Photo tour of Virginia's rivers a delight for nature lovers

For most of us, the mystique and grand beauty of America's rivers are breathtaking. Author Will Daniel pays homage locally with "My Virginia Rivers."

This 250-page photography book takes forays into local geography, historical distinctions and ongoing environmental efforts to preserve it all. Many of Virginia's regions are identified by their rivers—including local landmarks such as the James, Elizabeth and York rivers.

Lesser known sites are also profiled: Colonial Beach whose 3,000 residents are guarded by carved wooden pirates, the Blackwater and Nottoway rivers and the New River, which actually may be 300 million years old (second only to Africa's Nile).

Man-made sites serve as identifiers and contrasts. Examples include the Fort Monroe lighthouse and Richmond's skyline at night. Nonprofit organization information is given for each region.

Daniel spent four years comprising these images, laid out here in an elongated book format. "My Virginia Rivers" is deeply in the "Virginia is for lovers" vein, its pages a statewide walking tour of rivers covering more than 64,000 square miles of the Chesapeake Bay.

The author notes he got a close-up look of the Lafayette and Elizabeth rivers aboard the skiff of a Chesapeake Bay Foundation scientist. According to the book jacket, "Rivers and photography have been in Will's blood all his life." In 2011, he published another photography book, "James River Reflections."

Daniel currently teaches in the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. You can contact the author, who continues to photograph our area, at willdaniel.com. The book, which also includes photography tips, is available in hardcover at publisher schifferbooks.com, amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com for about $23.

Tim Lee was a staffer for East Coast pop culture magazine Catharsis. Lee lives in Newport News.