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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Desperately Seeking Nectar & The Peacocks That Won't Go Away

When there are only a few flowers to choose from in the garden it isn't as great a challenge to chase down the butterflies for photos.

The sulphurs were dancing about in the sunshine this afternoon. Only today they were finding the offering of nectar sources to be much more limited than they are accustom to. After all the cold weather last week, for the most part, only the blooming container plants that were moved into the garage or draped with blankets survived.

It was kind of interesting watching them do a very different dance than their usual 'nectar bar' selections between my yard and the neighbor's. It will be a while before they have a wider variety available. The butterflies and me are saying thank goodness for the salvias.The peacocks have become increasingly annoying. They have found my vegetable garden and are doing their best to make themselves at home in all that fresh dirt I brought in last week. I'll be planting seeds this week and it just won't do for 6 peacocks to be bedding down there during the day. I can be seen shooing them away a couple of times a day at this point.

As pretty and exotic as they are, there are just too many of them- 6 running in this gang. All of the neighbors are concerned that they will produce babies in the spring and no one is really fond of them foraging through their yards as it is.

I'm calling the county animal control tomorrow to see if we can get someone to come capture them and take them to a safer, more undisturbed area.

If so, we can all live happily ever after.

Tuesday Update:
Animal control only deals with cats and dogs and couldn't help me. They did refer me to Fish and Game as they handle wildlife issues. Fish and Game advised me there are no governmnet regulations concerning peacocks. They are considered an exotic ( to which I wanted to say, REALLY? but didn't).

I was further advised that I can pay a "nuisance trapper" to come trap them and take them away. The cost for that is approximately $400.

To that I thought, "I could buy a lot of plants with $400. "


  1. I have always wanted a couple of peacocks roaming "Paradise" - but have been afraid of the mess they might produce. I'll have to keep your post bookmarked as a reminder!

  2. Hi Mary Beth, Maybe I don't need to call the county... I've got just the thing you need for YOUR Paradise! Happy Birthday BTW... I missed seeing the e-mail about your special day until tonight. I hope you celebrated in style.

  3. We certainly do not have any butterflies left around here, nic to see yours. The peacocks are pretty, although I wouldn't want them bedding down in my yard either, I'll be curious to see what animal control says. I called them about the den of foxes we had in our back yard, they said it they act skittish to leave them alone. They will only come after them if they think they may be rabid.

  4. Darla, Butterflies must really know how to take care of themselves. There was not one single one to be seen during those windy, cold days last week. But at first warmth and sun... here they come. If they could talk they'd be asking "where have all the flowers gone?" And not just here but everywhere. I'm not holding out too much expectation for the county to help out with the peacocks... I know they have their criteria... I guess I'll find out what it is. I am a little concerned about them getting aggressive with the little ones are around.

  5. With the devastation in my yard I didn't pay attention to whether the butterflies were still around. Don't you wonder where they go in times like that? I've always been curious about the birds during a hurricane too. Where do they all go? Good luck with the peacocks.

  6. Hi Meems, although you have shown them before, the sight of the peacocks always entrances me. Fresh dirt is such a draw for all creatures here too, although we have none as exotic as yours. I have had good luck with boughs of rosemary laid over the soil. The strong fragrance seems to repel the diggers. I happen to have lots of rosemary but if you have some other strong herb it might work also. Such a delight to see butterflies, thanks!

  7. How wonderful to be able to see butterflies in the garden at this time of year! And, though I would love to see some peacocks roaming about, I can understand why they might be a nuisance. I watched some program on Animal Planet one day where the animal control officers were trying to capture some peacocks near an apartment complex. They were very elusive creatures!

  8. Meems,
    Those birds are sooooo pretty, about annoying! They are so loud. I hope your garden is recovering.

  9. Meems,

    The thorn in the rose! I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have big beautiful birds nesting each night on top of my garden. I do think shipping them off is the best plan.

    I wrote a post last year about where butterflies sleep!
    They seem to have this uncanny ability to find a warm dry spot to hide. Later they come out and warm up on a flower or leaf. Thank you for showing us your beauties.


  10. I would say the butterflies in your area are lucky you have potted plants Meems. I hope your garden survived without too much destruction.

    Those darned peacocks are beautiful but I don't blame you for not wanting them to destroy your garden. You work too hard to have such a thing happen. Who ever introduced that many into your neighborhood should be fined (to get their attention) and reeducated. If they want them keep them in their own garden.

  11. Meems -- the peacocks will only get messier as they settle in, so it is best to put them on a relocation plan. Someone will want them, too. Someone who can protect and care for them like chickens (fence, house, etc.).


