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, June 23, 2010



(JUNE 23, 2010) Patience is a quality that is either learned by all creatures or lost. For humans patience is something that is more of a convenience than a life or death quality. For many animals in nature patience is the difference between survival or death.

This morning on the Riverwalk, Elizabeth and Sadie waited patiently as I took pictures. Of course their patience was the result of my own patience of waiting for a photo opportunity to appear in the trees, the underbrush or on the trail. Elizabeth and Sadie found shaded places on benches along the Riverwalk and waited until I caught up because I was waiting patiently for an insect to appear near flowers along the trail, knowing that if I waited long enough, there would be life among the flowers. I was right.

Not only were there bumblebees and damselflies, I saw a spider on its web waiting patiently for something to get into its web; something did. A white dot showed up on the web a few inches away from the spider; the spider left its placed, danced over the web and grabbed the white dot and it disappeared. Patience - if you build the web, something will come to it, and for a spider that means breakfast.

Below the bridge to the train station I saw a white goose STILL sitting on her nest. She has been there for over a three weeks and . . . NOTHING, so far. As she sits on her nest with several eggs under her, she is using her patience in hopes that soon the eggs will hatch and there will be little goslings running about. She sits and hopes and has determinant patience.

Also below the bridge there was a cooter turtle swimming near the Canada geese that had gathered there in large numbers. What the turtle was looking for, I'm not sure, but the turtle moved very slowly with the patience of hunter. The turtle just hung under the water in suspended animation, waiting and looking at the Canada geese with its head propped up above the water.

Many days I have watched the great blue heron as it waits patiently for a fish to swim by before snatching it and swallowing it whole. I have also seen the osprey perched on a high tree ready to dive at the sight of a small bird or fish. Just this past week a water moccasin was spotted patiently trolling the banks for a quick meal. And Sadie, when she sees a moth or butterfly or other insect, patiently creeps forward with very slow and precise speed toward her prey. Sometimes she gets the prey; most of the time the insect flies way.

This morning Elizabeth and Sadie showed patience as they waited for me when I would get a quarter of a mile behind because I had stopped to take pictures. They found a nice, cool bench and sat there until I showed up.

Fishermen also show great patience as they wait for a fish to attack their line. This morning there were several fishermen along the banks waiting for "the big one." From what I could tell, "the big one" hadn't been caught on this warm summer morning. For a fisherman fishing requires patience to wait for a fish to find the bait but part of the experience is just being in nature and having the patience to enjoy it.

Patience is very important to man and other animals along the Riverwalk. Without patience, the Riverwalk is just another trail in the woods. The Riverwalk is much more than that. It is a place that with a little bit of patience, it will earn benefits.

It was another good day on the Riverwalk.

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