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


Sunday, October 3, 2010


(October 3, 2010) It has been over two weeks since I last posted, but I have been on the Riverwalk everyday with Sadie and seeing many unusual things. Because of the heavy teaching load I am doing this semester, I haven't had time to take my camera, so we have been doing our 2-5 miles everyday, and I have been recording mental images of all I see. Here are a few of those mental images.

The season has changed from summer to fall since I last posted here. The warm mornings, the extreme heat of the afternoons and the hot evenings have given way to the very cool mornings, the pleasant afternoons, and the chilly evenings on the Riverwalk. Sadie has been enjoying the cooler weather as she runs and runs through the foliage along the side of the trail.

Here's a fish story: A few weeks ago a couple of ladies asked me if I had talked to the fisherman fishing at the dam near Dan Daniel Park. I told I hadn't, and they said that he had had a very interesting thing happen the day before. He was fishing at the same spot, reeled in a 8-10 inch fish, and before he could get it off the hook, a great blue heron swooped down and took the fish off the hook. The man, they said, couldn't believe what he had seen, so that morning he had brought a camera in hopes of repeating the event.

During the past few weeks, I have been walking at Angler's Park most mornings and evenings. I sometimes head towards Dan Daniel Park, but will often just walk around the large field. There I have seen a large number (a dozen or more) of crows in the trees as I walk in the mornings. An occasional flock of geese and ducks flies over in the mornings, but few land at Angler's Park - until the rains came during this past week. The marsh had nearly dried up, but now there is once again life both seen and heard. The frogs sound their chorus after the rains but are rarely seen except when one ventures across the path heading to the open field. Sadie tip toes over the small hopping objects, sniffs them, they remain still, and I pull her away, not totally for the safety of the small frogs but for Sadie's benefit since when she has had a frog in her mouth, she suffers after wards for about 10-15 minutes as her mouth foams from whatever toxin the frogs use for defense. She has never killed a frog because she quickly spits out any frog that she gets into her mouth.

Recently, I have seen some beautiful woolly worms along the trail - pure white, brown with black stripes, and red ones. The butterflies are less plentiful now, but a couple of days ago I was near the bridge at the marsh in Angler's Park and saw several dozen tiny (less than a half inch wing span) swallowtail or monarch butterflies. They were fluttering around some tiny daisies growing alongside the marsh. No camera, but it was a beautiful moment in the morning sun.

This morning I ventured forth, again, without my camera. As we made a final circle around the large field at Angler's Park (the trail to Dan Daniel Park is closed because of flooding), I saw a spider web like I had never seen before; it glistened in the morning sun. It was in the shape of a sunflower with the designer/spider sitting right in the middle. The artistry amazed me. I walked back to the car and decided to drop Sadie off at home and go back with my camera. I walked across the bridge at the marsh and tried to find the beautiful web, but the sun was now at a different height in the sky. The web, I discovered, was further away from the bridge than I had recalled. I found it, took some pictures and headed back across the bridge.

I will try to spend more time taking pictures on the Riverwalk as we continue our daily walks. It was another good, but muddy, day on the Riverewalk.

1 comment:

  1. That spider web photo is amazing! Really beautiful. I love spiders. Be careful with those frogs, though. If they are Bufo toads like we have in Florida, they have been known to kill small dogs with their poison. Teenagers lick the toads to get high! It was great seeing you the other day and your photos are great! Keep it up. -Tina De La Fe