One of the jobs I’m not too keen on is cleaning out the pool skimmers which are the baskets at one end of the pool which catch all the floating stuff before the water goes through the pump. These baskets also hold the chlorine tablets which slowly dissolve and keep the water clear of algae.
I wear rubber gloves when handling the chlorine tablets but take them off when I clean out of the baskets – it’s much easier to loosen twigs, leaves and bits of grass with your bare hands.
Yesterday, I was rummaging around trying to dislodge the leaves and vegetation from the basket when something grabbed my finger and wouldn’t let go. In the fraction of a second it took for me to scream and pull my finger out (yes I know ’m a woosie), I thought of snakes, scorpions, water-loving vampire bats and all sorts of other undesirables which might have taken a fancy to my index finger.
It was even scarier when I did get my finger clear of the leaves. There was this huge black thing hanging off the end of my digit with its claws stuck in my flesh.
Once I’d stopped trying to shake it free in a state of near panic I realized the ‘poor’ thing was dead. Quite, quite dead, but in perfect working order unfortunately.
It was a stag beetle (pictured) and despite being as dead as a dodo its spiky, hairy legs had grabbed me and wouldn’t let go – even in death.
Eventually, I managed to get my finger free but the scare had me running for my rubber gloves before I attempted to clean the next basket.
It’s now in little Violet’s magnifying bug jar into which you put all sorts of creepie crawlies and then look through its magnifying lid whereupon every creature looks like something from the black lagoon. I have to say, the stag beetle looks horrific. She’s just gone to London for the weekend with her dad (Tan) and it’ll be waiting for her when she returns. I don’t see why I should be the only one who was scared by it!
PS – apologies if you found it difficult to read yesterday’s posting. The new blog template is not too good when you have a format problem in Word – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.