This morning I watched a female cardinal on my front porch railing. With the warmer weather having arrived early, she is already quite sleek. As she hopped along the rail I couldn’t help but admire the beauty in the subtlety of her coloration … the muted olives and golds edged with red and the bright persimmon of her beak.
I went along my morning and was still thinking … now of the beautiful coloration of the peahen. She may pale alongside the brilliant shades of turquoise and green of her male counterpart, the peacock, much as the female cardinal does when compared to the bright red male, but her beauty isn’t in the flashiness of her color. It’s in the quiet richness, with just a necklace of iridescent aquamarine.
There’s a certain pleasure in subtle beauty. In our media-driven culture, the biggest, brightest and flashiest is always being foisted upon us and honestly? I sometimes find it draining. Don’t you? Admittedly, I can be distracted by shiny objects … nothing wrong with that from time to time, but as a steady diet, the loud, the bold and the dazzling wears thin.
I will always take delight in the bright plumage of a male Cardinal or Peacock. But I also appreciate the ladies. They have a disdain for flash. And yet are undeniably beautiful. Maybe they’re a bit more like most of us.
Photos: Cardinal courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, Penelope Peahen courtesy of Popcorn Park