White Deer Twins on the Riverwalk

White Deer Twins on the Riverwalk
These rare white deer twins were born this summer and have found a safe home at Dan Daniel Park and on the Riverwalk
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My name is David Hoffman. I teach English and journalism at Averett University, but I have two side interests - writing and photography. I also enjoy walking daily with my English setter, Sadie, and my wife, Elizabeth, on the Danville, Virginia, Riverwalk. As a novice to studying nature, I am fascinated by the slightest facets of the great outdoors, but most of my pictures are of birds - I don't know a lot about them, but I am learning more and enjoying taking pictures of them daily. I also take pictures of plants, other animals, and insects. All pictures posted for each day were taken on the day of my blog entry.

Leave a comment if you have the time or e-mail me at dhoffman@averett.edu


Sunday, April 25, 2010


(APRIL 24, 25, 2010) SATURDAY - This morning on the Riverwalk, we were greeted by a flock of Canada geese flying over and a couple of mallards settling on the side of the hill even before we had left the parking lot to start our morning walk. In the dark woods Sadie enjoyed chasing the squirrels and watching for geese in shadows of the trees.

As we approached the mile marker, I stopped to talk with another walker who petted Sadie. As we were standing there, we noticed a large image in the sky. I took a few pictures, and the walker ask me, "What was that?" I enlarged the picture on my camera, showed him the image, and pointed out that the great blue heron looks very different in the air than it does with its long legs on the ground or in the water.

Another walker told me that there were baby geese up ahead. I walked on, but never saw the goslings. The adult geese tend to be a bit skittish when they see a four legged animal (Sadie) and duck their babies into the underbrush. I did see the nesting white goose who rests on the debri next to the bridge going over to the train station.

On the way back to the car, near the parking lot, we saw a slow moving creature crossing the street; it was a box turtle. I kept Sadie away from the moving shell to allow the little guy an unhindered venture into the tall grass where it was headed.

But, of all that caught my attention this cool morning, the multiple plants that were budding were the most interesting. They were in the trees, on the ground, even on plants growing out of the side of walls. It is like nature is ready to spring forth in all her brilliance at any moment. As I stopped to photograph them, Sadie would come over to see what I was looking at. Sometimes she would walk right over the plant I was getting ready to shoot; sometimes I would take the shot and have only her rear end in the shot. But, as someone reminded me last night at a party, "It's not only David's walk in the park; it is also Sadie's." I miss several shots each day with Sadie pulling or getting into the picture, but if I were to choose to go the park with only a camera or only Sadie, I would not hesitate to choose Sadie.

The abundance of buds moved me to write poetry on this spring day (OK - limericks which are kinda poetry). Here are the three that were inspired:


The smell of the buds is so sweet;
Small buds of the spring look so neat
While hanging around
All over the ground;
To the nose and the eyes they're a treat.


Small buds of the spring look so neat
As I photograph them at my feet;
Sadie sniffs them with glee
'til one harbors a bee,
Then the dog runs away in retreat.


Small flowers bud up on the trail;
They give Sadie nice objects to smell.
She jumps into the frame
As I focus my aim
And my last shot was one of her tail.

SUNDAY: We ventured forth this morning though it was misting rain as we left the garage. I forgot to take a towel to towel us off if we got soaked, as we often do, with the rain. Fortunately, we were spared the rain and enjoyed a 2.5 mile walk down toward Angler's Park from Dan Daniel Park. Sadie did find another box turtle in the high grass, and I allowed her the chance to sniff it. I did something, somewhat, unkind to the dog. As her nose neared the shell, I would let forth a hissing sound; she would jump back. I did this a couple of times, and then we moved on and enjoyed the rest of the walk.

These were two great days on the Riverwalk.

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