Peacock, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

“And so it is that most people have no idea how beautiful the world is and how much magnificence is revealed in the tiniest things, in some flower, in a stone, in tree bark, or in a birch leaf. The grown-ups, going about their business and worries, and tormenting themselves with all kinds of details, gradually lose the perspective for these riches that children, when they are attentive and good, soon notice and love with their whole heart. And yet the greatest beauty would be achieved if everyone remained in this regard always like attentive and good children, simple and pious in sensitivities, and if people did not lose the capacity for taking pleasure as intensely in a birch leaf or a peacock’s feather or the wing of a hooded crow as in a mighty mountain or a splendid palace. What is small is not small in itself, just as that which is great is not—great. A great and eternal beauty passes through the whole world, and it is distributed fairly over that which is small and that which is large; for in such important and essential matters, no injustice is to be found on earth.”
     — Rainer Maria Rilke, letter to Helmut Westhoff, Nov. 12, 1901

The magnificent peacock my friend Carol and I saw this past weekend at the Point Defiance Zoo is worthy of a post of its own.  We were so fortunate to be in the right place at the very moment the peacock spread its fan, shaking out its long feathers a bit, before it strutted and preened and posed as we oohed and aahed.   It was a spectacular show, surpassing anything you see on Project Runway.


Detail, peacock feathers

Iridescent feathers, shimmering eyes

Patterns of eyes


Proud as a peacock


The rear end of the peacock has its own beauty.

Day Tripping in Tacoma

March 9, 2011

Chihuly Bridge of Glass, Tacoma

Seattle and Tacoma are just 32 miles apart, but I have spent very little time getting to know my neighboring city.  So after seeing the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum with my friend, Carol, we decided to explore a bit before returning home.  We admired Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures along the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, picnicked at Point Defiance Park, enjoyed Puget Sound views from the Five-Mile Driving loop, and were entranced by the animals at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  Here are some photos of our adventures:

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass gives new positive meaning to the term "glass ceiling"

Pagoda roof at Point Defiance Park

Racoon along Five-Mile Drive, Point Defiance Park

Beggar racoon

Mountaineer Tree, a grand Douglas Fir more than 450 years old

Spectacular display by a resident peacock, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Huge walrus making eyes at a zoo visitor

Inches apart through glass, walrus and friend

Sumatran Tiger cubs, born last May