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, June 11, 2010



(JUNE 11, 2010) Near the dam at Dan Daniel Park there were two men standing there, staring across the river. As we passed by, one of the men asked, "Do you know how long that sign has been there?"

I looked and asked, "What sign?" The man responded, "The POSTED sign over on the island. I guess they don't allow fishing over there since the drowning of the young boy."

I said, "I hadn't noticed the sign," and the other man said, "It wasn't up there at the end of last fishing season. We haven't been here since."

We talked a little longer, and then I walked on thinking that that little sign has made a difference in those men's plans for the day. I assume they will just have to fish from the shore

As I walked on, I noticed other signs posted along the trail including the NO FISHING FROM DAM sign which some still ignore. I had also noticed the signs in the information shelter that gave information about the trail and identified some of the wildlife along the trail.

The most unique sign on the trail is the very clever one written as a NOTICE TO ALL DOGS. It starts out, "Wuff, Wuff, Bark, Ruff, Ruff . . ." and is translated for those of us who don't speak "DOG." Translated it says that dogs must be on leash always (again, something some dog owners ignore) and that if the dog poops, the owner needs to put it in a bag and dispose of it in a trash can.

Sometimes the "signs" aren't written in either "DOG" or English. Some are written in nature. For example, I saw a new orange and yellow flower that I had not seen this year. It was blooming by itself and I think it is called a lady slipper. It is the flower in the background of the group of pictures above. To me, seeing these newly sprung flowers, means that summer is nearly here. The tulip poplars (peach colored flowers above) have had several groups of flowering so far this spring and there are still blooms ready to burst forth.

Another sign I have learned to recognize is the sign of aggression of some birds. The swallows fly around, circling my head, as I pass by a house where they have their nest. The mockingbird, on the other hand, will stand on the fence and fuss at Sadie and me as we walk by. If we stop, they move closer continuing to fuss. I have also noticed that when they are angry, their tail goes up in the air. This can be seen in the images above.

Back in late April I watched as two mockingbirds faced off on a fence at Dan Daniel Park. One approached the other with his tail up while the other shot his tail up. The aggressor hopped forward and shot his tail up as he landed. The 10 yards between them soon became a few feet until the aggressor jumped on the other mockingbird and chased it into a tree. They both returned in a few minutes and repeated the standoff.

Signs were everywhere this morning on the Riverwalk. From signs telling dogs what to do to signs from birds telling those approaching to BEWARE.

One final observation. As I was at the dam, I looked over to the island and saw a man fishing there. The man was not one of the men I had talked with earlier. However, as I crested the small hill there in the woods, I could no longer see the sign that I had seen two hours earlier. I'm not sure what this is a sign of but,

It was another good morning on the Riverwalk.

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