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Like I wrote in my last post, November 4 was a pretty busy day for me. In the morning I went to the Christmas Bazaar that was held at a Roman Catholic church. For lunch I ate Slavic food at the Slavic Festival that was held at an Eastern Orthodox church. (You can read about both in my last post.) If all that wasn’t enough, after I left the Slavic Festival, I headed to Laurel where I visited Dinosaur Park.

I first visited the place a few years ago on the spur of the moment when I kept on passing the sign pointing the road that leads to Dinosaur Park and I found myself wondering what exactly is Dinosaur Park. I arrived there only to find out that Dinosaur Park is only open to the public two Saturdays per month and I happened to be there on a Saturday when the park was closed.

So I forgot about Dinosaur Park for a few years until I learned about a planned gathering on Meetup.com where people were going to meet at Dinosaur Park and I decided to go. To make a long story short, I arrived at the park from the Slavic Festival but I arrived an hour later than the designated meeting time and I didn’t find anyone. (It didn’t help that I was meeting strangers and I didn’t know what they looked like.)

In any case I decided to just take photos since I was there on the Saturday that the park was opened to the public.

The entrance to Dinosaur Park has sculptures of dinosaur bones and eggs which are very popular with the children.

The dinosaur tracks lead directly to the entrance to Dinosaur Park.

Dinosaur Park came into existence when someone discovered a rare deposit of fossils from about 110 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period. Among the fossils are ones belonging to a dinosaur known as the Astrodon johnstoni, which has since been designated as the state dinosaur of Maryland. The next two pictures show a sculpture of a newly-hatched Astrodon johnstoni.

There were dinosaur art showing what the Laurel area probably looked like back when the dinosaurs roamed that area.

Dinosaur Park is an active working archeological park where the public can help out as long as they follow certain rules. The biggest rule is that any fossils you find must be turned over to the park. You are not allowed to take the fossils home with you. However you will be given credit if you find a fossil. The next photo shows what had been found at Dinosaur Park the day I was there: a raptor tooth, bone fragments, and a fossilized pine cone.

Before a visitor can help with finding fossils, each person must sit through an orientation that’s given by one of the park employees, such as the man in the next photo.

Toy dinosaurs and fossil samples are displayed for people to look at during orientation.

The next photo shows a replica of a raptor skull that was found at Dinosaur Park.

Fossil samples are displayed as part of orientation. We were told that the chances of us actually finding a large dinosaur thighbone or giant rib were extremely small. We were more likely to find very small fossils of things like a dinosaur tooth or a small turtle. Many of these fossils are even smaller than a penny, which is why they can be difficult to find.

Once orientation was over, people can walk over to the nearby piles of dirt and start looking for fossils. In addition to the ban on removing fossils from Dinosaur Park, there was also a ban on digging because many fossils tend to be found on the surface, especially if they had been naturally uncovered by wind or rain. Digging runs the risk of inadvertently destroying fossils.

I tried looking around on the dirt surface but I didn’t find anything. It’s a real challenge to find something that may be no bigger than a penny. I gave it a shot but I wasn’t lucky enough to find a fossil. At least it was a nice sunny day and I finally got a chance to see what Dinosaur Park was about.

In case you’re interested, Dinosaur Park is only opened on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 12 noon-4 p.m. For more information and directions, I suggest that you check the park’s website.

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I learned via Facebook that Third Eye Comics was having a Halloween ComicFest right in its store. Not only were there really cool sales but they had some free sample comic books to give away as well. (It’s almost like the annual Free Comic Book Day except it’s in October instead of May.) So I went down to Annapolis where I took these photos.

The one thing I’ve noticed is that there seems to be more comic books based on cartoons that I used to watch on television when I was a child.

I laughed at these comic books taking jabs at Donald Trump. I just wasn’t in the mood to buy them though because I’ve had more than my fill of Donald Trump and his constant need for attention. (I feel this way after he’s only been in office for 10 months.)

I’d never thought I would ever see Stan Lee action figures. (LOL!)

They have cloth dolls based on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comic book series.

I laughed at seeing this set of Batman action figures all patterned after the rainbow flag. I wonder how many of my LGBTQ friends would be interested in that one? (LOL!)

