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 9, 2010


(April 9, 2010) Some mornings as I start my walk on the Riverwalk, I think that this will be the day that everything is mundane and there will be nothing new to see.

There have been days when I felt that I had just stepped into Bill Murray's role in the movie "Groundhog Day." As Sadie and I walk along, we see the same to Canada geese who start honking as we approach and waddle their way to the river and, if they seem threatened, will fly into the river. There are the same squirrels that seem to be feasting on goodies left over the day before in a trash can. The same cardinal is in the tree, the two mallards are near the rest room, where they stay during this part of the year, and the same cars are parked in the parking lot in the same spots as the day before.

And then, something happens - something ALWAYS happens - that makes this day and this walk special. It may be the sight of an osprey or hawk or bald eagle; it might be the multiple bluebirds as they make the dark woods more colorful; it might be a couple of mourning doves on a power line, cooing and looking so "dove like" in love.

Or it might be like today.

What did we see today that was not mundane?

The first thing that comes to mind is a fallen bird house. It either snapped during the storm last night or was vandalized, but was lying flat on the ground with a male bluebird flying around, examining the damage. The weather is a more logical explanation since there are few signs of vandalism on the Riverwalk except for graffiti on occasion.

As we walked over a wooden bridge, I heard a fluttering sound coming from the creek under the bridge. When I looked to my right, I saw a great blue heron lifting itself out of the creek and start flying in a direction away from me and away from the river. I knew that the great bird would be making a circle to the river, so I waited and saw it as it flew against the light blue sky and watched as it flew out of side down river. It was a marvelous sight.

The fishermen were out this morning at the dam at Dan Daniel Park. Some had their children with them (Easter vacation, but none seemed to be catching much - just enjoying the cool morning air. There were two fishermen in a boat near the dam. The water was high from the heavy rains last night, but the boat seemed secured near the dam.

And, finally, a few squirrels in Dan Daniel Park caught Sadie's attention. One squirrel was enjoying a morning snack on a picnic table and didn't pay any attention to us until we got within 10 feet of it, and then it scampered up a tree, and Sadie stood under the tree with a dejected look on her face.

We walked back to the car. It was not a mundane day at the Riverwalk; it was another good day at the Riverwalk.

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