austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

Gonna spread our wings and reach right up to the stars

Since I had some time after the dentist's appointment I thought of things I might do, and realized, this might be a good chance to visit the Popcorn Park Zoo. It would be, too, since I wasn't too far away and my supply of free afternoons in New Jersey are pretty sharly limited. It had been an overcast morning, threatening to rain and never managing more than a drizzle, but over lunch the skies cleared up, which is about the best way for this sort of thing to work out.

Something I had forgotten about the zoo was that, like many zoos, they've got peacocks. Lots of peacocks, roaming free, more or less, and prowling around. Also, apparently, it's the big season for peacocks since not just one had his tail spread out to its full extent --- and kept it out --- but most of the peacocks did. They were even doing that drumming-the-tailfeathers thing so they rattled. Some of the peacocks were apparently just working the crowd; almost the first thing through the gate was a man and woman admiring and photographing them and talking about how extraordinary it was that he was keeping his feathers spread wide out. Some were clearly working to specific productive purposes: there were peahens around, looking skeptically at the peacocks and generally acting like, ``oh, please, must you really?'' None of the hens seemed all that interested, but I imagine a certain amount of this showboating goes a long way. (Also, you know, bunny_hugger is right; peahens would be regarded as quite attractive birds with startling colors if peacocks weren't there grabbing all the attention.)

Other peacocks were busy showing off and closing in on any kind of bird without much respect for species. The zoo keeps a fair number of free-ranging chickens and roosters, and it gets a larger number of geese and ducks that hang around becuase, I suppose, it's a pretty safe and secluded area. The peacocks prowled around going full-Argus on any kinds of birds they could find, to the point that I had to suspect they were just in it to show off, and not for any specific productive purpose.

I should mention that once again on my way out of the zoo --- at the closing hour, which means I missed the gift shop's operating hours yet again --- I saw the flyer where they mention having wallabies. I've never seen a wallaby at it, and I can't figure out if I'm just overlooking it (which is possible; the zoo has a number of odd little maze-like paths, and since it is in part a rescued animals shelter the exact species collection varies and they don't bother putting up signs to anything), or if the wallabies are at a different campus, or if they did have a wallaby ages ago and haven't anymore and never got around to updating the publicity materials.

Trivia: When the American Pencil Company rented space in the under-construction RCA Building, Webster Todd, of contractors Todd, Robertson, & Todd, requested that all Rockefeller Center departments ``give preference to their products when buying pencils''. Source: Great Fortune: The Epic Of Rockefeller Center, Daniel Okrent.

Currently Reading: A Geography Of New Jersey: The City In The Garden, Charles A Stansfield Jr.

By the way, I'd like to recommend the video of NBC's 1979-80 ``Proud As A Peacock'' jingle since it is so wonderfully 1979-80 considering it's not actually produced by the Buggles. And in other news don't think I missed the info graphic on ``New Life in The Amazon'' with this Onion article.


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