A culinary-minded person can do some superhero-themed cooking.

I took advantage of the sales to purchase the three-volume graphic novel series Batgirl of Burnside. I checked the first and third volumes out of the public library a few months ago and I liked them really well. (My library frequently have this situation where, in the case of book series, it might have some volumes of a certain series but not all of them. Part of the reason is because people check them out but I’ve never seen the second volume of Batgirl of Burnside in my library ever. I looked for months and I’ve only seen the first and third volumes. I can only guess that some jerk checked out volume 2 and never returned it.)

I decided to check out the Spirit of Halloween as well. I originally was going to go to the one in Bowie since that was the one place where I knew such as store was operating until I did a quick search on Google Maps. I found that there was another Spirit of Halloween store that was just located one mile away from Third Eye Comics so I decided to go there instead.

The same shopping center had a lighthouse that was located next to a movie theater. The biggest irony is that the nearest body of water was located at least three miles away from where both the lighthouse and shopping center were located.

I arrived at the Spirit of Halloween where I took these photos, starting with the ways in which one could come dressed as either Donald Trump, Melania Trump, or Vladimir Putin.

I know that some of the Disney Moana-themed costumes have been controversial so I’m amazed that any store is still carrying them.

I purchased only one item from that Spirit of Halloween store. It’s a small gargoyle where, if you pressed its belly, its eyes light up and it says one of four phrases (such as “You are doomed!”). This gargoyle was perfect for decorating my car trunk for the Trunk or Treat event that took place at my church on the following day.

On the Friday before Halloween I wanted to have fun. I found out that there were two events happening on the same night. One was the Final Friday Art Walk in Hyattsville and the other was the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival. I decided to go to the Hyattsville one first since that one was scheduled to end earlier. Costumes were encouraged for all ages so I put on my Rainbow Dash hoodie. When I arrived in Hyattsville I decided to check my smartphone to see if my camera was even working and—to my surprise—I found that it was working. I decided to use that opportunity to take a rare selfie.

A Rare Selfie

Sadly my smartphone camera stopped working after that selfie. At least I have my Canon camera with me to continue taking photographs with. The only bad thing was that I discovered that I didn’t have much battery power left. I managed to take a few pictures nonetheless.

The entire Art Walk trail was marked by orange balloons, such as the one in the next photograph.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

I first went to the horn sculpture that is located outside the Hyattsville Court House.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Next I went to Art Works Now, which was all decked out for Halloween.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Art Works Now had this hands-on demonstration in a type of printing process using acrylic paint and glass plates.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Here is what I created.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

I briefly visited this new place known as Uzu, which provides Japanese comfort food. (No, I didn’t eat there.)

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

I went to the Artist & Craftsman Supply store, which had a special art exhibit done by the store’s employees.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

I visited Tanglewood Works, which held a meade tasting by a local supplier who plans to set up shop in Hyattsville soon.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

A marching band was playing music as it walked along the sidewalk.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

I went inside this haunted house that was created using upcycled and recycled materials.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

I went inside this place that housed a recording studio and a tattoo parlor.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

The last place I went to on the Final Friday Art Walk was to the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center. By that point my camera battery had died and the art walk was going to officially end soon. So I took these last two pictures before I got back in my car and headed for the other event.

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

Final Friday Art Walk, Hyattsville, Maryland, October 27, 2017

I headed to the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival, where people were still carving pumpkins. I pulled out my camera in the hopes of being able to get one picture and, miraculously, I managed to take this picture of a pumpkin carving in progress.

Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival, October 27, 2017

But then my camera totally died. I tried my smartphone camera since it had worked earlier only to find that it wasn’t working either. I decided to duck inside the New Deal Cafe and make an effort to recharge my battery for a few minutes before I would go back outside and take more pictures of the lit pumpkins. I rested for a few minutes when I suddenly got this urgent Facebook Message from someone whom I’ve been doing some recent video work for.

