I love just getting in the car and following my whim; Laurie not so much. He likes to know where he's going. But today, he humoured me, and we wound through the twisty roads in the Oyster River valley, looking at farms and hoping for deer again.
No deer rewarded us, but passing a turnoff onto a gravel road, we were surprised to see a peacock, roaming free:
We stopped, of course. And while we took photos of this one, another jumped to the porch railing of an adjacent house, then to the roof.
He walked to the far end of the house, sweeping the roof with his folded tail, then flew away, into the trees. And another one followed his tracks, from porch to railing, to roof, and away.
The owner of the house told us that the peacocks "belong" (if belonging is the right word for wild things) to someone down the road, but that they are not penned and often visit him. In the spring, breeding time, they delight him with their flamboyant displays, but there's a down-side; they also keep him awake at night with raucous cries. The females, are probably in the trees somewhere now, sitting on nests.
They've been in the area for a couple of years. We are amazed that they have not been caught by the cougars that hunt in the woods by night, or by dogs or foxes. It's probably safer, their neighbour said, around (and on!) human habitations.
As we left, we looked down the road. Peacock # 1 was walking home:
Good luck, and keep safe, crested one!