  12. good morning meems,
    it is so nice to see butterflies. i miss them. i will be looking forward to seeing yours in a few weeks. i am sure it is a hard thing to want to move those beautiful birds but when they destroy your garden that is the thing to do. i hope the county will help you.
    i remember when living in fl we had an armadillo under our front walkway. i had to catch it myself and have someone else release it for me elsewhere. the county supplied the cage, that i had to pick up from them and return once used for a fee. it was worth it to me to get rid of the pest. you will definitely have to let us all know how that works out. have fun in your new dirt.

  13. Poor butterflies.

    I think I would just as soon have the peacocks. As beautiful as flowers. For good or ill, owning a border collie means no critters of any kind linger in the garden. I used to have pheasants around the feeder but not anymore.

  14. Hi Meems......How low did your temperatures go?
    Lovely to see the butterflies this time of year.....a distant memory for me at the moment, I look forward to the summer and seeing them again.

    Peacocks seem a dream to me especially when you have six rabbits in your garden most nights!!!

  15. I must confess ... I'm sooo jealous! I've always wanted to raise a few but there are all kinds of governmental regulations against it. Peacocks are native to India and they're our national bird , so why the h*## cant I raise them here? :(

  16. The peacocks are so pretty to look at...Dr. Wilder would love them. And so would a few other people I know--maybe you should round them up yourself and just drive by under the cover of night and drop them off on the property. Surprise!!!

  17. Hi Meems..We had a butterfly just like that one floating around on Sunday. My daughter found a caterpillar in search of food on our frozen cassia bush. Pickins are slim these days.

  18. Meems, at least you managed to save some blooms for the butterflies. It must be so disheartning to see you lovely plants wilted and gone. But I am sure you will have your gardens back to their full glory in no time. Good luck with the seed planting. I hope those peacocks can be kept out!

  19. Susan, I know the butterflies hide under branches and leaves but it does seem like some weather would be just too much for them. Still they manage.

    Frances, although I see them sauntering through my yard daily ... the sight of them still amazes ME! They are magnificent birds with brilliant color and almost graceful moves but they are big and bulky and trample as they forage... all six of them trailing one behind the other. Your rosemary idea is probably a good one. It is an herb I don't have but I am planning to border the entire garden with society garlic. The peacocks had nothing to do with my original plan to use the garlic...Maybe they'll be deterred... maybe not. ACK!

    They are exotic creatures... it's true ... and fascinating to see them just roaming about. But as I've said... the trampling and the poo-ing everywhere is now more annoying than their beauty. Animal Control will not do anything -- they are only for cats and dogs. sigh.

    jamie and randy,
    It's funny, I actually like the loud calls they make... although I wouldn't if they were roosting right on top of my roof like I've seen them do on my neighbor's. It's only good to hear at a distance. LOL

    I'm so happy the butterflies are still around. It is almost comical to watch though. They flit between a few areas of the garden and come right back because the choices are so limited. They must talk about it much over dinner as they are gathering together at the same few bushes... I can almost hear them saying ... what in the world happen to the smorgasbord we used to have around here?

    Oh, Lisa,
    Everyday upon inspection the garden looks worse. As the days have gone by more and more is drooping, dropping and turning brown. I'm not complaining but I don't have to happy about it. :-)
    I'm spending lots of time in the vegetable garden... trying to keep from getting busy wacking all that dead away. MUST WAIT A FEW MORE WEEKS!

    That all sounds good but I have no idea who would want them. Most stories I've read are much like mine. The neighborhoods don't like having them around because of the damage they cause. Maybe I could put an ad in the paper and someone who lives way out in the country would want to rescue them... hmmmm.

    Oh, Marmee,
    Armadillos are still quite another problem. We have loads of them that come out at night and dig holes and root around in the fresh dirt. They are my garden nemesis... along with grasshoppers in the spring/summer. Two very different adversaries for sure.

    Leaving the peacocks to roam has been tried and it isn't working. It's kind of ironic... the people (neighbor) who first created this dilemma by purchasing a male and a female and then letting them loose have a dog that barks its head off and keeps the peacocks out of their yard now. Yeah, I know. Not nice.

    Our temperatures weren't that low. Only right at freezing. It was the second night of freezing though and the air was very still. It's call radiation cooling and the conditions are perfect for frost... which was extensive. Thus, very severe damage to plants. I'm happy I don't have problems with rabbits. Although when we first moved here we used to see them all the time.

