Tuesday, August 28, 2012

27 Aug and PPO is looking good

This past week I've noticed a distinct 'roundness' to Pot Plant Owl. For a number of nights, we've watched her on the neighbour's rooftop - standing looking out onto the wetland. This 'full-figured-look' is typical of this time of year. Just before the breeding period starts, Pappa hunts for PPO, while she does as little as she can and conserves her energy. Good girl, PPO! (How do you get that right?)

The balcony is prepared for their arrival. Africam guys came in and installed not one, but two fantastic cameras for the webcam streaming. New camera angles should make this season an exciting one!

Of course, in the back of my mind is always the thought that perhaps we may not be so lucky this time, and the owls may decide NOT to nest. We had a close call the year after PPO and Pappa first arrived on our balcony.

That second year, we watched PPO sporting her 'fuller figure' and Pappa flying in and out like Mr Delivery with food for her. At the time, we were putting the finishing touches to our book on the owls so we only watched them with half an eye.

Suddenly one day the owls disappeared. The August date marking the start of the previous years' breeding season came and went, without an owl or an egg in sight. Two, three weeks went by and absolutely no sign of our feathered friends. I'll never forget writing that last entry in our book - mixed emotions and tears streaming down my face. We thought that was it. We had been given one chance - just one -of being up close and personal to these beautiful creatures. I was heartbroken to think that the owls would not return, but eternally grateful that we had captured everything in photographs and words.

The day we submitted the final copy of our book to the printers,having given up hope that the owls would return, PPO flew to the pot plant and laid an egg - just like that! Before settling down in her nest, she shot me a look that said 'Took your time, silly human. Glad you finally got it'. It was as if she was waiting until I got it - we got it.

So what did we 'get'?

Like church bells ringing, the message rang out:

Take nothing for granted.
Appreciate every moment you have.
Nothing is 'owed' to you, so in everything that you do and have and experience, feel gratitude.

And don't count your chickens (or owls) before they hatch!


  1. What a wonderful blog. Thank you so much!

  2. PPO is wise beyond her years and we are wise for watching her and learning what we can, when we have the chance. What a privilege we have been given. Certainly do hope that PPO is "eggnant" and that she will choose your patio again for all of us to be able to learn more of PPO's wise teachings. I go by the name of Phlebldy in chat. Have a great day.

  3. Tracy, Thank you for the update and words of wisdom from your past experience with PPO & Papa. I have been very eager for this season to begin, yet I know PPO & Papa will do as they want, when they want. One thing is for sure, the chatters will be here! ~kznco

  4. Absolutely wonderful and moving as always Tracy. Love the "Nothing is 'owed' to you, so in everything that you do and have and experience, feel gratitude." Such wisdom from someone of your tender years :-)
    I am so grateful to you and to Africam and of course to PPO and Pappa!

  5. Wishing and hoping. Can't wait to see those beautiful creatures again. Thanks Tracy