Peacocks

Lately we’ve been taking a lot of walks to see the peacocks that live nearby. Initially it happened almost randomly; Nathan gets to choose our direction out on our walks, and he would fairly often steer us through the tunnel under the train tracks (an attraction in and of itself), which takes us out right next to the peacocks. There are also chickens there, and I’ve been told there are llamas, although I’ve never seen them myself.

The first time we happened to end up there this spring, Ryan was desperately needing a nap and did not want to stop walking. At first I tried to coax Nathan to continue the walk, despite the fact that we could clearly see one of the male peacocks down the driveway. Ryan screeched through the whole conversation, while Nathan repeated over and over “Watch peacock.” Finally I did the smart thing and sat down to nurse Ryan. No sooner had I done so than the peacock began walking toward us — he walked all the way down the driveway and strolled carefully around us, not fifteen feet away, studying us all the while. I honestly think that Ryan’s screeches were unusual enough to him that he had to come see what we were. I tried to enjoy the moment without kicking myself too hard that I hadn’t brought the camera.

It couldn’t get any cooler than that, right? Well, maybe… about a week later we were back, this time in the afternoon, and found one of the males perched up on the fence halfway down the lane. Again, we sat down (this time Ryan was rested enough to explore the ground for a while). After a few minutes of mutual staring, the peacock jumped down off the fence, unfurled his tail, and spent perhaps twenty minutes turning in circles, shaking his feathers, and generally making a spectacle of himself. Again, no camera!

And then the other evening, we stepped out into our back yard and almost immediately heard one of them calling — and from much closer than usual. Nathan has been able to recognize their cry for a while, so he lit up immediately. And it really sounded like the peacock was no more than a block away… so off we went, half-dressed (barefoot in Nathan’s case) to scour the neighboring streets. We went nearly to the tunnel, homing in on peacock cries, before we found it — thirty feet up in a pine tree. In the dimness of evening, he was just a silhouette against the sky, but still we had to sit on the wet sidewalk, watching his movements, listening to his occasional calls (and the answers from the other peacocks across the tracks), while the world got darker. Only the chilly toes of a pants-less baby brought us back home.

I love that Nathan is so interested in the peacocks! Not only is it cool to watch him so absorbed, but it gives me an excuse to slow down and indulge in watching beautiful birds. As a side note, I also love the library! A quick search of their children’s section found me The Spooky Tail of Prewitt Peacock. It’s longer than most of the books I’d been reading Nathan, but hey, it’s about peacocks! He’s requested it probably a dozen times in the last week.

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