A Daily Walk With DietPower
Walking is the best exercise for weight loss. And the things you see!
As I've said before, every good picture tells a story—or in this case, presents a mystery.
Walking down the South King Street hill today, I spied a well-worn basketball sitting in a tiny brook fed by a waterfall spilling from a concrete dam that runs parallel to the road.
Although I've been passing this dam every day for 16 years, I still don't know who built it, or why. It has a tiny sluice, about a foot wide, to the left of the waterfall (out of the picture), but the sluice is dry because the little lake behind the dam (about the size of my living room) long ago filled up with silt that sprouted weeds, which gradually turned into lawn. Meanwhile, the brook has dredged a new channel that dumps it into a drainpipe running under the road just in front of the basketball.
One of the highlights of my walk is listening for the burble of the brook as I come down the street. After a thunderstorm, it turns to a loud shooosh! In dry spells, it drips like a leaky faucet.
Sometimes I hear a long-ago past in that pleasant sound. The concrete in the dam is deeply weathered, and the neighborhood is 300 years old.
I usually imagine scenes from the 1800s. Back then, King Street was part of the King's Highway, a toll road connecting New York and Connecticut. I see a tiny waterwheel mounted in the sluice, driving an animated road sign or some other hydrokinetic novelty that serves as a landmark. Travelers stop here to water their horses. Locals, sporting parasols and mutton chops, dally after the morning service at the King Street Church, drinking lemonade and discussing events of the day—Alexander Bell's new telegraph that you can actually talk over, Nat Turner's Rebellion (Danbury was an abolitionist hotbed), the Pullman Strike, Dan Patch's 1:55 record in the mile.
Instead of this Currier & Ives vision, however, today I see a scuffed orange basketball lodged in the stream. What does it mean? At that house up there in the woods last evening, a mother interrupted a game of "Horse" to announce dinner, the ball rolled away as the boy and his father came inside to wash up, and they forgot about the basketball because the boy had a history paper due this morning?
Maybe the boy's paper was about the Civil War. Or, come to think of it, the invention of basketball, which happened in 1891 when phys-ed teacher James Naismith mounted peach baskets on ten-foot ladders at opposite ends of a YMCA gymnasium in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.
Someday I'll walk up to that house and ask the owner about his missing basketball and the history of the dam. I'll bet the truth is more interesting than what I've imagined.
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
Sunday, June 14: Flags for Elijah
Saturday, June 13: Crawling into a Daisy
Friday, June 12: Life Under a Warm Green Lantern
Thursday, June 11: Shell Game
Wednesday, June 10: Fearless Fox
Tuesday, June 9: Wet Clover
Monday, June 8: Two Bees, or Not Two Bees
Sunday, June 7: A Gorgeous Glutton
Saturday, June 6: Two Clowns
Friday, June 5: My Favorite Mailbox
Thursday, June 4: The Tomato's Deadly Cousin
Wednesday, June 3: Electric Pink
Tuesday, June 2: Lucky Boy
Monday, June 1: Six-Figure Mower
Sunday, May 31: Cool in the Shade
Saturday, May 30: Under the Butternut Tree
Friday, May 29: Awaiting a Pink Explosion
Thursday, May 28: I Shoot a Chipmunk
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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