A Daily Walk With DietPower
Walking is the best exercise for weight loss. And the things you see!
I've been trying for months to photograph one of the chipmunks on my walking route. I know of at least five. Chipmunks are notoriously camera-shy. They're also well camouflaged. Ordinarily, I don't see them at all. I only hear their alarm whistle—a single, explosive shriek—followed by rustling in the leaves. If I'm lucky, I see a flash of tawny coat as the animal darts into the underbrush.
Today I got really lucky.
As I was walking down the northbound lane of Middle River Drive, this little guy whistled, ran into a rain-spattered poison-ivy thicket, stopped behind a couple of fallen maple twigs, and froze.
I, too, halted, watching the chipmunk out of the corner of my eye as I slide the camera from my pocket. He must have thought I couldn't see him. Either that or chipmunks know that a middle-aged guy wearing shorts doesn't wade into poison ivy.
Meanwhile, a car rounded a corner and sped toward me.
From experience, I knew the chipmunk would flee as the car approached. I also knew the animal would bolt as I turned toward him, unless I kept the camera between him and my face. (Like crows, chipmunks are wary of eye contact.)
Quickly, I set the shutter to take three pictures one second apart. Then I raised the camera and slowly pivoted toward the chipmunk as the car bore down on me. No longer facing the car, I had nothing to warn me of danger but my ears.
Pressing the zoom button, I frantically panned the thicket as the leaves and twigs grew larger in the viewfinder. Where was the chipmunk? Had he already fled?
There! Centering the animal, I held my breath, squeezed the shutter, heard the first click, felt a rush of wind as the car flew by, and saw the chipmunk vanish before the second click. The shot on this page was the only one I got.
And amazingly, the autofocus seems to have fixed precisely on the animal's eye, ignoring the twigs in the foreground. Is the Lumix a smart camera, or what?
About this page: Precisely at noon each day, I step out of my office for a 3.5-mile walk around my Connecticut neighborhood. I carry a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TX5 pocket camera with a Leica 10x optical zoom lens. My object is to make an interesting photograph of at least one thing that is different that day. I post the results here, hoping they will inspire you and your friends to walk, too. —Terry Dunkle, DietPower founder and CEO.
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All My Yesterdays
Wednesday, May 27: Who Dropped the Ball?
Tuesday, May 26: Out Standing in Their Field
Monday, May 25: Flags Galore!
Sunday, May 24: House of Patriots
Saturday, May 23: Memorial in a Rusty Hinge
Friday, May 22: The Sexually Clever Iris
Thursday, May 21: Raising the Wrong Baby
Wednesday, May 20: An Old Friend Is Dying
Tuesday, May 19: Crow vs. Hawk
Monday, May 18: Yours Truly
Sunday, May 17: A Wild Geranium
Saturday, May 16: War Flowers
Friday, May 15: A Mysterious Barn
Thursday, May 14: Who Invented the Microscope?
Wednesday, May 13: The Kitchen Sink
Tuesday, May 12: Slow Down!
Monday, May 11: What Lilacs Are For
Sunday, May 10: Mama Butterfly
Saturday, May 9: Gone to Seed
Friday, May 8: A Pack of Boston Terriers
Thursday, May 7: Underground Passage
Wednesday, May 6: White Violet
Tuesday, May 5: Singing His Heart Out
Monday, May 4: Kenny's Secret
Sunday, May 3: Monument to an Afternoon
Saturday, May 2: Gasoline Rainbow
Friday, May 1: The Duck and the Bashful Maiden
Thursday, April 30: A Poison Ivy Sandwich
Wednesday, April 29: The Very Picture of Spring
Tuesday, April 28: A Busy Bumblebee
Monday, April 27: Electric Pink
Sunday, April 26: Saturday Night Special
Saturday, April 25: An Old Oak Falls
Friday, April 24: How an Ant Sees a Daffodil
Thursday, April 23: The Nameless Brook
Wednesday, April 22: Weeding Time
Tuesday, April 21: Wet Apple Buds
Monday, April 20: Mr. Allen and the Crew Team
Sunday, April 19: Bloodroot II
Saturday, April 18: Green Jellybeans
Friday, April 17: Bloodroot
Thursday, April 16: Skunk Cabbage III
Wednesday, April 15: Find the Critter
Tuesday, April 14: Blessing of the Animals
Monday, April 13: The Crow Who Said "Wow!"
Sunday, April 12: A Quirky Church
Saturday, April 11: Self-Portrait in a Pothole
Friday, April 10: Easter flowers
Thursday, April 9: Dumb as a Squirrel
Wednesday, April 8: April Snow
Tuesday, April 7: Egg Trees, Connecticut Style
Monday, April 6: I Carry My Lunch
Sunday, April 5: A Tree in Spring
Saturday, April 4: Pigs with Drivers Licenses
Friday, April 3: Forsythia
Thursday, April 2: Skunk Cabbage II
Wednesday, April 1: Mystery of the Hanging Shoes
Tuesday, March 31: Downy Woodpecker
Monday, March 30: 300-Year-Old House
Sunday, March 29: The Broken Fence
Saturday, March 28: "You're Such a Delight"
Friday, March 27: Skunk Cabbage
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