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, June 28, 2010



(JUNE 28, 2010) At 6:15 this morning turtles were the last things on my mind. We had walked a half mile when a biker stopped, noticed my camera and said, "There's a large turtle up there near the fence. It is the largest one I've see, except at zoos."

He showed the size with his hands, making a circle that looked like a couple of feet in diameter. The place he pointed to was about an eighth of a mile from where we were, and I thought that the turtle would be long gone when we got there.

This started a conversation on turtles. I told him that when Sadie was about 6 months old, we were walking on the trail, and there was a turtle on the trail that was the size of a large footstool. I told him that a small child could have sat on it and that Sadie wanted to go near, in her puppy dog curiosity, to see this giant monster; I pulled her back because the turtle's mouth was so large that he could have almost swallowed the puppy. Besides, even if the turtle had just snapped her and held on, I have been told that when a turtle grabs something in its strong mouth, it won't let loose until it thunders (that day, I recall, was bright and sunny with no rain expected for days).

Now I told this man this story, and then I couldn't help but to relate to him the "fish tales" I have heard along the trail. One was recalled a few months ago (April 28) which was actually a "fish tale" told about an English setter. I told him that my rule was that when a fisherman told me the size of the fish that got away, to take the size the fisherman says, divide it by two and add a couple of inches/pounds.

Having realized that he might have thought I was telling my own "fish story" with Sadie's encounter with the large turtle, I was about to point out that the story was true when he said, before riding off, with a mischief look on his face, "Actually, the turtle was only this big." (he made a circle with his fingers about two inches in diameter). We both laughed and off he rode.

Stories. We all tell them, and each time we tell them, they become bigger. Part of that is to add entertainment value to those who listen (often with disbelief); part of that is because we almost all live what we see as mundane lives and need these embellished stories to make our lives seem more exciting, but sometimes we just tell stories that we had hoped would be the way things are or were. Whatever reason, it is fun to hear stories from others - whether believable or not.

It was another good morning on the Riverwalk.

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