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


Monday, April 12, 2010


(APRIL 12, 2010) This story begins Sunday evening as Sadie and I went back to Angler's Park where we had enjoyed the rugby games the day before. When we got there, at about 6:00, the tournament was winding up and we passed a number of cars and a large bus on the winding hill down to Angler's Park. When we arrived, the players were packing up. Upon getting out of the Jeep, I noticed a strong smell of beer and sweat. The Budweiser concession was still there doling out cups of beer to the thirsty players.

The field was full of empty cups. At this moment the term "territory" came to mind as I thought of this as part of my territory and the field had been terribly littered.

We walked toward the bridge, stepping over cups here and there, and Sadie saw a larger dog squatting in the field; the owner had a bag ready to clean up the mess. I thought about the mess on the field and that it would likely remain there until tomorrow when the city work crews came and swept up the cups. As Sadie pulled to get nearer the larger dog, three of the players walked by and one said, "He knows a good piece of butt when he sees one." I turned to the fellow and said, "First of all, Sadie is not a "he"; Second of all, she has been spayed and has no interest in the other dog except for friendship purposes, and lastly, if Sadie gets near the larger dog, there will likely be some butt sniffing, but I'll guarantee there will be no conjugal relationship between these two dogs." The three players seemed to get a chuckle from my comments, and we completed our short walk as I thought, "Territory."

This morning on the Riverwalk, I passed a lady I hadn't seen in some time. She said, "Happy New Year" to me, and I realized that she hadn't been out on the Riverwalk this year. I acknowledged here and walked on toward the train station. At the 3/4 mile mark we spotted our friendly mockingbird sitting on the bush in his usual photogenic way. I took a few pictures as I thought about how he looked so angelic now but had buzzed Sadie on a number of occasions when we got too close to the mockingbird's nest.

On our way back from the train station, we started to cross the bridge near the Public Works department and I looked over the bridge and saw a mallard couple swimming under the bridge toward the river. Another mallard drake landed just around the corner where the creek met the river. This mallard swam rapidly toward the female mallard causing the female to take flight; he did the same movement towards the drake, and he flew away. The conquering mallard did a little victory dance on the water. It must have been a territorial thing.

This evening we went to Angler's park where I had hoped to see the red-winged blackbirds. I was not disappointed; there were 4 of them in the tops of trees making their rrrrrngggggg sounds. I took some pictures and then started shooting pictures of what I thought were more blackbirds, but, as I looked at the pictures taken, I realized they were some large bird I hadn't identified yet. Well, the blackbirds were not too happy to share their marsh with these birds and dive bombed them. The other birds flew away, and the blackbirds continued their songs. Territory seems to be very important to birds.

William Faulkner once referred to property as his "little postage stamp of native soil." Humans need territory as do the birds and other wildlife.

It was another beautiful day (and evening) on the Riverwalk.

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