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, July 30, 2010

Butterflies, Bees, Bears and Birds at Boone

(JULY 30, 2010) For three days we visited the cooler mountains of Boone, North Carolina, and enjoyed the fresh air, the breeze, and nature in addition to the Lovill House Inn where we stayed (by the way, this is not "product placement" in this entry - it is just the mention of a very comfortable location where we stayed for two nights). Scott and Anne were wonderful hosts.

What I enjoyed the most about the inn (besides the good breakfasts) was the garden. The flowers attracted the beautiful butterflies and the busy bees who basked in the breath-taking beauty of that bounteous oasis of blooms. In the mornings the birds would start their chirping at 5:00 and would make their presence known as they visited the bird feeders placed in the garden. It was like Eden.

Speaking of birds - the first evening that we came in from a delicious dinner, I clicked the lock button on the car key and the car made a "chirp-chirp" sound as the locks went into place. From a tree nearby came a "chirp-chirp." I clicked the button again - "chirp-chirp." From the tree came, "chirp-chirp." For a few minutes I stood there clicking the lock button while the mockingbird in the tree responded. I would be there still, but the bird lost interest in this game long before I did.

We went to Grandfather Mountain on Wednesday and spent the day. The views from the top are awesome and inspiring. We visited the Grandfather Mountain museum and the two gift shops there. Then we saw some of the animals in their "natural" habitats (caged, but in a habitat that looks like where they should be). There were two cougars (I learned that bobcats, mountain lions, and pumas are other names for these cats and that the ones east of the Mississippi are smaller than the ones in the west), some white-tailed deer, three black bears, a golden eagle, and some otters (who were sleeping, so we didn't ACTUALLY see them, but saw their habitat).

We then walked across the swinging bridge at the top of the mountain. There were some visitors who had brought their dogs to the bridge, and half-way across, the dogs became frightened and refused to move. There was a traffic jam a mile high. When we got to the other side, the view was spectacular. However, some of the views on the way up the mountain were just as spectacular. It was kind of like having fire-works moments on the 4th of July. The "ooooooos" and the "awwwwwws" after each bright burst was the same experience we had as we saw one beautiful mountain view after the other.

On our way down the mountain we stopped at about the half way point and did a nature hike conducted by two naturalists from the park.
The 30-45 minute walk through the woods was informative as we learned about lichens and hardwoods and salamanders and flora and fauna native to the area. Very informative and worth the time spent.

After returning to Boone we made our usual visits to the Mast General Store and an antique store there. We enjoyed dinner that night at an Appalachian State University "watering hole," Macados, and then returned for our last night at the quaint cottage we had called home for two days.

It was three very good days as we went to the mountains to enjoy nature in a different environment from our daily walks on the Riverwalk.

I did get back on the Riverwalk this morning with Sadie - we did our usual 3 miles. I didn't take my camera today because I had more pictures to look at from our trip. I will take it, again, tomorrow.

Here is a chipmunk we saw near the garden at the Lovill House Inn.


  1. Sounds beautiful, David. Maybe I'll add Grandfather Mountain to my itinerary the next time I visit the boys in Asheville.

  2. Marileta. It is worth the side trip. I have been to Boone a number of times and had always missed Grandfather Mountain. There's a day's worth of activities there.