When there is a difficult decision to make, I am the biggest procrastinator around. First I think about the situation, and then I think some more. My mind processes possible outcomes, and eventually comes up with one that, ultimately, will be the path that I will take. But instead of jumping right in with both feet and dealing with it, I take a step back and ignore the situation. Eventually something usually happens to spur me into action and I take that decisive step into the territory known as "crunch time".
I reached that point this morning with what to do with my sweet Pot Plant Owl. It came to me as I sat at the window and watched the rain falling down on her already drenched feathers. Her false ear tufts almost lay flat on her head, and she looked smaller and more vulnerable faithfully protecting her eggs that, I am almost 100% sure, are not viable.
I have to respect their privacy and give Pot Plant Owl and Pappa some space. Sooner or later, PPO will realise that sitting on her eggs will not make a difference to the outcome - the eggs are not hatching. Maybe she's already come to that conclusion but is also procrastinating or ignoring the facts.
As strange as it may sound to many people, I believe that animals and birds pick up all our thoughts and feelings. And maybe, just maybe, Pot Plant Owl knows that her eggs are not viable but she wants to 'show us all' that she is still trying. I liken it to my dying grandmother hanging on for a few hours in order for her daughters to gather around her to say goodbye.
Pot Plant Owl is not going anywhere, but she needs to be given the permission to 'let go' now. The best way I can do that for her is to give her her privacy.
Regretably for you viewers, this means that if an egg doesn't hatch by Sun 14th October, we will switch the webcam off early next week. This will allow PPO to decide how she is going to handle the situation. We will obviously be here to keep an eye on her, but otherwise she won't be the focus of so many people's attention.
Will she lay eggs again this season? I honestly can't say. This is a first for us so who knows. We will keep you informed.