I'm in a peacock frame of mind.
It all started with our downstairs bathroom.
I saw a tiny picture in my VOGUE Magazine that showed a small sitting room with wallpaper that wasn't wallpaper at all: the walls were covered in peacock feather eyes.
That was my chance. If the cost was reasonable, I was going to cover the walls of my downstairs powder room in peacock feather eyes. Onto the internet I went, located the feathers, placed my first order, and that was the beginning of what was, today, the end of the beginning--sort of.
After approximately 12 solid hours of placing peacock eyes--one at a sickening time--onto the walls, I have about two more hours of work--after another shipment comes this week from California--until I'm finished. At this time, too, I'd like to thank Edgar and my friend Sheryl, who helped me with the project, handing me each feather--one at a time--to me as I placed it on the wall.
The overall effect: it's a love/hate thing. People entering this bathroom will either love it or hate it. But, one thing's for sure: before they make a decision as to whether the style's for them or not, they will probably gasp like an asthmatic at first sight. It is, to say the least, shocking! After one gets over the initial sensation of being eye-balled by the feathered walls, staring down, hard, on the uneasy person trying to empty his or her bladder, then, that person, once the wits have organized, can mull over the beauty, the intensity of it all. We are, be assured, not used to our walls having a furry, feathery feel.
Personally, I love them. It's just so different, so textured, so off-the-wall. My husband, on the other hand, says, "It's okay, I suppose. Certainly is different." Thank goodness he allows me to express myself in these terms. What other husband would encourage his wife to cover the bathroom walls with feathers, fur, or scales. Hey, fish scales--we have an upstairs bathroom, too. :)
But I think pasting all these feathers to the walls got into my brain a bit more than I had expected. The feathers, so individual, so irridescently beautiful--some large, some dainty--tickled my brain into wanting the beast that could produce such lovely body parts.
To the internet I flew and googled "peacocks for sale."
This morning we went to Kutztown, PA to meet Amy of Amy's Peacock Paradise and her 250 or so peacocks. Amy began raising peacocks on the family farm at the age of 13. Here she is, ten years later, in the thick of selling, breeding, raising, and loving these wonderful birds.
Always appreciative of a fellow animal-lover, I shook Amy's hand, knowing we were kindred spirits--birds of the same feather. :)
The three of us--Edgar, Amy, and I--walked up to the aviary where roosted the peacocks. She opened the door, and we stepped inside.
I must admit I was spellbound. Birds of different shapes and colors roosted high, stepped low, and honked and screeched as we passed by. Amy, who graduated with a degree in English from Amherst University, explained the habits of peacocks, but I could hardly concentrate on what she was saying, so overcome with curiosity was I. I was rapt, as a tourist is upon his or her first visit to New York City. But this was the country, and I was fathoming peacock paradise.
One thing I hadn't expected from these birds: they're brutes. Yes--brutes. I guess I had thought that since they were so beautiful, that they'd be graceful and lithe. They're not.
Very shortly after entering the aviary, one three year old bird jumped down to the ground from his roost.
Then another leaped to the floor. BANG!
I laughed out loud and said to Amy, "Jeez, they land like a ton of bricks." She agreed and shrugged her shoulders. "They weigh 15 to 20 pounds, some of them. When you think of it, that's a lot of weight hitting the floor."
Then a loud honk resounded, followed by an even louder screech. "Ree-ee-eech!"
Well, I must admit I was smitten and almost as admiring of Amy as I was of the peacocks. Amy had built herself a little girl's paradise from the age of thirteen. How refreshing! Not the usual teenager's choice of pastime.
We tramped around the peacock pens, in the snow, and through the aviary for over an hour. I was particularly attracted to three different types, but I knew Edgar, who had since retired to the car out of boredom, would only allow me two birds at the most. I had tough decisions to make. So, I made my choices, and then Edgar climbed from the car to join us outside the aviary.
He said to me in a matter-of-fact voice, "Let's get four: two males and two females."
"FOUR!" I gasped, grinning. I looked at Amy who was smiling broadly. "Okay, then, Amy. I'd like the black shoulder and an emerald spalding." I was tossing peacock terms around as though I, too, had been raising them since I was thirteen. I had to laugh at myself.
Edgar said, "I know where I'm going to build the pen. It won't take long to set up."
"You're going to build them a pen?" I was astounded. Edgar always encouraged me to reduce our animal population. I never expected him to be inclined toward acquiring more pets.
In the next couple of weeks, I'll be helping Edgar build the peacock pen. Then, once all is set up and working, we'll be visiting the lovely Amy to take home our birds.
I love projects, especially when they involve animals.
And to think: it all started with remodeling our downstairs bathroom. What an unlikely progression.
And this is leading me to think that I should have a contest to name the four peacocks. The prize will be a one of my veterinary adventure books--to the persons who come up with the most original, most creative names for our peacocks. So, for all my faithful blog followers, why don't you help us come up with two names suitable for male peacocks and two for females. I can't wait to see what you come up with. I'll need the names by the time we bring home the birds, so let's make the date March 31. Post your names with your comments, and I'll accumulate them until Edgar and I have enough to make our choices. Oh, and you need to sign on as followers of my site. Thanks for your help.