Saturday 4 February 2023

gassi gehen (10. 522)

After a long walkies to the top of the Hohe Schuhe—previously, along the prehistoric trail that leads through the woods from an ensemble of ancient burial mounds and along the former border for a perspective from the promontory overlooking Bavaria and Thรผringen from the puppy was treated to another surprise with her first encounter with the neighbourhood peacock

 It went better than expected with both looking fairly enchanted but glad it happened through a barrier however.

Saturday 18 June 2022


We weren’t quite sure what attracted this Aglais io—Peacock butterfly a member of the anglewing tribe, see previously here and here, to our windowsill long enough to photograph (click to magnify) but this individual probed around for quite a few moments before flitting away, tolerating our curiosity on the other side of the glass pane. The eyespots are the most obvious defensive mechanisms for passerine predators—also see above—but they also apparently emit a hissing sound that deters hunters.

Friday 6 May 2022

all-seeing or the eyes have it

Though apparently gregarious with most of the village as well, a young peacock—we thought it was a peahen but learned it was young one and the signature plumage and dimorphism does not develop until they reach three years of age—has adopted H and I and roams our yard and roosts in various spots on the balcony and the front stoop, friendly in guest territory but possibly territorial in his own backyard. He belongs to a neighbour and is called Charlie and often appears before the French doors and jarringly at times at the kitchen window sill. Apparently this behaviour in peafowl, congregating before glazed faรงades, is to examine themselves in the glass, like a mirror. I held up my cell phone display in front of Charlie to reflect back his image and he regarded it with interest, rather than destructive pecking at the screen and my hand. I remember the controversy a few years back over an airline passenger trying to board with their therapy peacock and at the time siding with those who condemned the act as performative and over-the-top but getting a sense of their calm demeanour and engagement, I have come around to the other side in thinking these are legitimate therapy animals, tail-feathers and all. We are looking into getting our own. The collective term for a group of peafowl is an ostentation.

Tuesday 9 February 2021

your daily demon: andrealphus

Possibly conflated with a similarly plumed Babylonian god called Adrammelech whom apparently was only appeased by child sacrifice, this sixty-fifth spirit and infernal marquis ruling thirty legions presents as cacophonous peacock. Once in control of the exorcist, Andrealphus’ virtue is to make people wise in geometry, mensuration and astronomy and can also conjure others into the form of a bird. Governing from this day until 13 February, Andrealphus’ foil is the Gabrieline archangel Damabiah.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

peacock throne

Dangerous Minds has a very nice tribute to the the flaired back wicker peacock chair—known as the Philippine or Manila but originating in China, that was reserved for the select and makes an appreciable seat of authority and smartly frames the subject. Popular from the mid-twentieth century onwards, the exotic chair was part of the furniture for the parlours and studios of American celebrities and public-figures—perpetuated by iconic photographs of the owners sitting—as if commissioning for a portrait. Though not a wicker peacock chair—relatives and neighbours had them, I do remember growing up with a papasan in the living room—which was just as brilliant, classic and more comfortable, I imagine.

Tuesday 30 June 2015


ephemera: MOMA acquires beautiful set of postcards advertising the inaugural Bauhaus exhibition

mincome going dutch: Utrecht will test out basic income plus a look at historical experiments with eliminating poverty

redrum: food decoration inspired by Stanley Kubrick classic The Shining, via the splendiferous Nag on the Lake

proud as a peacock: charming round up of railings against the US Supremes’ decision to ban state-level curbs on marriage

neapolitan: biography of Rose Totino, patroness, of frozen pizza—plus a selection of inventive advertisements made with stock-images