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


Thursday, August 5, 2010


(AUGUST 5, 2010) How low can you go?

This morning on the Riverwalk I went pretty low to scan the ground cover and the woods for lichens and mushrooms. They were, to my surprise, EVERYWHERE. Especially after the rain we have had over the past few days, the mushrooms were plentiful and the lichens were there where they have been for months and years.

First of all, all I know about lichens is what I learned from a couple of naturalist at Grandfather Mountain last week. I learned that lichens are found on trees and rocks and take a long time to grow. They are healthy for nature's plan in that these part fungi and part algae compounds adhere to the tree or rock, die, and provide a nurturing substance allowing moss to grow which eventually results in grasses and plants growing where the lichens had been.

The naturalists at Grandfather Mountain pointed out a large rock where much of the lichens had been removed as the result of hikers seeing the rock, deciding it is a good "climbing rock," and, as the result, their constant climbing on the rock removed the lichens

OK. That's about all I know, but I now have greater respect for these substances on trees and rocks which, until I was briefly educated last week, thought that they were just algae on rocks or broken bark on trees.

Now I know of a microscopic life that goes on in the park daily. I just hope that Sadie doesn't sense movement in the lichens on a tree and decide to point at it until it moves again. The naturalist said that it sometimes taken lichens a year to grow an inch. That would be a long wait for Sadie.

Mushrooms. I've often wondered what is the difference between a mushroom and a toadstool. Again, the naturalists at Grandfather Mountain helped me out with a brief comment. Basically, their difference hasn't been definitively determined. Traditionally, the name toadstool was given to mushrooms that were poisonous.

Mushrooms just seem to pop up overnight after a rain. They are a fungus that develop from a microscopic spore, and the rest is far beyond my simple grasp of the reproductive system of the mushroom. Regardless, there were plenty of mushrooms out today.

I don't know a lot about lichens and mushrooms and toadstools, but I guess you could say that today I have done some "ground" work on the subject. Each day there is more to learn, and each day there are new things to see on the Riverwalk.

It was another good day on the Riverwalk.

1 comment:

  1. I don't see these types of mushroom here, and you capture them beautifully for me to see..

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