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


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Orchard Oriole

(May 12, 2010) A little more humid, warmer day this morning on the Riverwalk. The sky was overcast as we started our walk at 6:45. A few fishermen were at the dam at Dan Daniel Park and we passed a few of the regular walkers and jogger on our walk. Sadie had a perfect morning having seen Jodie, a white poodle like dog on the way out and on the way back. She also saw Lucky, the little pekineses that is there every morning, and as we rounded a bend in the woods near the public works department, a mallard couple was just coming out of the woods about 10 feet from where we were. They looked startled as they saw Sadie, and Sadie was surprised. The went skyward and Sadie adrenaline was pumped from then on.

But the highlight of my walk was seeing an oriole. I have seen the colorful bird in the past, but never taken a good, clear shot. As the bird sat in the tree, I clicked away - unfortunately at the same time Sadie had to scratch, so many of my shots were very out of focus. I finally got one shot that was clear - out of 20 shots.

Though I have seen this bird over the years along the Riverwalk (near Dan Daniel Park and at Angler's park), I find it to be unique with its orange and black. It must have a nest at the spot where I saw it this morning since I have seen it there on and off for the past week. I haven't seen the bird often during my several years walking on the Riverwalk, but I've heard others say it is more common in other areas up the east coast.

As I saw the attractive oriole in the tree, I thought about the baseball team that shares its name. I enjoy sports, but the only professional baseball game I ever attended was in the mid-60s. The game was in Washington, DC, and the Senators were playing their neighbors to the north, the Baltimore Orioles. I don't remember the score, but I do remember that the Orioles won. That year the team had an awesome lineup including Boog Powell at first base and the Robinsons (Brooks at 3rd base and Frank in the outfield). It was a wonderful experience to be in the same stadium with these three icons of baseball, though we were seated in center field and the details of the players were only recognized by the numbers on their jerseys.

I also recall that the attendance was low that night. The Senators never drew a large crowd which is why a few years later (1971) the team packed up their bats and moved to Texas to become the Texas Rangers.

As I walk the trail each morning my thoughts go to many things. I think about creative things; I think about those things that tend to clutter our minds with schedules and concerns, and I think about the beauty of the presences and the fond memories of the past.

It was a beautiful morning on the Riverwalk.

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