I drove by the cattle auction house in Middlefield yesterday early on. I would see burly men exiting their pick up trucks holding a cups of coffee from their favorite deli. It reminded me of my dad as he would love to head out early on a Saturdays to visit the boat yard with his cup of coffee in hand. The cup would come to represent the weekend, a time when he would escape from work, the kids and anything else weighing on his mind. As I drove along, I would sip my cup of hot chocolate, now a staple of my morning photo excursions. It was early and Durham was still asleep as I meandered around looking for a decent shot. I would think to myself that I needed to start driving further as I think I have covered every inch of these nearby towns. The hot chocolate tempted me to keep driving as I wasn't ready to give it up its warmth to muck through the mud of some field. I would have my typical problem…private property. So much of what interest me is on private land. At 6:15, no one wants a knock on the door from some permission seeking photographer dressed in her Wellies. Gun shots echoed from every piece of public open area that I would drive by. Hunters had woken me up at 5 am and now they were keeping me from my shot too. Last thing I wanted was to be mistaken for some wild turkey. I ended up back in Durham at Rivendel, one of my favorite horse farms in the area. The owner is really cool and always smiling no matter what the hour. The farm is spectacular. Horses followed as I walked paddock to paddock deliberately petting each one and saying hello. For a short time, I would escape my world into theirs, sinking deep into the mud along with them. The rain this season has plagued all of the area farms, a challenge that most in modern suburbia are somewhat unaware of. I would snap a few shots and be ready to go home. But I would come home having a little vacation of sorts. I would better understand my dads coffee-cupped escapes early on Saturday mornings, as well as the men from the auction house. For those that read this, do you have something worthy of photography in your immediate surroundings? Contact me if you do. Most farmers tend to wonder what I see in their creaky old buildings, but believe me, the proof is in the photo. Your help in finding good locations both public and private would keep my meanderings focused and you'll see the best shots here. I'll keep those warm cups of hot chocolate flowing and with it, the photos.