This is certainly a year of firsts:
It is the first time that Pot Plant Owl has nested in the far pot plant container.
It is the first time (bar for that first year) that we've been caught completely unprepared for the nesting season - despite having balcony railing guards up, and cameras and microphone secured well in advance - all because PPO changed her nest, and left us all scrambling.
And now it seems like this may well be the year that Pot Plant Owl only lays two eggs -instead of her usual three eggs.
Such is Life: The minute you believe you have it all figured out, and you are in control, Life throws you a 'Life Curvebal'l and says 'Now what about this?'. And you have to take a step back, and figure it all out again.
Personally, I believe that the relentless development of our area, and the great Jozi area, is a factor in PPO only laying two eggs. With less vacant land, there are fewer snakes, insects, and rodents around, which means a shortage of food for 'our' owls.
This, combined with the cruel use of rat and other rodent poisons in the average home, makes Pappa and Pot Plant Owl's survival to this point truly remarkable. And I believe that within every creature (regretably my own species aside) lies the inherent knowledge of how many offspring they need to bring into this world to survive as a species, and to survive themselves.
Perhaps this is why PPO only has two eggs now.
Perhaaps I will wake up tomorrow morning to find another surprise in the nest, and be thrown that 'Life Curveball' again.
Whether it's one or two, or even three chicks that hatch and survive, each of them is remarkable and a privilege to watch.
And speaking of watching, those following on the webcam - please be patient. Sound WILL return. The picture WILL get better. And Pot Plant Owl and Pappa will be a joy in all our lives again.
All good things come to those that wait...