Friday, September 30, 2011

30 September and Pappa is doing a good job...

I've picked up a nasty stomach bug - the kind that creeps up on you in the night and leaves your system upside down by morning. Today I decided to spend a couple of hours dozing in bed, hoping it will take the 'nasty' away.

You have all experienced at some time, that peaceful state somewhere between full alertness, deep sleep and waking up. The state where everything connects and appears as One. The state where no worries creep in, no illness is known, no care for what tomorrow brings - just a peaceful, easy state of mind.

I believe that this is where animals exist - in fact, all life forms apart from Humans. Animals have the ability to communicate with one another trans-species. We know this to be true in times of natural disasters, where it is the animals and birds that sense what is about to happen and make decisions accordingly.

At times, there are Human Beings that can cosistently 'tap' into this state of peacefulness, of Oneness, and communicate with animals. Look at Dolphin and Horse Whisperers as an example. And the person that can 'cure' your pet from an unattractive or unwanted behaviour - just by spending time with them.

Anyway, today, as I lay in my bed about to wake up, yet still in that peaceful state, I heard a strong voice. Instantly, my mind 'boxed' the voice and told me it was the neighbour's child-minder. This voice said loudly and clearly:
"Pappa, you are doing a good job. Pappa"

I called Allan and asked if he had heard the voice, or could see the lady next door. He had been by an open window downstairs, right in the direction of the neighbour, and had heard nothing. I asked Allan to look for Pappa - thinking that he may be on a perimeter wall nearby. Alaln looked everywhere and couldn't see Pappa. Allan also reminded me that the neighbours don't call Pappa by his name - he is the 'male owl' or just the 'owl'

I started to doubt, not what I had heard, but where it was coming from.
Perhaps it the last figment of a dream I was having about the owls.
Perhaps it was just something my mind would say, so I 'heard' something that wasn't said.

Bot maybe, just maybe, it was taping into the peaceful state of Oneness, and my voice telling Pappa that he was doing a good job.

Whatever the reason, or how it came about, the message to me is very clear:

We always talk about Pot Plant Owl and how good she is to sit on the eggs and protect them and keep them warm. Now it is time, just before the eggs hatch, to acknowledge the work that Pappa does.

Without Pappa's constant protection and food-hunting, none of this would be possible.

"Pappa, you are doing a good job. Pappa"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

27 September and getting closer still...

Pot Plant Owl stayed out of the nest for a record 40 minutes last night. Amazing to think that she can be away from the nest and eggs all that time, and the eggs don't get cold. Our Spring temperatures are good with lovely sunny days and warm evenings, so I guess that helps.

Pappa is scarce at night. We've noticed over the past few years that during this period (just before the eggs hatch), Pappa travels further away from the nest to hunt. We suspect that is so that the food supply close to the nest will not be depleted when the chicks arrive, and food is required in vast quantities.

Not too long to go now...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun words

South Africa is a country with 11 official languages. Pot PLant Owl followers cover the length and breadth of our country, and around the world too. It is fitting, therefore, to have a little fun in this incubation period by learning a few South African language words and phrases. We've been chatting on Ustream and introducing words, and I promised a list of those we've used so far - here it is:

South African Words

Greetings What it means
Sawubona Hello (Zulu)
Yebo Sawubona Reply Hello (Zulu)
Lekker Slaap Sleep well (Afrikaans)
Hamba Kahle Go well (Zulu)
Sala Kahle Stay well (Zulu)
Dankie Thank you (Afrikaans)
Aikona No (Zulu)
Yebo Yes (Zulu)
Pragtige uil Lovely owl (Afrikaans)

I'll keep on updating this list as we chat more.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pappa on duty

This is Pappa at 17h30 Friday 23 September sitting on the neighbour's satellite dish, watching over the nest. He had been in a tree near our front door the whole day. We only noticed him in the late afternoon when the garden birds kicked up a fuss. Pappa moves closer in to the nest as the egg-hatching day draws near.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

21 September and can I get some sleep please?

I love Pot Plant Owl. I love Pappa. And I love the fact that our balcony is theirs to use for nesting. What I DON'T love, is being woken up in the early hours of the morning with loud hooting on the balcony.

