Here are photos from my visit to Olana, home of the famous Hudson River School painter, Frederic Edwin Church. It’s only a half hour drive from my house and in the off-season it’s free to roam around their 250 acres. The architecture is gorgeous and so is the view of the river. My housemate, Cassie and I took a quick trip out there to practice our landscape drawing skills (she doesn’t need any practice but I sure do). After failing to draw the house, I ended up sketching a fun little underwater carnival scene with a hammerhead as a lion, a shark balancing a ball on its nose, a mermaid as a sexy sideshow act and a mustached whale as the master of ceremonies. All this this action was happening beneath a serene lake with swans unknowingly swimming on the surface. Not sure what inspired such a quirky sketch. Cassie did a beautiful sketch of the house. Her work is amazing! I can’t wait to see what she unveils for her local art show in August. Among the photos of the house are a few of a very friendly chipmunk. Can chipmunks have rabies? This creature was extremely laid-back about us photographing it. It seemed to enjoy being the center of attention. If we are reincarnated, as some believe, I have a feeling we shared a few moments with Frederic Church’s chipmunked self. I couldn’t help but chuckle thinking about the ornate underground Olana that he may have created for himself.