HOUSTON -- Some things you expect to see in northwest Houston ... others, not so much.

I thought maybe I was on drugs, said Carolann Kysiak

She s talking about peacocks. They ve descended on the Candlelight Forest subdivision in all of their Technicolor splendor, and the pecking order is clear. From doorsteps to rooftops, they pretty much go wherever they please.

They re a neighborhood institution down here, said longtime resident Lester Baker. We love them. I have no idea how they got here. It was just that all of a sudden they were here.

Just how long they ve been here is up for debate.

Gosh, they ve been here at least 17 to 20 years, said resident Shannon Muehleman.

Well, they ve been here I know for 50 years, said Baker.

Legend has it that one of the first families in the neighborhood owned just a couple of peacocks. That family left, but the peacocks stayed, and peahens can produce as many as 30 eggs a year.

Ever since then, they ve just multiplied and multiplied and multiplied, and now it s at least 40 or so, said Muehleman.

Some of them even have names. One albino peacock is known around the neighborhood as Albie, who is said to be a bit of a loner.

The obvious question: does everyone here like them?

Well, we only know one that doesn t like them, said Baker, one of the ladies around the corner, and we told her the peacocks were here before she was.

It seems in this corner of the world, peacocks trump petunias.

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