Wed 5/20/09

A Daily Walk With DietPower

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

Old ash tree

I have passed this century-old ash tree nearly every day for 16 years, and come to know it as a friend. Now my old friend is dying. Last spring, its leaves emerged small and sparse. This spring, only a few scattered branches have any leaves at all.

I guessed that the tree had been discovered by the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle from Asia that is thought to have arrived in the United States in packing crates more than a decade ago. It was first discovered in Michigan in 2002, and has since spread to many states and killed at least 25 million ash trees. Some experts predict that it will drive the ash tree to virtual extinction, like the American Elm. But nowhere could I find reports of its having reached Connecticut.

I phoned entomologist Louis Magnarelli, my state's chief plant regulatory official. He said that the beetle probably won't arrive in Connecticut for eight years or so. More likely, he said, the tree is dying either because it can't compete with the sugar maples springing up around it, or from Yellowing Disease, thought to be caused by a fungus or some other pathogen. Ash trees are also vulnerable to drought.

A 97-year-old ash tree died in my own back yard several years ago, and I still miss it. I haven't planted a replacement tree, partly because I know I'll be retired in a sunnier clime before the new tree becomes huge and wonderful like the old.

This reminds me of a Chinese adage: "The best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago."

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

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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