The level of swamp water in the swimming pool has been dropping slowly but steadily as the sump pump grinds on. Eventually the pump becomes too gunked up with congealed algae and leaves in the shallow water, and we must empty the rest of the pool by hand. Time for a bucket brigade!
The bucket brigade starts with me down in the bottom of the pool, trying not to slip on the sloped surface, scooping up buckets full of rank liquid. Allysen and Jayce are positioned topside, taking the pails from me. There’s no really handy place to dump the slop, so they decide to hurl the water through a wrought iron fence into the empty lot beyond. Memo for the future: It’s really important how you aim the bucketful of water. If you don’t, it has a tendency to come right back at you.
The iguana is back in the pool!
We have had a variety of wildlife visitations to the pool, starting with the tarantula, and followed by a South American cane toad (with toxic skin). They may all be looking for water, but the pool is now empty. Today (January 21), we sight our first iguana, lounging at the pool’s edge. (Jayce just missed it, as she took the 3 a.m. flight home, and in fact has just texted to report wheels down in Boston.) Ugly sucker, very prehistoric in appearance.
Everyone stops work to gawk at the critter, which soon goes into the empty pool, keeping Estevan company as he power washes the sides of the pool.
Eventually he drives the iguana out, and it disappears over the hill. An hour later, it reappears. I chase it away with a broom, and again it disappears over the hill.
Half an hour later it’s back. In the pool. Or no, this is a different one—larger and greener in color, perhaps four feet long from nose to tip of tail, and a foot and a half long in main body. What it hopes to gain in a dry pool, I do not know. It seems to be thinking the same thing.
What we’re going to do about it, I do not know. Leaving it to poop in the newly cleaned pool is not an option. Apparently this is a common problem in the area, for anyone who maintains a pool. In fact, iguanas have undergone a population explosion on the island (to which they are an invasive species, imported as pets and released), and now pose a serious threat to fruit crops and other commerce. The government actively encourages the practice of killing them and selling the meat. This one eventually comes to its end at the hands of Michael the tree man, who grabs it, balls it up, and dispatches it out of our sight.
Here’s a National Geo clip on the iguana plague:
(Coming next in Part 12, a visit to the tax man!)[To read The Ponce Chronicles in order, start here.]