Today I scared (not on purpose) six peacocks out of a pear tree in the orchard. I've seen them around in twos and threes before and for a long time I thought they were peahens because they don't have tail feathers. But it turns out they are males leaving their tail feathers under the totora trees by the creek, where I have been collecting them to use in my books. Peacocks look too fat to fly, but when they do their wings are a brick red as the light shines through them.
These ones are fat because they are frequent visitors to our overgrown and neglected, yet fecund, orchard. Right now it's hard to begrudge them the fruit because the pear tree in question is defiantly producing an outrageously heavy crop of russet pears despite having fallen over. The trunk is broken most of the way through near the root and the whole tree is propped precariously on a buckling fence. But still so many pears I hardly know what to do with them. Not being a bottler (despite my interest, I have no experience and no jars), I have mostly been making them into pear cakes. I'm onto my third variation of the original recipe and think I have it just about right.