This Farm’s Secret
There are two members of this farm that few people have seen. They tend to hide in the grass, or run behind a building whenever anyone new approaches. Call them shy, elusive, anti-social. It’s just very hard for visitors to see them. They’ll show themselves to Melissa and me, and often make sweet little cooing sounds as they scoot through the grass ahead of us.
Years ago Melissa bought two Golden Pheasants. She named the female Trixie. Trixie is a mottled brown, and hard to see.
The male is glorious. Melissa named him Pharaoh. Many years ago Trixie and Pharaoh successfully raised babies. The male baby grew into a dramatic bright yellow, so Melissa named him Ra. We sold the offspring to another pheasant fan. Since then, the pair has been unable to successfully raise a brood, basically because over the years we ended up with too many pea fowl in the pen. The pheasant chicks disappeared, possibly killed by the pea fowl.
But now all the pea fowl are gone, even dear old Ben, who died this last winter. This leaves Trixie and Pharaoh with a huge pen to themselves. They’re protected from predators, have plenty of food, water, and their choice of nesting spots. We’re crossing our fingers and hope to see some Golden babies this summer.
I’ve never been able to get a photo of Pharaoh, but a few weeks ago Melissa took Aimee and Bryan into the pen, and there was Pharaoh, all photogenic.
His back is blue and purple and orange and a shimmering green. And note the orange and black striped feathers along the side of his head. When he’s flirting with Trixie (which he does often) those feathers fan forward until his eyes are almost entirely covered.
Hopefully this will drive Trixie wild.
And as for why these guys are here, on this farm, Melissa might try to justify it by saying she could sell the feathers to people who tie their own fishing flies. But no—they’re here because they’re beautiful, even little brown Trixie, and Melissa adores them.
Please don’t tell her, but I do too.