I’ve wanted a swimming pool since I was a little girl. Growing up, it was always my favorite summer activity. I remember fondly the summer my mom took me to a huge pool club and I would spend hours upon hours dreaming in the pool. My raft became a dolphin and I an amazing dolphin trainer. Or sometimes I’d press my feet together and try to swim like a mermaid. I felt graceful in the pool – something I rarely feel on dry land.
So last fall when I confided my dream to Cowboy of getting a pool, he found a way to make it happen. (Yes, I just love that man.) I watched from the front porch for 12 weeks while machines and craftsmen dug, rocked, and tiled the pool. Finally finished, I donned my bathing suit and watched eagerly as it began to fill with water (just a measly 27 hours).
And then the splashing began. We had my niece down from the big city (Chicago) to splish and splash. We bought pool toys, floated, and for the first time in my life, someone even told me I looked tan this summer. That’s because every chance I got, I was by the pool – swimming, reading, and enjoying the view of the horses. Blessed, simply blessed.
And then the ecosystem started. First, we had one or two frogs. Kind of cute. They were especially fond of the rock fountains. Then there were a dozen. Each night as Cowboy and I went to take a dip, we’d count frogs. I’m not sure when it happened, but all of a sudden we were up to over 40 frogs, then 50, then 60. Until one day, we counted nearly 100 frogs!
I googled to see how to make them move on, but no luck. Any solution would hurt or kill them, so not an option. And ultimately, it turns out they are great bug control. Let me be clear, we have no pond or other nearby water source, so how these crazy Kermits found us, I’m not quite sure. (Other than, obviously the animal kingdom has a network equivalent to Facebook, and I think we must be posted, shared, liked, and loved all over it.)
Back to our ecosystem … so one lovely evening during a warm swim, I was doing my nightly frog count, and a little face poked out of the rocks at me that I had not seen before. It took my brain a moment to register this creature, which was a mere 10 inches or so from my face.
My first thought was, “Oh, how cute. Wait, it doesn’t look like a frog. It has a tongue sticking out at me.” My second thought was “S-N-A-K-E!” Quickly followed by a panicked, “Out of the pool. Out of the pool. Out of the pool!”
Holy hades where did he come from? Well, you guessed it, we were serving up a lovely buffet of a snake’s favorite dish – Kermit a la poolside. He was more scared of me that I was of him, although I’m not sure that is entirely possible or true. And over the next week we had two of his associates show up as well. Fun science fact I somehow missed in biology, ALL snakes swim. (Once again, thank you Google. And yes, you heard me. A-L-L.)
Well Cowboy and my dad came to the rescue, and the snakes met their fate. Sorry fellas, swimming with snakes is not on my list of things to do. The Kermits are croaking and singing nightly, and we have purchased a snake grabber on Amazon. (Who knew … Amazon really does have everything.)
So yes, I’ve got my dream pool and we are loving every minute. But let me say, I am thanking my lucky stars for beautiful clear water that you can see what you are getting into, literally. Last night, as Cowboy and I stood on the porch, we listened as a giant hoot howl sounded very close. We hadn’t heard that before. So with my handy dandy phone I looked up their food source – furry creatures and (yep, you guessed it) frogs. Ribbit!
P.S. – I never liked swimming in lakes, but with my new all-snakes-swim revelation, I’m sticking to clear water from now on. No exceptions.