the backyard

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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This is our backyard. It’s a huge space, made available because we live pretty far from everything. Since I work and travel most frequently in Rochester that is the area I associate with, but in fact I live down by Letchworth State Park. It’s not easy to live here. There is a lot of driving involved with going to the grocery store, a good coffee shop, etc… but I guess in some ways that simplifies things. Instead of being able to run out at any time our trips are more planned and intentional, because they have to be. We are surrounded by nature. There are waterfalls under bridges and open fields in every direction, and it’s an interesting thing to be surrounded by space. You can breath a bit deeper and slow down when you step outside. I’m grateful for that.

We had our first good snow on Monday and Matt took Daphne out to play. If there is one thing he is good at (and there are certainly quite a few things) outdoor recreation is at the top of the list. To be able to enjoy the outdoors and invite people to share it with you is a unique gift. I think he has the Adirondacks to thank for that. We squeezed Daphne into last year’s Patagonia snowsuit and put on her newly borrowed boots and they were off : building a snowman (and a snow baby – she loves babies these days), identifying tracks, checking on the newly built sledding hill and shaking the snow off of trees and on to each other.

I can probably attribute it to the snow, or last years Christmas turned sickhouse, but soon after November rolled around, I was ready to get into the spirit. I know, I’m not typically one of those people, but something made me come around starting Christmas early. I’m really just talking about being okay with Christmas music playing, slowly getting out decorations and preparing for the advent traditions our family will share and celebrate in the days leading up to Christmas. Everything goes by too fast these days anyway, so finding ways to slow things down and enjoy moments are at the top of my list. Share your ideas with me and if you are experiencing the crazy snow storm in Buffalo right now I’m thinking + praying for you!

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