Arthur the Peacock’s Excellent Adventure

Frying Pan Farm Park has excellent neighbors. They’ve been so gracious about noise from the farm, traffic from our big events, and the occasional fugitive.

Not too long ago, our peacock Arthur became an escapee. While one of our farm hands was feeding the birds, wind blew open the door of their pen, and Arthur saw his chance. Out the door, away from the pen, and off on a running spree.

Ever try to catch a peacock? Visualize that.

Soon, several staff and an animal control officer were in pursuit. Farmer Paul texted and emailed neighbors, asking them to let us know if they spotted Arthur. One of our neighbors tapped out a Facebook post asking friends and neighbors to be on the lookout for a runaway peacock – a post that probably raised a few feathers and questions among the neighbors.

An hour went by. Another passed. And another. Six of them in all after Arthur’s door dash before a neighbor notified us that he saw the bird near his house.

Arthur sprinted at roadrunner speeds around a house and then headed back through the woods. A second set of neighbors notified us that they spotted him.

Arthur hid out under a deck.

Are you still visualizing this?

Farm staff headed for the scene, accompanied by off-duty school kids. The peacock leaped toward a tomato garden surrounded by netting, and that slowed him enough for Farmer Paul to nab him. Farmer Paul’s pretty quick, too.

We thank all our neighbors who helped us get our peacock back safe and sound. Arthur is now back on the farm with his two female companions, Guinevere and Merlin. Drop by to see him. Maybe he’ll tell you a little about life off the farm.

Author Lois Kirkpatrick is the Marketing and Development Coordinator at Frying Pan Farm Park.

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About Fairfax County Park Authority

About Fairfax County Park Authority HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 13 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2016. Today, the Park Authority has 427 parks on more than 23,000 acres of land. We offer 325 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park system is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: • Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist • Eight golf courses from par-3 to championship level, four driving ranges including the new state-of-the-art heated, covered range at Burke Lake Golf Center • Five nature and visitor centers. Also nine Off-Leash Dog Activity areas • Three lakefront parks including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax. The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter • Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel, as well as Chessie’s Big Backyard and a carousel at the Family Recreation Area at Lee District Park • An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter • Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s-era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel • Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent • A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly • A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale • Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community • Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center • Provides 263 athletic fields, including 39 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 417 school athletic fields. PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

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