On that note, I’m going to violate my own personal policy of never writing in this blog about ongoing projects I do for other people until after the project in question is done because I can’t really go any further in this narrative unless I write a little about this project. Here’s the thing. The New Deal Cafe is a non-profit cooperatively-run eating establishment that’s located in Greenbelt, Maryland. (You can read more about it here and here.) Ever since its inception it has hosted live music (mostly from local bands). The performers don’t get paid by the cafe (mainly because it’s totally run on a very shoestring budget) but the cafe provides tip jars and that is how the musicians make any money. From time to time I’ve shot videos there of various acts over the years, all of which I’ve uploaded on to YouTube and embedded in various posts throughout the seven years that this blog has existed.

A few months ago this filmmaker whom I’ve known for a few years came up with this idea of doing a documentary featuring the various music acts who have played at the cafe over the 22 years that the cafe has existed. He found out that I had been shooting some video and wanted to use what I’ve got. I gave him the video footage that I have on my laptop (and it’s also the same footage that I’ve uploaded on to YouTube) and he has been contacting other people who have also shot videos in an effort to obtain their footage as well. He also planned on interviewing various people to get their recollections of what it’s like to see these bands or work with them or even play in those bands.

Despite the video footage he received from myself and others and his plans to interview people, he still wanted new footage of recent band performances and he asked for my help in filming. Fortunately I had recently purchased a used Canon digital camera off eBay so I had a more reliable camera than my nearly four-year-old smartphone camera, which only sporadically works these days.

So I shot some recent footage of various bands over the past several weeks, which is why you’ve been seeing more embedded footage of what I’ve shot at the New Deal Cafe lately.

So I was sitting in the New Deal Cafe waiting for my camera battery to recharge so I could shoot still photos of the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival when this filmmaker came over on Facebook Messenger. He decided at the last minute that he urgently needed new footage for two bands—one that was scheduled to perform that very night I happened to be at the New Deal Cafe while getting his message. The other would be scheduled to perform the following night. He couldn’t be there for either band but he desperately wanted some footage of both bands. I told him that I was recharging my camera battery and I could try to record that night’s band but I couldn’t guarantee anything. (I had never tried shooting anything on a half-charged battery before.) He got me to agree to shoot both that night’s band and the other band the following night, even though I can’t stay too late most Saturday nights these days. (That’s because I not only attend church on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. but I’m currently volunteering with the church’s program of teaching English to recent immigrants and those classes run from 1:15-3:15 p.m. On top of it, that Sunday was the Sunday before Halloween and I was among the adults who were involved with the Trunk or Treat event that was scheduled to run between the end of Sunday service and the beginning of English classes.)

By the time I got away from Facebook Messenger, I put the battery back into my camera and darted outside to see the lit pumpkins only to find that volunteers had already taken them away. Yeah, it sucked but I’ve shot photos and videos of previous Greenbelt Pumpkin Festivals so it’s not like I don’t know what such an event is like. I went back inside the New Deal Cafe and I managed to film one of the bands in question, The Mojo Priests. I didn’t film for too long because I only had a half-charged battery. But I managed to film some footage of the band in action.

Working on a new sketch per day during Inktober plus being sick on Halloween itself have really thrown me out of whack. (Which is why I’m not participating in either Makevember or NaNoWriMo this month. It’s amazing how much time doing any kind of daily creation of something new along with uploading your new creation on to social media can take out of your day.) I meant to upload a bunch of cool fall photos in this blog only to get sidetrack by both Inktober and illness.

My most recent trip to both the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center and Clark’s Elioak Farm came from a desire to come up with some more Inktober sketches before I totally burn out on doing this entirely. I packed my small sketchbook along with some pencils and pens and a camera and headed out.

First I went to the site of the now-defunct fairy tale amusement park The Enchanted Forest. The original site has since become a shopping center. For many years the original castle entrance and the sign featuring Old King Cole served as reminders of the place’s previous existence as a amusement park. But then the original castle entrance was moved to Clark’s Elioak Farm and now Old King Cole is the sole last vestige of the shopping center’s amusement park past.

There were two reasons why I wanted to go back to the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center. One is that there is this bagel place that serves very delicious yet affordable food. The other reason is that I had heard that a plaque marker was erected on the former site of the castle entrance. After I ate lunch at the bagel place, I went over to view this plaque marker.

