The Enchanted Forest is an abandoned theme park in Ellicott City, Maryland. Built one month after Disneyland, the 52 acre park had a nursery rhyme theme and featured buildings and characters from fairy tales.
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE:
The SNOLIGOSTER is an amphibious creature reportedly dwelling in swamps in the American South. It kind of looks like a really big alligator with no legs and a massive spike on its back, which it used to impale its prey. The spike is probably more of a defense mechanism, but it comes in handy when the beast is in the mood for kebabs. It is often described with a “mane”, which is probably just made of moss and other vegetation that complete it’s awesome log disguise. According to legend, it also swims and beats stuff up with its weird propeller-shaped tail-adornment. It isn’t a very strong swimmer. It doesn’t have to be.
The SNALLYGASTER a completely unrelated cryptid/ dubious bird-dragon that probably originated from some Lovecraftian other-realm, and stubbornly refuses to make any sense as an animal at all. It was originally spotted in 1909 in various east-coast states. Probably the most consistent thing about its description is how much it likes to scream (a lot). Do not be fooled by its bird-like “head”, which is actually a clawed proboscis that it uses to grab things and feed into its tentacle adorned mouth. Some believe they actually suck blood but who the hell can be sure. They also lay REALLY big eggs, yet somehow nobody has ever been able to confirm one. Afraid? If you live in Maryland, Don’t worry! A sort of Werewolf-Bigfoot called the DEWAYO hangs out around there and /really/ hates those pesky flying demon-birds, resulting in “vicious encounters” whenever they meet. Perhaps we have them to thank for stopping the otherwise inevitable snallygaster invasion.
Andrew and Neil go to an amusement park where Neil gets lost and Andrew *definitely does not* panic and worry, please! You are so amazing!
So like I kind of kept to the prompt??? Amusement park became State Fair, and Andrew and Neil lowkey became all the Foxes??? I’m sorry???
The parking area is already filled to the brim when they arrive. Andrew is pretty sure this doesn’t even count as a parking lot; the large field weighed down by rows upon rows of cars. There are numerous people in reflective yellow jackets using neon orange cones to direct traffic, and Andrew follows the line of cars to the next available spot. Matt’s truck pulls in beside the Maserati, and everyone climbs out, smiles out and wide in anticipation. Families and groups of teens alike weave their way through the cars around them, their chatter and laughter carrying on the breeze. It’s almost enough to drown out the screams and music coming from the Fair.
Despite it only being early October, the air has a chill to it with the sun gone, so the Foxes pull on hoodies and jackets before heading towards the epicentre of excitement. The sky is a pale indigo above their heads, a view stars blotching the inky surface, but the bright flashing lights up ahead are quick to wash them out. With each step closer, the scent of fried dough and spun sugar gets stronger, and seems to fuel the buzz reverberating through the group.
It doesn’t take long to get tickets, and then they’re moving through the entrance gate into the fairgrounds. The lights and sounds are even worse in the mix of things. A cacophony of chaos that grates on Andrew’s nerves and twinges at his temples like the start of a headache. He briefly wonders why he even agreed to come to the State Fair, but he finds he minds a little less when he takes in Neil’s expression. The striker’s face is bright, and his eyes are wide. The start of a smile tugs at the corners of his lips as he whips his head around to take everything in.
“Let me guess,” Andrew starts. “You’ve never been to a State Fair before.”
“Actually, I have,” Neil says. “Crowds like these are a great way to lose someone who’s chasing you.”
“Oh my god; that’s so sad,” Matt chimes in. “You need the full Fair experience, Neil! We’ll start with the Tilt-a-Whirl.”
I attended a frat party with one of my sisters last Halloween when we saw a pledge laying on the couch entirely unresponsive. I asked 10 brothers to help him and none of them were interested. My friend and I found him some water, got him a trash can, and sat with him until we were certain he would be alright and wouldn’t need an ambulance. We even put him into the “4″ position with his hands under his chin and his leg supporting him so that he couldn’t choke on any throw-up. It was intimidating to be around so many big guys who were drunk and rowdy with festivities, but it was the right thing to do.
At 2 A.M. on February 17, 1974, Robert K. Preston, a United States Army private first class, stole a United States Army Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey"helicopter from Fort Meade, Maryland, flew it to Washington, D.C. and hovered for six minutes over the White House before descending on the south lawn, about 100 yards from the West Wing. There was no initial attempt from the Executive Protective Service to shoot the helicopter down, and he later took off and was chased by two Maryland State Police helicopters. Preston forced one of the police helicopters down through his maneuvering of the helicopter, and then returned to the White House. This time, as he hovered above the south grounds, the Executive Protective Service fired at him with shotguns and submachine guns. Preston was injured slightly, and landed his helicopter. After being taken into custody Preston indicated he was upset over not being allowed to continue training to be a helicopter pilot, and staged the incident to show his skill as a pilot. He spent 1 year in prison, was fined $2400, and received a general discharge.
People who know something about native bees often know about the “Squash Bee” Peponapis pruinosa. However, there are a number of other native squash bees, and here is one. This is Xenoglossa strenua. It doesn’t help that it looks mighty darn similar to Peponapis pruinosa…but both the male and females have yellow on the base of their mandibles, while P.p. does not. Helpful under the microscope at least.
This specimen is one of the few, and the only recent, records for Maryland. An interesting note is that this species is not found in Maryland on any native plants, but only on the agricultural squash and pumpkin plants which originated in the Southwest and were migrated here eons ago by Indian farmers. Squash plants cannot overwinter in the region, but the squash bees can.