    No need to be jealous ... I'd gladly give them up. If only I could give these to you... it would solve your wishes and mine. Sigh.

    I'm sure there is someone out there who only needs to know they are available. How to get that message to the right folks??? That's funny... but there is no way I could even try to trap 6 large peacocks... believe me ... If I could... You know where I'd take them and gift them... poo and all. LOL

    Pickins' ARE slim. I bet the Cassias were really damaged. Still the sulphurs were probably hanging on for dear life.

    Quite disheartening for sure. Every where I look it just doesn't even look like Hoe and Shovel anymore. You are right. It will all come back so I must keep focusing on that. It's just part of nature and life and we will deal with it. We have way too much to be grateful for to let it steal even a moment of joy! Right?

  20. When i first read the article, i seemed to of overlooked one vital letter (of the alphabet).
    "I can be seen shoo[T]ing them away a couple of times a day at this point."
    My jaw dropped once i read this. I could not imagine Meems outside, SHOOTING the peacocks!
    Thankfully, i read the article again before pronouncing Meems: The Exotic Bird Slayer. HAHA

  21. Hi Meems thank you so much for explaining the temperature problem in detail....I found that most interesting....I do hope that your plants are not showing too much damage.....

  22. Do you know Monty Python skit about killing the budgie? That's what ran through my head at the thought of gangs of peacocks rampaging through the neighbourhood. Seriously though, I hope that you find a solution that works for everyone.

  23. Oh, Meems - this sounds like such an odd problem, but a look around google turned up Rogue Peacocks on several continents.
    One man in Australia swears that putting horse manure in the places they were digging made the peacocks leave. But then what's left is an intact garden that smells like a stable.

    I'm so sorry about the freeze. Your plants grow fast and there's green at the base of the plants so maybe it will look like Meems' Garden faster than you think.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  24. We have a big problem with peacocks in Miami, they are beautiful birds but terrible for gardens and so noisy. I don’t have any in my neighborhood, but here we have some law that does not let the county pick them up and in some neighborhoods there has been problems between neighbors because of the peacocks, it has been on the local news.
    Good luck.

  25. Your update made me chuckle. You just MIGHT be having to spend $400 on plants--to replace the ones the exotic peacocks mess up!!!

  26. Trent:
    Are you the only Trent I know? Hmmmm...
    Thinking I said SHOOTING is comical. Believe me... I've thought these awful thoughts. Especially today when all six of them were hanging out on my roof. Sounds like horses hoofs when they are trampling around up there.

    After reading your comment I looked up Monty Python skit on the dead parrot. Is that the one? Still looking for a solution that works for everyone.There were fresh bird tracks through my garden today and they spent a considerable time on my roof. ACK!

    I've read of several of the accounts on line.Horse maure smell would be okay in the vegetable garden and probably help the soil... it's just not plausible to put it everywhere they are trampling around. Too many areas. All the neighbors are just about at our wits end.

    As far as the freeze damage... I am looking on the bright side just as you mentioned... it will all grow back.

    apparently they are a problem in several cities. We are sort of rural so there is more ground for them to saunter around in... also we are very protected from traffic so they aren't in danger from that... it is a big problem in several areas in our county.

    You have a point there. My sweet neighbor across the street has had her rain lilies completely flattened by them. And she has a lot of rain lilies.

    Their wandering around in the veggie garden has caused me to have to start all my seed in small pots rather than directly in the ground. Sigh.

  27. Does Florida have a Peacock hunting season? "-)

  28. I envy you have colorful peacocks to chase away Meems. We've got seagulls or crows. But a problem is a problem, right. And butterflies? I've only just started seeing the little swarming bugs (not gnats). Cheers!

  29. Mary Beth, No, it doesn't but the lady at Fish and Game said to me, " If you want to shoot them and bury them it is quite okay."
    She did get me thinking...

    Thanks for coming by for a visit. I agree they are colorful! Very fascinating to look at... but now the irritation of their damage is outweighing those beautiful plumes of feathers.

  30. Sorry those birds are pestering you. I would take a few for my place If I could. I live too far away. They sure are beautiful but I know that too much of a good thing isn't always so good. Hope you don't mind me stopping by. I just found you & was intrigued by the peacocks & then found treasure in your blog.

  31. TexasDaisey/Debbie,
    So glad you have you stop by for the peacocks or anything else you might find interesting here. We are still working on the best way to find a new home for the peacocks. So far... not much is turning up.


Have a blessed day,

September 2010

Back Garden: October 2010

Louise Philippe: Antique Rose

Tropical Pathway