I've loved swimming pools ever since my grandfather bought me my first three-foot-deep above-the-ground pool when I was eight. I knew how to swim before then, and once I had a water source, I often spent hours in it. Mom very quickly enforced the "get your chores done first then you can get in the pool" rule.
There are lots of memories wrapped up in the pools of my youth. One of the most vivid is of a neighbor's granddaughter coming over and insisting that she swim in that very first pool of mine and then crying and howling because she got wet. (The looks on our faces were priceless.)
Especially in the desert, pools are magnets for wildlife. I've gone out and found a snake (alive), a gopher (dead), and a pot-bellied pig in the pool. Michael Phelps could not have beat me out of the pool the day I found I was sharing it with that snake! And let me tell you, trying to get a floundering pot-bellied pig out of the pool on your own is NOT fun!
But the saddest thing is going out and finding wildlife that have fallen in and drowned because there was no way for them to get out. I don't like fishing dead critters out of the pool, so when I stumbled across "escape ramps" to prevent this from happening, you know I had to get them. I don't know if these have saved any critters, but I do know that our resident Abert's towhees love playing on them. I'm looking forward to taking photos of the towhees in action once the pool water has warmed up enough for me to get in.
Time for those links. Head 'em up! Mooove 'em out!
►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- "Botanical sexism" could be the reason behind your seasonal allergies.
- A TV star and his stunt double explore the last days of the Golden Age in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
- A study reveals that children get most of their genes from their maternal grandmother. (In my case, I would agree with this study.)
- An unmistakable voice: insights into the one and only Alan Rickman. (I could listen to that man's voice for hours.)
- A Maine bookstore in Kennebunk is dedicated to murder mysteries and is definitely worth investigating.
- For the first time, researchers have found the color red preserved in a fossil.
- In 1945, a Japanese balloon bomb killed six Americans, five of them children, in Oregon.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- The Clotilda, the last known slave ship to arrive in the U.S., has been found.
- Two unseen photographs of Queen Victoria are being released in honor of her 200th birthday.
- Worn-out teeth expand the narrative of the ancient Egyptian career woman.
- Found: The earliest evidence of humans cooking and eating starch.
- A huge 19th-century circus poster has been found in the walls of a Wisconsin bar.
- A deep dive into the plans to take tourists to the Titanic.
- A historic Ferrari worth millions was stolen during a test drive.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- An alligator was found relaxing on a gator raft in a Florida pool. (Ya just can't make this stuff up.)
- An artificial olfaction expert explains why a dog's sense of smell is still superior to any amount of computer code.
- Bonobo mothers interfere in their sons' monkey business.
- The Tower of London welcomes baby ravens for the first time in thirty years.
- For the past decade, a mama duck has paraded her ducklings down a nursing home hallway in New York.
- Solved: How the "monstrous" iguanas of the Bahamas got so darn big.
- There's a monument to Malchik, a stray dog who lived in a Moscow metro station until his tragic death.
- The science behind a hummingbird's hover.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- Take a look at the medieval Yorkshire manor house with a moat. It's been in the same family since 1310. (The article shows photos of its library.)
►I ♥ Lists◄
- The twenty best cities to visit for book lovers, from Los Angeles to Lagos.
- Five letters that changed the world.
- Top ten end-of-the-world novels, from Ballard to Pratchett.
- Thirteen common mistakes in book reviewing and how to avoid them.
- Six of the best bad women in fiction.
That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!