Tuesday, January 23, 2007

And She Huffed And She Puffed And She Blew The Thing Down



No, it wasn't the Big Bad Wolf of fairy tale fame. At this point I can't remember if it was Katrina or Wilma, but my neighbor's screened swimming pool enclosure was definately down! A complete loss. A mess!

Folks screen their pools for a variety of reasons, from keeping the mosquitos at bay to keeping leaves from dropping into the pool. It keeps dogs out of the water, and since the bottom few feet of the enclosure is solid panels of aluminum it also helps to keep wayward toddlers from falling in and drowning.

One thing it doesn't keep out is alligators. Usually during winter, the dry season in south Florida, a lot of the Everglades dries up and the alligators head for the deeper canals. Sometimes they swim downstream into the urban areas in search of food and suprise some homeowner who finds one sunning in their back yard. Sometimes they'll even roam overland a few blocks through suburbia under cover of darkness, looking for a tasty kitty or doggy if no racoon or 'possum can be found. Then the urge to return to water overcomes the beast. In their tiny brain a swimming pool is as good as any canal. After all, water is water! So a few hundred pounds of lumbering reptile makes his way through the enclosure and into the pool. The home owner going for his morning swim is in for a big surprise. Between county Animal Control and the TV news guys the pool will be off limits for a few hours. It was weeks before this screened enclosure could keep anything out!

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