Fri 4/3/09

A Daily Walk With DietPower

Walking is the best exercise for weight loss. And the things you see!


It's a rainy day in Connecticut, and the forsythia are about to pop.

After shooting this specimen, near the corner of Roundhill Road and Judith Drive, I began wondering how the plant got its name. When I got home, I googled.

In 1779, King George III appointed a Scotsman, William Forsyth, chief gardener at Kensington Palace. Forsyth was already famous for creating the first rock garden in Britain, using lava imported from Iceland.

The new gardener became an even bigger celebrity, however, when he invented a special plaster for healing damaged fruit trees. He kept the formula secret at first, but the government wanted it for improving the royal oak forests, a strategic asset for shipbuilding. The lawmakers finally enticed Forsyth to make it public. His incentive was a grant of 1500 pounds—worth $200,000 today.

The recipe turned out to be cow dung, wood ashes, lime, and sand mixed with urine, then whisked to a fine paste.

Forsyth also won fame for gracing the gardens of England with exotic foreign shrubs and flowers. One shrub, imported from China, had long, flexible canes that sprouted blazing yellow flowers in spring, before its leaves emerged. Forsyth asked that it be named after him, and when he died, in 1804, it was.

And now you know. And so do I.

Download DietPower and lose poundsAbout 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, 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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