Dreaming in Character

G.L. Jackson

Welcome to Oregon.


It rains here.

It rains here a lot. The weather systems particularly like to lull us into thinking that spring’s arrived early: beautiful clear sunny days, temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s, not a cloud in sight. But when we wake up the next day it’s 50-something and raining and stays that way for the next week, the next month, the next two months.

Imagine the confusion for the poor peacock who’s taken up residence here during daylight hours. I was told the way to capture a peacock is to find out where he goes at night, then follow him there and when he settles in to roost, just put a bag over him and take him wherever. I don’t know about you, my friends, but I don’t have a bag large enough for the peacock’s tail, let alone all of him. I did follow him one evening when the sun was out and discovered he really lives across the street and up a house or two, because he goes back there every night.

Apparently, we’re peacock daycare. Most days he roosts happily in my pear tree, the one with the adult peacock-sized crook in the branch. He loves it there, stays all day, then makes his way back home as the light starts to dim. But on rainy days, he spends his time in my garage. I found this out by surprise one day when I returned from running errands and opened the garage door. Out raced the peacock (if you haven’t been following along, his name is Richard Parker, fondly named for the Siberian tiger in Life of Pi) looking very indignant.

This is what I get for leaving the garage door open a foot or so at the bottom for the stray cats. Who knew peacocks could avail themselves of the same small opening?

Today, when it’s been pouring pretty much nonstop, I’m not surprised to find him there. If you’ve ever asked yourself the burning question what does a peacock do in a garage all day? I can answer it for you: he paces and leaves droppings.

Peacocks are smart on the bird scale of brains. He knows where I keep the sunflower seed for the bird feeders. If it’s impervious to raccoons and squirrels it’s also impervious to Richard Parker, but that doesn’t stop him from hanging around the bin. Whether he goes into the loft or not I can’t say; he’s awkward on steps because he’s an oversized bird with a tail any Dr. Seuss creature would envy. He knows my voice and doesn’t tend to scamper away when I’m there. He also knows I’ll feed him his favorite treats (sunflower seed, blueberries, and soft mild cheese. I’m not cruel enough to try him on the jalapeño jack, although I do know he’s moderately fond of grapes, less fond of strawberries, and turns his nose up at cracked corn).

Luckily the warmer drier weather’s on its way, and he can do plenty of foraging on his own. Maybe he’ll even start catching the little reptiles when they appear, not that I have anything against them.

So yes, it’s Oregon, it rains a lot here. I sure can’t say I mind the water, but I never anticipated it would teach me as much as it has about the exotic peafowl lifestyle.

Author: G.L. Jackson

Writer, reader, amateur photographer. Mostly, I just like pretending to be a different person each day of the week.

4 thoughts on “Welcome to Oregon.

  1. I’m getting rather fond of him!


  2. I love Richard Parker. He’s such a character!


    • Oh, Viv, you would be so amazed! He’s got so much personality – who knew the big birds could be so unique and distinct. Back when I volunteered at the Oregon Zoo, we had peafowl roaming around the grounds but I never had the chance to get to know any of them. They were just pretty birds. Of course they’re all as unique as any other creature, but this one is a special kind of riot. I’m going to miss him when I go.


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