16 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 15

Peacocks in Ice—

In the strange rain of ice that was the climax of the long frost the strangest effect that has come my way is told me by a dweller in Surrey :

"My four peacocks were encased in crystal armour ; they were picked up off the snow, their breasts coated with ice, the blue shimmering through, festooned with icicles which dripped like a fringe over their legs. The crests were stiff with frozen dew-drops and the tails frozen stiff (about a yard long) so they could do nothing but lie flat on the snow. I thought the tails could be brushed, but impassible, so they were thawed out in a greenhouse. But the sight was quite unforgettable, fantastic and beautiful.. . . These birds live in the open and now seem none the worse for having been in cold storage."