Afterwards I drove to Clark’s Elioak Farm, which houses most of the Enchanted Forest’s former attractions. It’s my first visit to the farm in two years (when I finished making then showing my documentary film, Saving the Enchanted Forest, at Artomatic) and I’ve noticed a few changes they’ve made since my last visit, starting with this new entrance that’s only for those who have either booked a birthday party at the farm or have signed up to do a formal guided tour of the farm.

The next few photos show the replica of the original Enchanted Forest castle entrance (which Clark’s Elioak Farm erected before they got the actual castle entrance). That replica serves as the castle store where people can purchase meats and produce produced at the farm as well as various souvenirs. There was a time when that replica was also the place where people could enter and exit. As of my recent visit, they’ve changed the rules where you can only enter through the castle replica if you purchased a season pass or want to only shop at the castle store. Otherwise, you have to go to a tented area.

Of course there was this huge line waiting outside the tented area. It basically took me around 20 minutes before I finally reached the tents so I could pay admission and get inside.

When I entered the first thing I saw was the original castle entrance and the storybook sign that were moved from its original location to the farm two years ago.

They added a miniature replica of a castle where I saw children playing while their parents were taking pictures.

On the other side of that original castle entrance I saw this new plaque dedicated to Pat Selby Sealing, who worked at the original Enchanted Forest and was instrumental in getting many of its former attractions transferred to Clark’s Elioak Farm.

I went inside the pine tree maze where I saw some major changes, starting with these plastic streamers in the next picture.

When I went to Clark’s Elioak Farm in 2015, it was a few weeks after they had placed dinosaurs among the fairy tale and nursery rhyme attractions.  When I returned recently I noticed that they had removed most of the dinosaurs, which I thought was a bummer because I really liked seeing them. I don’t know why they were removed. You’ll have to see the photos I posted in 2015 if you want to know what you’ve missed.

There was only one remaining dinosaur at Clark’s Elioak Farm and this one is in the next picture.

They’ve added a new train ride on the farm.

The Gem Mining and Geo Cracking station is still there since my 2015 visit with an addition of the various gorgeous gems that one can purchase.

The old Enchanted Forest attractions that are the major draw to the farm are still there, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears house. However I noticed one difference when I looked in the windows of that house.

Usually one can find Goldilocks in Baby Bear’s bed (just like in the original story). This time around someone had taken Goldilocks from her bed and placed her in the living room near the pipe-smoking Papa Bear.

I’ve long thought that Goldilocks was a full figured human girl until I saw her out of her bed. She’s actually half a girl in that she has nothing below her waist. No legs, no nothing.

Seeing her likes this makes her look very creepy. In a way it was fitting to have Goldilocks in that position since Halloween was coming soon. But I think she looks far better in Baby Bear’s bed than as this weird half-girl.

Mama Bear had been moved to the bay windows, where she looked very pensive sitting there. I couldn’t resist photographing her like this.

I took a few landscape photographs. Basically the Enchanted Forest attractions look the same as on previous visits.

I also hung around the petting zoo a bit. The animals were still there as before.

There was this marker honoring those members of the Clark family (who founded Clark’s Elioak Farm) who fought in World War II.

Fall is the time of year when the yellowjackets get really obnoxious and aggressive. This trap had plenty of yellowjackets in it.

Despite the farm’s efforts to keep the yellowjackets under control, there were some tables where you did not dare sit at because those stinging insects were literally hanging around there.

I took a couple pictures of some fall flowers in full bloom.

I saw this mother and daughter pair celebrating Halloween early by dressing as Batman and Robin.

There was a pumpkin patch where people could have their pick of pumpkins.

 

They had a variety of pumpkins available for sale in all shapes, sizes, and colors (including even white pumpkins).

This last photo shows the one purchase I made at Clark’s Elioak Farm—a pumpkin.

 

As for the original purpose of visiting the farm again, so I can work on some Inktober drawings, I had a very productive day. I managed to finish this drawing entirely in ink while I was at the farm, which was of the black duckling and white swan that once served as part of the Mother Goose Ride at the Enchanted Forest but they have had their wheels removed and they are permanently parked in the pine maze.

I made three other drawings in pencil, which I inked, one picture at a time, over the next three days in Inktober. Two of them were the former Enchanted Forest attractions—the Crooked House and Willie the Whale.

The last one was one of the goats in the petting zoo who was just sitting in this metal basin with its eyes closed while looking very blissful and satisfied.

