Wow, a new year already. I took my dog, a Golden Retriever named Gator, for a walk this afternoon. To say it was brisk would be an understatement, but once we got going, I was actually pretty warm. I did have to take off and put on mittens several times to keep my fingers from feeling real pain, but a cold shooting hand is a necessary evil in outdoor winter photography. I had slip-on metal grips on the bottoms of my shoes and felt pretty safe on the icy path and frozen snow. Poor Gator had a few cartoon-style spin outs on the ice but he quickly figured out that walking in the snow kept him on his feet and the two of us plodded along, picking our paths in absolute silence. It was just what I needed to start the year.