by Pam Owen
Wishing all of the faithful followers of Big Sky Ranch in the North Grenville Times a very Merry Christmas! During the Christmas Season, many of our thoughts move past the commercialism and hype, and we prefer to focus on the meaning of sharing with others, being surrounded by family and friends and offering the best of ourselves to those around us.
As I was pondering which of the many animals that call Big Sky Ranch home to tell their story, I realized that a story of love and commitment would be perfect! So, allow me to introduce you to Alfie and Josie, the devoted couple of the year.
This past Summer at the Sanctuary, great excitement was felt when an opportunity arose to take in a pair of Piebald Peacocks that a gentleman was surrendering. He had raised them, but recently retired, and was looking for a safe home for his beloved birds. Big Sky opened their doors and arms to such a loving and beautiful couple. It was decided that, as in many couples, Josie should tell the story and Alfie would fill in any blanks.
Josie, the Piebald Peacock here, reporting from Big Sky Ranch. Alfie and I have the most incredible mix of beautiful blue-green mixed with white colouring that you have ever laid eyes on. We were raised domestically, and our colour is a variant not found in wild birds. Alfie is a bit of a show off, as he takes great pleasure in showing off his gorgeous tail! I am more muted in colours and have a shorter tail, as I am a peahen, or female. Birders will understand the reasons, so let me explain, so everyone will know why my muted colours are for protection and camouflage, so I am not a target when I am protecting eggs or my offspring. Having shorter tail-feathers is also an asset, as they help me to fly more easily.
Being the adventurous one, I was pleased to show just how advantageous my ability to fly could be. We had only just arrived at the Sanctuary and hadn’t had much of an opportunity to look around…so I promptly flew over the fence of our enclosure and Alfie followed. We enjoyed our look around, met our new neighbours, and then went home for a snack and a snooze in the sunshine. (The loving volunteers at Big Sky were quick to finish off the construction of our enclosure’s roof. Our new home is now safe, comfortable and perfect).
It has become quite apparent that we are a couple in love. Alfie adores me (I know because he is always unfolding his lovely tail feathers and shivering them rapidly at me, so he can catch the sunlight). His display of blue-green shimmers and sparkles catching the light never fails to make me happy that we are together.
Our story of love and devotion to each other is out there for everyone to see. We only have eyes for each other, are totally devoted to one another, and hope that we inspire all who visit that true love can be found in the most humble of places.
Merry Christmas to everyone from Alfie, myself, our animal friends, and all the volunteers and staff at Big Sky Ranch. We invite you to enjoy the Season and give to those who may not enjoy as much as you.