Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Additional thoughts on having a swimming pool

Last Fall as I was preparing to close the pool for the season I opined here whether having a pool was worth the time and effort it took to open, maintain and close it in light of the limited season and opportunity for use. Well, it's a new season  and I'm happy to say that all of my doubts as to the wisdom of pool ownership have disappeared and my enthusiasm has been restored.

This Spring none of the circumstances that delayed opening the pool were present and I was intent on getting the cover off and the water cleared up before the local amphibian community showed up to claim it as their breeding ground.  Alex and I got the cover off in late May and I was pleasantly shocked to discover that the water was mostly clear - I could actually see the bottom o,f the pool which has never been the case before! This development encouraged me to get the pump and filter operational as soon as possible and that process, too, went more smoothly than I had hoped and by the first of June I had the whole system up and running without a sign of any leaks or other complications.

I only had to shock and vacuum the pool twice to get the water to a crystal clear state and the chemicals adjusted to proper levels and by the weekend I was able to declare the pool open and ready for use. The first weekend in June has always been my target date but this is the first year I ever made it! The early  June weather, always a questionable variable around here, cooperated and soon the water temperature had reached 75 degrees and the air temperature topped 80 - that's all the reason I need to get naked and jump into the pool! It's the middle of June and I've already  probably been in the water more times than I was all last Summer.

There's been just one small complication to my uninhibited enjoyment of my time on the pool deck or in the pool - it seems a couple of gray tree frogs also claimed squatting (or whatever they do) rights to the territory. I first spotted them sitting on top of the rail as I was working to get the pool open but they seemed harmless enough so I let them be. Soon after I got the filter running I discovered the two of them in the skimmer - sadly, one had not survived the ordeal. I put the remaining frog back on the rail where I had first seen him and wished him well, but I was sad that he had lost his mate.

A few days went by and I had not seen Mr. Frog although I could hear his cohorts calling in the woods around the pool. Yesterday as I drifted around on my float I spotted something peeking out from under one of the corner covers on the deck; closer inspection revealed it to be Mr. Frog himself. Apparently he has established residency there and before long I heard him calling to his brethren, presumably in search of a mate. This afternoon, Alex and I spotted him sticking his head out from under the corner cap again, and before long he started to issue the distinctive "Braaack" call unique to his species - sadly, there was no reply and I feared he had lost his opportunity to find a mate. I needn't have been so pessimistic. Tree frogs are nocturnal creatures so all he needed to do to get a response was wait until nightfall.

Tonight the air is filled with the calls of love-sick tree frogs and I'm hopeful that Mr. Frog will find his true love. I just hope he doesn't plan on raising his brood in my pool, because that's just not going to happen - I know of a nearby frog pond that I could recommend to him.

But having a pool - oh yeah, it's worth it!

1 comment:

  1. That is the saddest story that I’ve read about tree frogs, and I wish it will find a mate soon. But it could not be avoided, and I don't think you'd want to be swimming with frogs any time soon. Kidding aside, it's good that you’ve changed your mind regarding your pool. Swimming pools may be a luxury for some, but it’s really ideal to have, especially come summer time. Enjoy!

    Lindsay Wood @ PoolShopWA