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Dave Bellard's not-so-daily journal and sketchbook 

Ricketts Glen State Park, Pennsylvania

So this may sound like hyperbole, but I swear it's genuine. This weekend I visited one of the most beautiful places I've ever experienced in the United States, and it sits right in the heart of good old Pennsylvania: Ricketts Glen State Park, located in Northeast PA (a little west of Wilkes-Barre for those of you up on your PA geography).  Ricketts Glen SP is best known for it's 22 waterfalls that cascade down two different glens...

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Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland - Weekend 4 of the Park Challenge

So I missed a few weekends in the State/National Park challenge, but last weekend I made it out to Catoctin Mountain Park, a National Park in Northern Maryland close to the Pennsylvania border. That part of Maryland is home to four big protected forest areas all within 50 miles of each other: Catoctin, Cunningham Falls State Park, Gambrills State Park and South Mountain State Park. Catoctin is most famous as the location of...

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David Bellard
Gambrill State Park, Maryland - Weekend 3 of the Forest Challenge

What is the forest challenge? Well, this summer it's been absolutely too hot for me to go out in the sun. My body can't stand the heat. I sweat like a maniac and I burn within 10 minutes of being in the sun, but I had to get out and get into nature. So I set a goal around mid-August of this year to visit one state or national park each weekend to hike and do a portrait of each park, similar to the work I did in the "Forest Mystics" series . My goal is to do this until the end of October. So far I've been to...

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David Bellard
Socialist Realism in Albania: A visit to the National Gallery of Art

I took the digital photos in the gallery below in 2014 when I was on a three-week trip through six countries in the Balkan area of Eastern Europe. One of those countries was the oft overlooked Albania, where I spent two days in the capital city of Tirana. I won't go into general detail about post-soviet bloc Albania, or Tirana, suffice it to say the country has a growing economy in Europe and the tales of lawless society are pure myth...

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David Bellard