Water draws me, wherever it is – lake, ocean, pool. We opened our pool this week and I’ve been in it twice already. Its temp now 72, warm enough to do some walking and a few laps, before hypothermia sets in. Too bad the air temps have been in the upper 50s, but if you keep moving, it’s not bad.
I always enjoy discovering what the day leaves in the pool. Yesterday, it was a spider the size of a saucer, or so it seemed. I looked up what I saw, and it was a wolf spider. Turns out these spiders are energetic hunters with excellent eyesight. They are solitary and hunt alone in woodlands and suburban gardens, so they’re out there around our house. I am not a fan of spiders, but I respect them and what they do to hold down the insect population, so I picked this one up with a net and set it free on the pool deck. I’ve noticed they can move on the water surface for a while; one lived just inside one of the pool drains last year and grabbed insects as they floated by. A real opportunist!
The next thing I removed from the pool definitely gave me the yuck factor: a slug, a shell-less terrestrial mollusk. Their bodies, like ours, are made up mostly of water, and without a full-sized shell, their tissues are prone to desiccation. We have skin, but the slug makes a protective mucus to survive. And yes, this one was slimy! They are most active just after a rain, and it rained hard yesterday, which is why this one was probably on the edge of the pool. I had to look up what they’re good for: slugs play an important role in the ecosystem by eating decaying plant material and fungi.
Today, it was a plethora of small, fluffy Cardinal feathers.
Can’t wait to see what I find tomorrow!