Living on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest creates some incredible opportunities to interact with fauna that don’t usually make it into the city. Our swimming pool has become a magnet for all kinds of critters, apparently. Some get in on purpose, and others seem to fall in by accident.
Above is a Predaceous Diving Beetle (family Dytiscidae) that my biologist friend Rob found in our pool. These things eat other insects, and even small fish. They will bite people, but are not known to be poisonous. There are dozens and dozens of species, subspecies and tribes of these things, and in some countries they are human food. Rob fished him out and we put him in a dish top take this picture.
A few days later, while cleaning the pool, I found a Coast Horned Lizard stuck under the automatic vacuum in the deep end of the pool. I was sure he was dead when I fished him out, but once on the deck he moved his eyes and opened his mouth. I was stunned that he could live that long under water. I placed him on the outside of the fence, beyond the dog’s reach, and within an hour he had apparently revived and disappeared into the brush.
I really love living in the canyon!