When I was growing up I was lucky enough to be raised by my backyard.

The small wood behind my parents house shaped who I am today.

It taught me how to sit and observe -- how to internalize the world around me. The few acres behind my house felt like thousands when I was young. In the spring I would watch the landscape turn from white to brown and then brown to green. During the summer I would listen to the birds sing as the river otters splashed about. I watched fall bring brilliant colors to the forest floor. Then, with winter, came a white landscape and a grey sky. But, if you were lucky, you would see the fox and his rusty orange coat illuminating the desaturated landscape. It was energizing to grow up watching the landscape change with the seasons.

Most importantly, it taught me how to dream -- how to use my imagination to create the world I wanted to be in. My friends and I would dig and dig until we had underground tunnels. Some days these tunnels would be our last defense in a great battle. Other days the underground tunnels transformed into massive underground cave systems. In these caves we would become great explorers. We would discover gold or ancient artifacts that the world had yet to see. We created our own worlds.

These lessons and the experiences that my backyard gave me are why I love photography. I enjoy observing nature and people. I enjoy dreaming. I enjoy exploring my backyard. I hope to make the world my backyard.