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.