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


Friday, April 23, 2010


"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." - Rachel Louise Carson, 1907 - 1964

(APRIL 22, 2010) Rachel Carson wrote to Reader's Digest in 1945 and suggested a story idea to show the effects of DDT on humans. Researchers in her Maryland town were studying the effects of DDT finding, as she suggested in her proposal to Reader's Digest, "what other effects DDT may have if applied to wide areas: what it will do to insects that are beneficial or even essential; how it may affect waterfowl, or birds that depend on insect food;whether it may upset the whole delicate balance of nature if unwisely used."

Her proposal to Reader's Digest was rejected. 17 years later she published Silent Spring, and her name became a household name as one who helped save the earth from chemicals.

On this Earth Day, I had the opportunity to see the sun come up over Dan Daniel Park and watch it go down at Angler's Park. Being surrounded by nature on such a day was a humbling experience. Watching the beauty of the geese as they flew in and landed on the field near Dan Daniel Park, seeing small sparrows in the trees, smelling the sweetness of Spring in the cool April air, feeling the soft breeze on my skin, hearing the call of the red-winged blackbirds in the evening, and watching, with keen interest, the sandpiper that had found its way into the marsh at Angler's Park made the day special.

But also among the beauty of nature were signs that humans had been there. As a small effort to do my part on Earth Day, I decided to pick up trash along Angler's Park as I came upon it and stuff it in my pockets. When I came to a trash can, I deposited the trash accordingly.

All seemed right with the world until I put Sadie in the back of my Jeep and turned on the ignition. There was the distinct smell of . . . well, I thought that the pizza crust I had given Sadie earlier had had a somewhat adverse effect upon her digestive system and that she was, not sure there is a more gentle way of saying this, but, releasing gas. I fussed at her as I saw her innocent face in my rear view mirror. She had already done her "bidnez" in the park, and I had picked up the mess in a biodegradable "poop bag." Yet, she seemed to have this "problem."

Halfway home, the smell became greater and greater, and I fussed more and more at my sweet Sadie. And then, I realized what I was smelling. In all of the effort to pick up trash at Angler's Park, I had placed a used "poop bag" in my pocket waiting for the next trash can. The bag was still in my pocket. I apologized to Sadie and gently disposed of the bag in a trash can.

It was another great day on the Riverwalk.

1 comment:

  1. Thank goodness Rachel Carson didn't give up after her first rejection!