It has been a beautiful 10 degrees below zero day here at the Essen Wildlife Refuge. The clouds moved out, and the sun was at the perfect angle to catch the snow glistening on all the trees with a tall mountain peak in the background.

I’ve fallen in love with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 large-chip pocket camera, because it takes great photos and fits into my coat pocket. So I grab that camera, and Nellie and I trudge through the snow to “the point” on the far side of our property. Unfortunately, as good as that camera is, there are still some things it can’t do as well as my Canon digital SLR can do. In this case, the brightness of the snow on the trees prevented the mountain peak from popping in the picture as it should.

So Nellie and I trudge back to the house, where I grab my Canon digital SLR and attach the proper lens.

Back we trudge to the point. Yay! The light was still at that magical angle. I compose the shot and push the shutter button. “Please replace the battery pack” lit up on the screen. Damn!

Back we trudge to the house. I install another battery pack and head out to the point again.

Through all of this, Nellie thinks it’s just a big game. She loves the snow, and each time we trudge to the point it’s a bonus walk.

This time, unfortunately, the sun had dropped too low in the sky for that glistening snow-covered forest and tall snowy mountain peak photo. Damn again.

But Nellie doesn’t care! Now dad will finally put down that pesky camera and pay attention to the dog.

So we played football in the snow for a bit—me sneaking out my camera for this photo of pure doggy joy.

And for those who haven’t seen Nellie before: that’s snow, not white fur, on her face. Or, as she thinks of it, “Doggie cocaine.”