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, June 25, 2010



(JUNE 25, 2010) An oasis is a place to renew oneself, to get refreshed, to rest. Along the Riverwalk there is the symbiotic relationship between insects and plants as the insects find rest on the plants and refreshment with the pollen and nectar the flowers produce.

There is a white flower with purple tips that seems to attract insects of different varieties. It is not unusual to see several varieties of moths and butterflies, different types of honeybees and bumblebees, and smaller insects like ladybugs resting in the bell shape petals. It seems to be an oasis of choice for these bugs although other plants seem to provide the same service to the small residents on the Riverwalk.

The leaves also provide temporary resting places for the insects. Different varieties of damselflies can be seen on the leaves of the many different plants where they remain until disturbed and then return immediately to the same location. Trees also provide an oasis for insects - this morning I saw a bumblebee, a butterfly, and a number of smaller bugs parked on the white and pink flowers of the mimosa tree enjoying the moisture of the flowers in the morning sun. Some insects even prefer the warmth of the rocks as their oasis.

The larger animals also have their oases, often in the water. The turtles gather on fallen trees or rocks in the middle of the river or at water's edge. They sun themselves and often share their perch with water birds like the cormorant.

The geese have their oases along the shore of the river, although some also prefer the fallen trees in the river or river rocks. This morning one oasis for the ducks and geese was made more special with the distribution of bread by a couple of young women. The geese came flying in from across the river to feast on the small white morsels being dispersed by these two young ladies.

The heron also enjoys the refuge (oasis) near the dam and at other locations where fish are plentiful. They can be seen waiting patiently for the fish to come along.

A couple of bikers I met this morning on the Riverwalk mentioned that a great blue heron came into their back yard a while back and found a tasty retreat in their pond. The pond held a number of beautiful koi fish and some frogs. The heron swooped down and made a nice size meal from these exotic fish and the frogs.

Humans, too, need an oasis - a place where they can take refuge from the rest of the world. Some escape in the world of books or television; others find a hobby to immerse themselves in, while others take refuge by just being at home around family. I enjoy the escape of all of these, but my favorite refuge (oasis) is the Riverwalk. It quenches my visual thirst by providing me with sights I cannot see at home; it quenches my physical thirst by giving me a delightful place to walk, and it quenches my social thirst because I encounter people there who are friendly and experiencing the same visual and physical opportunities I am enjoying.

It was another good day on the Riverwalk.

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