From a deep slumber, the noise is enough to think you are under attack. It takes a few long seconds until your brain catches up with your ears, and you understand what you are hearing. By then, you are wide awake and the chance of sleep again in the near future is slim.

Like I said, I love you PPO. I love you Pappa. But can you tone it down a decibel or three? Please?

Friday, September 16, 2011

15 September PM

You know the expression 'dog tired'? That's how I felt getting into bed this evening after a trip overseas and a long flight home. And the only thing keeping me awake was an annoyingly loud yapping dog next door. The kind of persistent yapping hour after hour that starts to sound like a jack hammer against a hard surface. Even in my tired state, the irony of the situation was not lost on me.

Just as I was about to do something about the yapping, Pappa beat me to it. I didn't see what happened, but here's what I heard:

Dog: yap yap yap yap YELP (silence)
Seconds later
Pappa on balcony: hoot hoot to PPO
Rest of the evening (at least until I fell asleep about 5 minutes later): silence

I'm sure the dog is fine - a little startled by the silent 'attack' from Pappa. I have been on the receiving end myself and know how quickly and silently the owls fly. As an animal lover, I dislike any animal / bird being hurt so I would'nt encourage Pappa to do that again - even if I could. Although, if ask me again when I am dog-tired, perhaps you will get a different answer...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

15 September and all is well

We're back and I can't tell you how relieved I am to see Pot Plant Owl sitting happily on her eggs. Perhaps not happily - although she does look comfortable enough. Today is windy which makes the balcony cooler in the heat of the day.

Monday, September 12, 2011

12 September 2011 While we are Away

I've been watching Pot Plant Qwl while here in France. I'm looking forward to having the time to chat to everyone again and to see PPO and Pappa on Thursday.

I'll be logging in to the Ustream chat in the evening of Thursday, 15 September 2011, Central African Time.

Look forward to chatting to you then!

12 September and miles away

Now I understand the frustration that PPO followers feel when they cant see the live stream. Here I sit hundreds of Kilometres away in France, trying to access the chat and live streaming sites to check in on PPO and make sure everything is okay.

I wont bore you with the finer details suffice to say that a comedy of errors has led to me logging in on the internet in some dodgy hotel in France, desperately trying to learn the new key placings on the European style keyboards before my time runs out. The wine is good but the access to flash sites and live steaming is non-existant.

I trust PPO is doing well and I cant begin to say how excited I am to be seeing the owl family soon.

I will be back on Usteam live chat this Thursday - look forward to chatting then.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

7 September - the incubation period starts

In the last 24 hours, there have been a few teething problems with the viewing of the webcam on Africam, and the live chat facility on Ustream. I'm happy to report that everything is fixed and (hopefully) will run smoothly from now on.

The correct Ustream chat link is:

I tried getting on to the chat yesterday but had problems too.

Pot Plant Owl looks quite content in her pot plant. She is completely unfaxed by her Starling visitors who come in and steal her feathers for their nest (the loose feathers, that is).I hope the Starlings and other birds realise that PPO's calm attitude around them will not be for long. As soon as the chicks arrive and there are plenty of hungry mouths to feed, PPO will be looking at these birds differently. For now, it is great to see everyone living in harmony.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Three eggs - 5 September

The arrival of the third egg came in the early hours of the morning our time. By the time I woke up and got to my computer, someone on Facebook had told us there is a third egg.

For the past four years now, Pot Plant Owl has only laid three eggs, so this should be it now. Spotted Eagle Owls can lay up to four eggs but it depends on the availability of a good supply of food.

Judging by the 'well-rounded' figure that Pot Plant Owl has got at the moment, there is a chance that she may lay a fourth egg.

I will be chatting on the Ustream chat site as soon as the stream and chat are snychronised.

Two Eggs - 4 September

We decided to go out onto the balcony this evening to water the plants. As soon as Pot Plant Owl left the nest, we set off under the protection of an umbrella.
One holds the umbrella and watches for incoming, silent attacks, while the other one holds the watering jug and carefully waters the side of the container away from the eggs.

There are two eggs now and it looks like Pot Plant Owl will lay at least another one egg.