In case you’ve missed it, here are all of the 31 drawings I did for Inktober last month.

I was in Dupont Circle recently to check out the DC chapter of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School (which I’ll get to in a later entry). I was still suffering the effects of this nasty cold I got but I managed to do some walking around the area both before and after Dr. Sketchy’s.

First I stopped off at Krispy Kreme, where I purchased this Halloween-themed donut.

I checked out Fantom Comics, where I noticed some new additions to its mural in the stairwell leading to the store’s second floor location.

I also saw some posters that are decrying the blatant Islamophobia and racism that has occurred over the last few months ever since Donald Trump was sworn-in as president. It’s nice seeing more and more stores in DC openly defying the Trump Administration’s racist-based policies.

I purchased a new graphic novel volume of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl then headed off to The Bier Baron, where Dr. Sketchy’s took place. Afterwards I was in the restroom when I saw something humorous posted on the stall and I attempted to pull out my camera to take a picture only to find that I had lost it. I totally freaked out because I had just purchased that camera on eBay recently and it would suck if I had lost it so soon. I had to do some serious backtracking starting with the table I sat at while Dr. Sketchy’s was going on. The camera wasn’t there. Then I went back to Fantom Comics only to find that I had left my camera there. I was totally relieved because it would’ve really sucked if I had lost it so soon after buying it. Granted I had purchased it used but I paid $80 for it and it would’ve really been bad to lose something this expensive.

As I was walking back to the Metro I noticed seeing homeless people all over the place. Granted homelessness has been a problem since Ronald Reagan got into office and all the mental hospitals closed along with fewer affordable housing being built but it seems like it’s getting worse in recent years.

I would like nothing more than to have a complete reversal of the government away from the policies of the last 40 years and towards a more progressive one that makes providing homes for everybody as well as other social programs (such as jobs retraining program for unemployed and underemployed adults) a top priority.

When I was waiting to switch trains at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station I saw this woman sitting on the ground playing her guitar and singing loudly while other people around her were ignoring her and pretending that she wasn’t even there. It was such a surreal thing to see that I shot this short video for a minute until my own train arrived and I had to quit filming so I wouldn’t miss it.

I’m now coming up on the home stretch. That’s right, I’m now on the last week of Inktober, which ends on Halloween. I’m amazed at myself for keeping up with this when I wasn’t able to do something similar last year when I made a New Year’s resolution to do one new sketch drawing per day (which soon turned into “one new sketch drawing per week” then “one new sketch drawing a month” until I only did one new drawing once in a while if I was in the mood to do one). I’m also amazed at being able to keep up with it when I was very sick with this horrible cold earlier this month that left me feeling very weak and exhausted. (I compensated for the worst early phase of my sickness by doing quick drawings of a penguin and a panda bear since they tend to be very easy for me to draw and I was able to finish them quickly and upload them before I would take another nap.)

Today’s Inktober drawing is the last one I did as the result of last Saturday’s trip to Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City, Maryland. Like I’ve written before, Clark’s Elioak Farm has the attractions that used to be in the now-defunct Enchanted Forest amusement park. In addition to those attractions, Clark’s Elioak Farm also has a petting zoo where people have the chance to feed and pet a variety of farm animals (including goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, a cow, a pony, a donkey, and even an emu). I saw one of the goats sitting blissfully in this metal basin with its eyes closed. The goat looked very serene and peaceful sitting in that basin. I did my latest ink drawing based on that goat.

Here is another one of my drawings that I originally did in pencil while I was visiting Clark’s Elioak Farm on Saturday and I managed to ink it for today’s Inktober drawing.

Willie the Whale was another attraction that was originally housed at the now-defunct Enchanted Forest theme park and it was subsequently relocated to Clark’s Elioak Farm. The cool thing about this whale is that people could sit right in the whale’s opened mouth and have their pictures taken. If you turn around and look further into the whale’s throat, you would see an old man with long hair and a beard standing on a makeshift raft holding a fishing pole. This definitely harkens to the old Bible story Jonah and the Whale.

Yesterday I went to Clark’s Elioak Farm where I took my sketchbook with me. I was only able to fully complete one drawing (which I uploaded yesterday) but I managed to do a few rough pencil sketches of some of the other things I saw while I was at the farm. Today’s drawing is one of them. I basically drew over my pencil sketch in ink.

