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 4, 2010


(JUNE 4, 2010) The ballad, "The Three Ravens," is a classical love ballad about a knight who has been killed and how his dog, his hawk, and his lover do not leave his side. Here is the poem:

THERE were three ravens sat on a tree,
Downe a downe, hay down, hay downe
There were three ravens sat on a tree,
With a downe
There were three ravens sat on a tree, 5
They were as black as they might be.
With a downe derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe.

The one of them said to his mate,
“Where shall we our breakefast take?”

“Down in yonder green field, 10
There lies a knight slain under his shield.

“His hounds they lie down at his feet,
So well they can their master keep.

“His hawkes they fly so eagerly,
There’s no fowl dare him come nie.” 15

Down there comes a fallow doe (woman),
As great with young as she might go.

She lift up his bloody head,
And kissed his wounds that were so red.

She got him up upon her back, 20
And carried him to earthen lake.

She buried him before the prime,
She was dead herself ere evening-song time.

God send every gentleman,
Such hawkes, such hounds, and such a leman (lover, wife).

Each time I read this poem, I think of Red Skelton and his two seagulls, Gertrude and Heathcliff. His birds would talk with each other, but not the same way as the ravens did in the above poem. His stories always had a humorous punchline.

So, what else did I see this morning on the Riverwalk. The bright spot of the walk was the blazing pink mimosa tree. It had bloomed overnight and created a breath-taking image as the morning sun lit it up. The tree was also alive with insects from honeybees to ladybugs. The honey bees were also busy on other blooming flowers that had popped up over night.

The baby geese seem to be more and more plentiful since I see new groups each morning we walk on the Riverwalk. Today the goslings were being herded toward the water as we approached, and some were swimming like "ducks in a row," protected by the adults, in the river. There was an interesting white goose resting, and her goslings had tucked themselves up underneath her wings and body.

There were a number of song birds on the Riverwalk this morning. Thank goodness the mockingbird was not around, and we didn't get harassed as we walked close to its nest.

Sadie saw a couple of her dog friends, and she got to chase a few moths as they flew past her in the dark woods below Dan Daniel Park. After our walk, I returned home with my "hound" (Sadie) to my "leman" (wife - Elizabeth); I don't have a hawk, but, I assume if I did, it would be just as faithful as my hound and my "leman."

It was another good day on the Riverwalk.

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