Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Photon has an adventure

Photon and I headed out to Rhinelander on Thursday, to help pitch for WXPR. We always have a great time at the station--it's an absolutely wonderful community station, completely worth a 9-hour round trip drive to help support. This time I actually bought a membership, too--at the $75 level I got the coolest imaginable premium--Beethoven's Nine Symphonies, by Josef Krips and the London Symphony Orchestra!!!! This is the exact same version Russ got back in 1969 or so, as one of those introductory offers to join a big record club. So it's the one I memorized, learning every movement's every note. I must have listened to each record dozens of times, and to the Fifth, Sixth, and Ninth Symphonies each at least a hundred times. And now I can hear them again! First thing I did when I got home was install them on my iPod, and I've already listened to my Big Three twice each.

But when I was in the studio Thursday afternoon, since it was pretty warm in Rhinelander, someone propped the outside door open without realizing Photon was there, and she decided to take a little walk. I came out and she was nowhere to be found! So Mick Fiocchi and I headed out to look for her. I turned toward a little patch of woods near the station--that's the kind of place she loves to check out. I tried to whistle, but this damnable Bell's palsy makes that impossible. She wasn't in the woods across the street, so then I walked behind the building where I saw something that looked like her and started calling. That's when a sweet couple called me over. Photon had apparently seen their little dog through their apartment's patio door, and knocked on the door! They found it funny that a cute, friendly little dog was paying a visit, and when they saw her dog tags called the phone number. Russ answered, of course not having a clue what was happening, and so when they told him they'd found his dog, Russ said, "But she's in Wisconsin." To which they of course responded that they were in Wisconsin, and told him where they were. So he called the station to tell them Photon had been found, but meanwhile I'd found her myself. So then I had to call him to tell him the prodigal puppy had returned.

Photon is always fun at the station--she greets people, does her tricks ("Road kill!" "Not happy road kill, tragic road kill!" "Oh, no! Mommy's got a gun--BANG!" "Wave bye-bye!" "Dance!"), and when she's not off having adventures, lays down quietly in the studio with me. But for Photon, Dog of the Northwoods, it's not exciting being stuck indoors, even at a lovely station like WXPR. So I promised her we'd have "such larks, Pip!" as soon as we were done.

She got to play with Mick and Karen Fiocci's excellent Golden Retriever Gus that night, and next morning we headed back to the station for a little reception. And after that, it was time for REAL fun. We stopped at the Powell Marsh where she got to go for a little swim:

I saw the most peculiar thing there--what looks like a "mixed marriage" between a Trumpeter Swan and a Canada Goose. They were pretty far out, so I didn't get any good photos, but they were sleeping and then preening right next to one another.
Of course, Photon paid them no mind. We saw Sandhill Cranes, Ring-necked Ducks, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, and a few other birds, heard a few Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs, and lots of Chorus Frogs. It was a lovely little respite from real life. The cranes seemed totally spooked by me--I guess my Dick Cheney smile put fear in them that I'd shoot them in the face. Oh, well.