This morning while we were tending the garden (weeding, pruning branches, assessing ripeness), we heard a clunking from the direction of the deep end of the pool.  Rachel, who has very good ears and a keen sense of direction, placed the origin of the sound to the deep-end skimmer basket.  It sounded like someone was knock-knock-knocking on the skimmer’s plastic lid.  The noise stopped and we continued our work in the garden.

When we were finished, I moved to the skimmer to see what might have caused the odd sounds.  I opened the cover and—surprise!—discovered the biggest frog I have ever seen in our pool, sitting serenely at the bottom of the basket (the filter pump had not yet started; otherwise, the water and leaves would have been swirling around it).  This guy (I’m going to assume it was a male but how can one tell?) had to be at least eight inches long (and wide) with his legs tucked in; I imagine he would be well over a foot long with his hind legs kicked out.

I reached in to pull out the basket and free him but ol’ Boss Frog had other ideas.  He (or she, as the case may be) made a quick dive through the weir door and into the pool.  He first perched (under water) on the ledge of the skimmer inlet but when I tried to fish him out of there, he dove to the bottom of the pool to join his mates (at any given time, three or four frogs join us in the pool).  He’s a much better swimmer and diver than I am so there was no point trying to catch him down there.

Later, ol’ Boss Frog ended up back in the skimmer basket (as all frogs inevitably do) and this time, I was able to lift him out.  I carried him (and his entourage of three smaller frogs) to the fence near the ravine behind our pool and sent him on his way.  He was reluctant to go but I think he will be happier in his natural—and chlorine-free—environment.