We were pleased to see our local pheasant pottering around the feeder recently. The previous weekend had been marked by a great hullabaloo and the sound of gunfire and we were a little concerned for him. Here he is however, looking perhaps a little subdued, but obviously still alive and kicking. He popped past to do a little tidying up for us. He doesn’t like to think of us having that mess all over the garden. Our pigeons seem to have deserted us – or maybe they too, are just keeping a low profile.
He comes from Georgia, the one on The Black Sea, along with that other homespun, back country boy Joseph Stalin, who also hailed from the region. The old name of the river that runs through, what is today, the port city of Poti was The Phasis and this is where his name is derived from – if you care to believe the things ‘they’ say.
‘They’ say, for instance, that Jason and the Argonauts came to Georgia looking for the Golden Fleece. The tale of how the Golden Fleece came to be in Georgia is a typical wicked stepmother story. The Greeks, of course, do things with style. To save the poor step-children the King of The Gods sent a magical ram to carry the children off – before the wicked step-mother could get to them. He was frolicking around as a ram himself, at that time, so he kidnapped a beautiful nymph and turned her into a ewe so he could have his wicked way with her, so producing the golden ram to send to the rescue.
All in a good cause, I guess.