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


Tuesday, August 3, 2010


(AUGUST 3, 2010) The American novelist Alice Walker wrote: "“In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they're still beautiful.”

There is a great deal of truth in that quotation. It doesn't take a person long, while wandering around in the outdoors, to see both the perfections and imperfections in nature. Over the years of walking on the Riverwalk, I have seen the graceful geese coming in for a landing in the water, and I have also seen geese crash land. This summer on the Chesapeake Bay, I watched as the pelicans didn't land gracefully on the water but just simply dropped into the water.

Though the geese on land look awkward as they waddle along, they seem to be perfect in their waddling until I see a straggler limping along on one foot. Even the timing of the baby animals seems to go against perfection. A number of months ago some goslings were surprised to see us coming around the corner one morning and ran to catch up to the adults, stumbling all over themselves as Sadie and I watched in amusement.

The great blue heron, while standing near the shore, seems like a stately bird in its perfect plumage, but I have seen the great bird spread its wings as it stands on an island in the river, and its body looks so small and frail. The bird in flight is not as graceful either, yet at times it, as Walker says, its flight is both perfect and not perfect.

This morning I made special note of the flowers in the woods. As I looked closely, I saw the beautiful yellow daisies in the dark woods. There were some perfect specimen of bright yellow flowers and there were many more of these flowers whose blooms had been damaged, and they looked less than pristine.

Even Sadie, when she gets out into nature and into her element among the birds and wildlife, stumbles occasionally as she walks through the woods or runs in the field. When she gets into her setter stance and points at whatever interests her at the moment, she is like perfection in motion. However, when the butterfly flies away and she loses it, she looks up at me as if to ask, "What did I do wrong?"

As a sojourner to nature, I find myself looking closely at the perfections and imperfections of what I see around me. Perhaps, by seeing the imperfections of nature, I can see, more closely, my own personal imperfections.

It was another good day on the Riverwalk.

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