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, July 21, 2010


(JULY 21, 2010) Sometimes being lost means looking for a map to find the way; sometimes it means being somewhere except where expected to be, and sometimes it means trying to find your way until something changes that makes the world clearer.

As Elizabeth and Sadie show above, a map gives an indication of where someone is. I have heard it said that if you don't have a map to take you to a place, you will likely end up somewhere else. That applies to traveling and life in general. There are individuals who are like the feather in the movie Forrest Gump - they are blown from place to place with no control over their lives. At the Riverwalk, the map shows where a person is and how far it is from point to point.

Sometimes a map is not handy, so someone may ask another person for directions. Yesterday I was walking back towards Dan Daniel Park from the direction of Angler's Park when a couple asked me how far the trail went from where we were. I told them that it was about another mile and a half to Angler's Park and then they could go beyond that all the way to the airport. They said that they had started at Biscuitville and wanted to see how far they could walk. I told them that upon their return to Biscuitville, they would have walked between 5-6 miles. They were satisfied and turned around to walk back.

This is also the way life is. When a person doesn't have a map for his life, that individual might ask for directions from someone and, hopefully, get accurate directions.

Sometimes "lost" means seeing something out of where it is expected to be. This morning there was large group of Canada geese gathered at the base of the dam near Dan Daniel Park. The geese, for the years I have been walking the trail, had always gathered up-stream. When I saw them at a different place downstream, they looked out of place.

I thought about a short essay by Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Louis Rubin. The essay was called "The Boll Weevil, the Iron Horse, and the End of the Line: Thoughts on the South." In the essay, Professor Rubin sees a small train moving along each day in a very specific location. Later in his life he sees the small train in a different setting and thinks it seems lost, away from where he had always seen it and had, for years, imagined it in his mind.

And finally, sometimes being lost means that eventually you find your way and move on. This morning I spoke with a man I see regularly on the trail. He has been job-searching for many months, and this morning he told me about his latest opportunity. A company in Lancaster, Pa. had contacted him about a job. This was the second job he will have interviewed for in the past two weeks, the other being near Hickory, NC.

For months this man had been lost in his job search and nothing seemed to be paying dividends as he sent out his resume. Now, there was hope as he found his way to at least the interview stage in his job search.

Being lost is never good. However, with a good map, good advice, and good luck (or hope), being lost can result in the joy of learning from an experience and trying to never be lost again.

It was another good day on the Riverwalk..

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