Owning a pool in South Florida is kind of like having a giant reptile trap. Though it doesn't work very efficiently, I've pulled three snakes and one lizard from my pool in the last year.
If you know anything about reptiles, you recognize how dangerous a pool can be. The cool water basically slows them down to a point where they're totally helpless. Besides the simple fact that there's no easy way to climb out of my pool, a brick border makes the edge nearly impossible to scale, even if they can somehow make it past the slick tile below the brick.
This is a Knight Anole. Anolis Equestris. This particular anole is native to Cuba. (The Green Anole is the only anole native to South Florida.)
You can easily see how I got him out of the water. No touching for me! This little guy would as soon bite my finger off (cold or not) as look at me. So the pool net had to do.
Earlier this year, I pulled a simple green snake from the pool. The satellite TV guy, who was there installing our dish, was pretty unhappy with me, too. "A sneeeake is a sneeeake," he drawled at me with a light Caribbean accent. I smiled and assured him it was well into the neighbors grass.
I guess that's one of the things I really do love about this place (there are so few, most days).
When I swim in the pool, if I pay attention, I'll see upwards of 15 lizards out on the rocks, catching sun. At night, frogs climb around on the windows in our sun porch. And they sleep in the various lamps we've got hanging out there.
Birds of all kinds come to drink from the fishpond's waterfall, or to take a bath in the pond itself. Especially in the Autumn and Spring, during heavy migrations, there are hundreds of them every day, ranging from the smallest finches to white egrets.
Right now there are at least three cocoons hanging from the side of our house, or from some plant in our back garden. And more butterflies than you can count.