In the first year the owls nested with us, Allan and I gave them total carte blanche. The owls had the full rein of the balcony, the garden, half of our patio, part of the driveway etc. We left the garden alone, and for three months let the weeds grow like wildfire.
After the first year, we decided that perhaps that was taking the 'hospitality' a little too far. We used more of our own house - much to the dismay of PPO and Pappa who quite enjoyed the almost-exclusive use of their holiday home. And we mowed our lawns - although not too often. Just enough to be able to manage the grass and weeds.
Today is lawn day. And I have the task of turning the jungle that is our garden into a decent suburban lawn again. I've just pushed the electric lawn mower onto the grass, and a pair of sharp, piercing eyes stare at me from the balcony above. PPO is not impressed.
I talk to her:
"Yes, Pot Plant Owl - I'll be making a bit of noise now and your peace will be disturbed for a short while, but I've got to do it. The South African census people are coming to our house tomorrow to collect the form. If I don't do something about this jungle, they are going to come in with a bulldozer to make a pathway in. And then where will we be?"
Pot Plant Owl just stares at me. She's not interested in any excuse (reason!) I come up with. She's giving me 'that' look as if to say "I'm watching you!"