This drawing is of the Crooked House, which was one of the attractions that used to be at the now-defunct Enchanted Forest theme park. This one is an architectural marvel in that it was originally constructed as a crooked house. According to the book The Enchanted Forest: Memories of Maryland’s Storybook Park, the big challenge was to find carpenters willing to build a house that looked crooked yet had a study enough foundation so that it wouldn’t fall to the ground after it was built. That book mentions that one of the carpenters the theme park hired walked off the job after saying that it was impossible to build.

That carpenter was wrong because not only was the Crooked House built but it managed to survive years of the Enchanted Forest being in business then it survived years of neglect after the Enchanted Forest closed its doors for good and it was left to the elements. The Crooked House survived being moved from its original location to its present location at Clark’s Elioak Farm.

So, without further ado, here is my drawing of the Crooked House.

After today I only have 10 more days and 10 more drawings to do before I can say that I mastered Inktober 2017.

Today is Saturday and it was one of those glorious sunny fall days that typically hit this area where the weather was in the low 70’s with low humidity. (In other words it wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too cold. The weather was just right.) I decided to try something different with Inktober by taking my sketchpad and pens and going to Clark’s Elioak Farm to do some plein air drawing. I was only able to complete one drawing but I managed to do a few additional pencil sketches of the other parts of the farm so all I have to do is color them in ink and I’ll have a few more daily Inktober drawings over the next few days.

Clark’s Elioak Farm has the original attractions from the now-defunct Enchanted Forest amusement park that my parents used to take me to when I was a child. I’ve shot a few videos about this. (Starting with two shorter videos I shot in 2009 dealing with Clark’s Elioak Farm and the Enchanted Forest’s former location. I would later shoot a longer 24-minute documentary, Saving the Enchanted Forest, which was debuted at Artomatic 2015 and can now be viewed anytime on YouTube.)

I also wrote blog posts and shot photos of Clark’s Elioak Farm in 2013, 2014, August, 2015 (which was the 60th anniversary of the Enchanted Forest’s opening), and October, 2015.

So after skipping 2016 I went back to Clark’s Elioak Farm once again to do some sketching. I also took some photos because this farm has undergone a few changes since my last visit but I’ll write more about this in a later post. Here’s the one drawing I completed at Clark’s Elioak Farm. It’s a white swan and a black duckling. I remember they were originally part of the Mother Goose Ride and I still have the Enchanted Forest souvenir postcard set that I’ve had since childhood that shows the Mother Goose Ride in its original state. When the original ride cars were transferred to the farm, the wheels and seats were dismantled and today all three cars are now stationery and I frequently see kids climbing over them. The two former cars that I sketched are in one area of the park while the third former car is in another area (located near the petting zoo). Here are the white swan and black duckling sitting among the pine trees.

Recently some local artists decided to get together to fight urban blight by painting art murals on the abandoned buildings that dot Route 1 in Hyattsville, Maryland. Here are a few photos I took during my most recent trip to Hyattsville.

While I was driving around Hyattsville I found another one of those Little Free Library boxes.

One particular feature of this Little Free Library is that there is a small box that has tiny erasers that anyone can take.

As for the new Hyattsville murals, they can all be found on Route 1. As the sign in the next photo states, this was a project that was undertaken by a local design firm known as Green Owl Design.

As you can see, the murals are definitely eye-catching and awesome to see in person. I would recommend parking your car long a side street and look at all the murals while you’re walking around.

This next photo shows a bush that was planted in what looks like a recycled bathtub.

Located at the intersection of Route 1 and Hamilton Street is Polka Dot Park, which is a brand-new urban park.

When I was there that day, some of the animators who worked on the new animated film Loving Vincent, which is based on the life of Vincent Van Gogh, were there doing a special painting. By the time I arrived the painters had just finished and they were on the verge of leaving. They did their own version of Van Gogh’s classic Starry Night painting.

I made a brief stop at the Renaissance Square Artists Housing, which offers affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments to low-income artists.

One interesting feature is that this places offers its own version of the Little Free Library, with this one focusing exclusively on art.

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