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I Shot the Peacock

As I left school today I slipped and fell in the mud.  I hosed myself down and came home squishy wet, but I figured squishy wet would be easier on my upholstery (I had a picnic blanket) then red-clay mud.  Needless to say, I was feeling sorry for myself.  I opted out of a planned stop at the grocery store, and decided not to stop at the mailbox, either.  The fella up above changed my mind.  He was sitting on the pool fence across from the mail kiosk.

I slammed on my brakes and grabbed my camera — right there, stopped dead, in the middle of the road.  I snapped a half-dozen pics.  A car approached.  I had to move.  No choice.  The opportunity of a lifetime thwarted by some fool who wanted to drive on the road.  Some people are so nervy!

(Look closely at the photo above.  See the drop of water hanging from the peacock’s beak?)

I hurriedly parked my car in a space beside the mail kiosk, and bailed out to discover — the peacock still preening.  A light rain was falling and it was obvious that he was engaged in grooming.  In fact, he was so engaged he let me get closer than I would have dared hope!  (Don’t tell O’Ceallaigh.  He keeps insisting that they are wild animals and that I need to be careful.)

When the peacock did notice my presence, he favored me with his mating call and fluffed a bit.  He stayed and posed and postured through 351 photos.  I have no idea how many shots my media card will hold, but I do know that is the greatest amount of photos I’ve ever taken in one session.  Because my camera is a cheap point and shoot, because it was a gray rainy day, because the peacock was never still, most of the photos did not come out well.  I got these, and one spectacular photo I am entering in a photo competition.  I don’t expect to win, but I was promised a critique by pros.  Right now that’s more valuable to me than the prizes anyway.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Opportunity and a cheap camera are all that is needed! God gives GREAT shots to amateurs! You are LIVING PROOF! And I’m just so jealous it’s sinful!

  2. Oh, and while I’m here, I’d better ask- is this peacock’s butt going on a magnet soon?? (This is the point where you nod yes. 😉 )

  3. I see all Sheriff John Brown jokes are taken. I’m just chiming in to recommend Quilly’s King of The Horn beer steins. Mine just arrived. Too cool.

  4. Melli — these shots aren’t great. The composition is good, but the focus and the exposure are “off”. I can’t do anything about that because my camera makes those decisions for me — and until recently I’ve always preferred it that way. I also shouldn’t have taken the photos with the sun in my face, but short of climbing the fence and standing in the pool, I had no choice.

    OC — ba da boom.

    Nessa — OC seems to think so.

    Brig — still waiting for photos of your white one. And which peacock butt would you like to see on a magnet?

    Dr. John — thanks!

    Patty — well, thank you! But what did you think of my photographs? 😀

    Doug — I am so glad the steins turned out well and you are pleased. OC really isn’t much of a drinker, so don’t fill him too full of beer.

  5. Wonderful pictures Quilly, thank you for posting them. Stop by the blog in the next couple of days and see the surprise snow storm we had today. At least 20 different transit buses were in accidents.

    Oh I sent an invite for you to accept courtesy of Nea. I found you and Nea are friends on Facebook so I couldn’t help ingratiate myself and invite you to be friends.

    Take care Quilly

  6. Quilly, it will be summer before we make it over there. But I promise to fill up my memory card once we make it.

    My husband likes the last one, and although there’s very little of the plumage, I have to agree that it’s such a cool shot.

  7. I have a point a shoot camera also, it was what I needed at first but boy would I like a Nikon. The shots are still great, once again I am jealous you live is such an amazing place.

  8. That is the most beautiful peacock I have ever seen! He is magnificent and well done for getting those shots. 351? That’s brilliant. I do the same because I have a cheap camera and I am not a great photographer. I point, shoot and hope for the best!

    You have captured his beauty perfectly. Well worth sliding in the mud.

  9. Bill — I am super busy and barely fitting in time for my own blog, but I hope to see you this weekend!

    Brig — I have a few I’ve not yet shared …..

    Betty — thanks!

    Kelly Ann — now I want a real camera and classes on how to use it!

    CrazyCath — that’s exactly what I did! I have a continuous shot feature and I put the camera on that and snapped five and six shots of each pose!

    David — thank you. Even I can see the flaws in these photos, and I knew before I started that the sun was in the wrong place, but moving the sun isn’t in my list of talents. Even so, I am proud of these photos because they show that I have learned a bit about composition.

    Maggie May — thank you. I only wish they really were …

  10. 351 shots!? That peacock sure must have been enjoying his photo shoot!
    I read once, on that taking many, many shots is the norm when it comes to getting a great one. Can’t wait to see the great one you’re entering in a contest!

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