I love the photograph as well. It's haunting and graceful. Well done.

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  13. Annie, I felt lucky to see him, but I'm not sensing that that's what you mean. Do you mean peacocks are supposed to bring good luck?

    Holly, this particular peacock is a pretty good model. He keeps his distance but seems comfortable standing still and looking back at the people (and animals) who have their eyes on him.

    4th Sister, he showed up earlier this year than last. I wasn't expecting him at all.

    Sister-Three, I remembered that you've asked about him a few times. I haven't seen the hen yet, but she's probably nearby, too.

    Patsy, he looks no worse for the wear. I have a mental image of him with a pipe in his mouth, dressed in a smoking jacket and sitting in front of a fireplace during the colder months.

    Dr. Kate, we're not certain, but we suspect he's from the bird sanctuary across the road. You can read here about my first sight of him last summer.
    This link has more photos, and here's a video in which he was standing on the fence about three feet away from me. He's a pretty cool bird!

    Carmon, I have to confess to tweaking this photo a little bit. The camera apparently couldn't pick up the colors of the peacock with the light of the sky behind him, so his image was very dark, with little detail. I probably could have brightened it up to show more detail, but the silhouette appealed to me, so I darkened it instead.

    Janet, it's possible he went from the driveway to the top of the fence and from there to the roof. Last year I got used to seeing him on rooftops and in trees, but now that you mention it, every tree branch he was in was close to a rooftop. He may be making his way up there in smaller increments.

    Third-Cat, thank you. You can bet that if he comes around again, I'll be chasing his brightly feathered heinie with my camera.

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  14. Alison, oops! I missed you. We must have been adding our comments at the same time. Thanks!

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  15. How cool to have a visiting peacock! I love this picture, very mysterious. Makes Mr. Peacock look like a fashion model.

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  16. Hi Velvet, I've always heard that a peacock on ones roof brings good luck. I looked on the Internet and found an old English superstition having to do with putting carved or metal peacocks on the roof either scared off witches or gave them something to do instead of case mischief. I also found this info from China legend:

    "Rooftop ornaments have a long history in China. Excavated artefacts have shown that avian figures were used on rooftops in the Qin Dynasty as totems. Towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Cao Cao built the Copper Peacock Pavilion, which became famous for the copper peacock on its roof. The rooftops of Ming- and Qing- Dynasty buildings bear legendary animals or deities representing the stars. Besides their decorative function, these figures were commonly used to protect or bring luck to a building and its inhabitants."

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  17. Kat, Mr. Peacock would no doubt be proud that you think he looks like a fashion model. Proud as a...well, you know.

    Annie, how interesting! I've never heard that before. Now I'm gonna have to figure out how to put some kind of feeder on the roof to entice His Royal Blueness to stay up there.

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  18. Velvet, I've seen our flock fly a distance of about 50 feet. They all work their way to the roof of a house across the street and uphill from their home-base tree. Come sunset, they start flying into the tree or onto the roof near the tree.

    They do like to jump from fences onto rooftops as well.

    Your guy is very calm compared to the South Sunland bunch.

    Holly

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  19. Oh, gosh, he's beautiful. I would love to see one - somewhere other than the zoo - but never have. We have some gorgeous birds where we live, but I don't think they rival this guy! Take more pictures!

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  20. Holly, it must take your breath away to see a flock of peacocks fly (say THAT three times fast!), even for a short distance.

    Jackie, he's beautiful AND bold, just like the soap opera.

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  21. Peacocks FLY???? This is all so strange to me. The only time I've ever seen them, was in a cage :( My friends aunt raised them, for what, I don't know. Are these birds in the wild where you live, like cardinals are in the wild up here in Michigan? Oh yes, I've seen their tail feathers for sale at Hobby Lobby too.

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  22. Maxngabbie, I think the consensus among the commenters here is that peacocks fly much like chickens fly--just well enough to "fly the coop" occasionally. They don't live in the wild here, which is why it's such a treat when this one comes to visit. This particular guy followed my son-in-law on the lawnmower last year, picking up juicy tidbits kicked up by the mower, so I suspect he's quite familiar with humans and their machinery. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, there's a bird sanctuary across the road, and we think he probably "vacations" from there once in a while.

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  23. You haven't been around in a couple days. Everything okay? Just checking in.

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  24. Alison, thanks for your concern. I've had a case of jangled nerves due to electrical issues in my home. I've been sleeping (or rather NOT sleeping) with the fire-alarm part of my brain on high alert, which has rendered me incapable of stringing words together to form complete sentences. Tonight all is well. The electrician came this morning and fixed everything, so I'm looking forward to a night of deep sleep.

    At the peak of my stress, my daughter reminded me that everything about this episode was good blog fodder. I'll write about it as soon as I can step away from it far enough to appreciate the humor.

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  25. I was wondering if you were okay, or if you just needed a break-since it's not Thursday. Looking forward to the story of the electrical heebie-jeebies! Glad you got the problem fixed.

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  26. Geez, I can't be the only one sitting on pins and needles. I do hope everything is well for you ;)
    schrems

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  27. Velvet,

    I read Kim's blog and hope you and the pups are all fine. I had that wire thing happen here...It's so freaky!

    Glad you are getting back on track. We've all missed you!

    Holly

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  28. I'm thinking you haven't found the humor in this yet. Sometimes you REALLY have to look ;)
    Schrems

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  29. Well Velvet even I am getting concerned about you....Are you fine?

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  30. Thanks, everyone, I'm okay. Just having more than usual difficulty getting my act together after an exceptionally tiring week. Still having some computer glitches (from yanking plugs on components), and I'm just now getting in the right frame of mind to deal with them.

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