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, May 14, 2010

Gray Skies . . . Nothing But Gray Skies - Except for Nearly Everything Else on the Riverwalk This Morning

(MAY 14, 2010) There were few people on the Riverwalk this morning. That could have been because there was a constant threat of rain. Fortunately, Sadie and I didn't get wet; we just walked in a dreary world of GRAY.

The sky was a light gray causing the trail to be dark. As I looked up over the two layers of trees in the distance, I saw that there was also fog, giving the background trees an eerie autumn look. It didn't seem like springtime as the air was cool and humid.

On the gray river I noticed the cormorants, those black and gray birds that look like vultures as they perch upon the fallen tree in the river. There were six on one end of the tree and two on the smaller end. This added to the mood of the day - GRAY.

A robin was sighted on the trail, and even he was sitting on a gray rock. The contrast of his orange breast with the rest of the setting made for a spectacular moment. It was a brief moment since he flew away, shortly, leaving the GRAY rock.

After about a mile on the trail, we came upon some geese - a half dozen adults and about a dozen goslings. Even the river where they swam and sand on which they walked was GRAY. The robin added the brightness to the dreary day; the goslings added the smile as they fell over each other trying to keep up in the water and continuing to stumble over each other as they walked on shore.

Shortly after that, we wandered upon a mallard couple that found itself in a precarious situation on the GRAY path. For us to pass them, we had to walk between them and the river. I knew that this would be a threatening moment for them, and I held Sadie back as they started across the path - but they started up the path ahead of us and not towards the river. We continued on and, unfortunately, they were startled and took to flight. I try not to disturb nature, but sometimes Sadie presents a threat to the birds.

For Sadie, this was a moment that she lived for - the flight of birds in front of her must bring out a deep sense of excitement as the result of her being a part of generations of purebred bird dogs. I often refer to her as a "bug dog" rather than a "bird dog" because she seems just as excited about a bug that she points at for several minutes only to have it fly away as she gets near. There are times, however, when she gets within inches of the moth or butterfly or bug and then jumps at it - sometimes tasting the bug which is something, I don't think she likes. She makes an awful face like a child makes when taking a distasteful medicine.

This morning she found her prey. It was a moth that had flown up out of the grass and caught Sadie's eye. Sadie slowly approached the moth, jumped at it, and, thankfully for Sadie's taste buds, the moth flew off. Often the moths are very colorful with unique patterns; today's moth was GRAY.

There were splashes of color along the way - some flowers of yellow, pink and blue, the bright yellow goslings, and one of the few walkers on the Riverwalk wearing a Baltimore Orioles cap,

It was still a very nice day on the Riverwalk.

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