A Daily Walk With DietPower
Walking is the best exercise for weight loss. And the things you see!
This white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) looked over its shoulder at me from the underbrush along King Street today. It's only the second deer I've seen on my walk this year, even though the neighborhood is teeming with them. One evening in 2007, I followed a parade of 14 along Round Hill Drive.
There's an easy explanation: during the noon hour, when I walk, deer usually sleep in the woods. (When this one's enormous ears picked up the sound of my camera shutter, it leaped back into the dark space at upper-left.) Their most active hours are dawn and dusk, when they come out onto the lawns and meadows to feed.
Unfortunately, deer love to eat flowers, vegetables, fruit, shrubs, saplings—almost anything you hope to see flourishing on your estate. Unless you build a 12-foot fence or coat your posies with a foul-smelling repellent, you'll wake up some morning to find your garden clipped as short as a golf green.
Meanwhile, deer spread the ticks that infect humans with Lyme disease (first identified in Lyme, Connecticut, just 80 miles east of here), which damages the heart, joints, and nervous system. Arthritis, memory loss, and mood swings ensue. In some cases, the symptoms show up only years after the original infection. The disease is estimated to cost Americans $2 billion a year—of which Connecticut pays a huge share. In my neighborhood, everyone knows at least half a dozen friends and relatives who've had Lyme.
When I was growing up in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, we had a perfect solution: hunting. A 15-cent rifle shell could put 100 pounds of venison in the freezer. Hunting was deeply embedded in the culture. On the "first day of buck" each December, factories and offices closed. For two weeks, towns like Horseshoe, Punxsutawney, and Altoona observed Deer Lonely Ladies Sales Days. The universal greeting among men during that fortnight was, "’Juh git yer deer yet?"
Back then, I never hunted ("He's kinda strange," I suppose people said), but I certainly wish I could hunt now. Hunting is against the law in these parts. Too many cocktail parties and soccer games for stray bullets to hit.
I have a paint gun in my office, a relic of my oldest son's high-school days. I would at least like to send one of these vermin loping about the neighborhood with an embarrassing white bullseye on its flank. But unlike rifle bullets, paintballs fly slower than the speed of sound. Invariably, my quarry hears the fop! of the gun and leaps to safety milliseconds before the ball arrives.
But I'm still "learning my lead," as the Pennsylvania folk say. One day, I'll aim just far enough in front of the critter's nose to see him leap straight into my shot.
I'll post his humiliating picture here. But first I'll need to talk to my lawyer. Everything is illegal in Connecticut.
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
Thursday, June 18: Drenched!
Wednesday, June 17: They Sprang up Like Mushrooms
Tuesday, June 16: Where Time Doesn't Count
Monday, June 15: Behind a Basketball
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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