Puffins v Penguins

by Harry Miller April 13, 2020

Puffins with seascape interior

Puffins 4 - 1 Penguins

Puffins and Penguins are pretty versatile birds: they both eat fish, can literally swim like fish to catch the fish, can survive in the toughest of weather conditions, they mostly partner for life, are both delightful in appearance, and are the names and faces of two of the biggest book publication companies in the world!

One of them though has the upper hand: despite the Puffin’s rotund appearance, they can actually fly.  They might have to beat their little wings 300 - 400 a minute to achieve this, but in doing so they can reach speeds of 55mph. 

Penguin with seascape interior

According to Icelandic folklore, the puffin - or Lundi - can also predict the weather.  During the 8 months they spend bobbing about on the North Atlantic Ocean, they’ve been known to fly onto land a few days before a gale arrives.  They were also observed by Icelandic fisherman and would lead them to the catch of the day - bringing new meaning to ‘Captain Birdseye’.      

For the 4 months they are on dry land, they get to use another talent that has once again alluded the penguin: digging.  Yes, believe it or not these busy little birds use their versatile beaks to shovel away at the dirt, and they’re so good at it that their handy work could easily be mistaken for a rabbits burrow: digging down to depths of 3ft where they can safely lay their eggs. 

Unfortunate for the puffin, Inuits used to believe that the birds beaks could also be used for medicinal purposes, as they were collected to make a percussion instrument that had supernatural healing powers.  Ireland, on the other hand was a more hospitable place for the puffin, whose inhabitants believed that the birds were actually monks, reincarnated, and so didn’t dream of eating them - or turning them into musical instruments at that matter.  Over in Cornwall some went a step further: claiming that the puffin was no less than the reincarnation of King Arthur!           

Don’t worry though penguins, you are arguably the better book publication.  

Puffins with seascape interior painting in progressFinished puffin painting cut off the board. 

Penguin with seascape interior painting in progress

Finished penguin painting cut off the board.

Puffins available as cards and prints

Penguin Card and print




Harry Miller
Harry Miller

Author



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in News / Work in progress / Mythology

Tiger in Buckinghamsire!

by Daniel Mackie June 14, 2020

This is Mack's Tiger. It was part of a school project based on my work and a theme of animals in the natural habitat.  Mack created this on Procreate on his mums iPad

Read More

Owls at Night

by Harry Miller April 30, 2020

Owl Greeting Card The DM Collection

With the exception of artists, inventors, and teenagers - we humans are diurnal daytime creatures on the whole, and although it’s one thing to be out and about during the night in a street lit urban environment, it’s a very different scenario if you find yourself in, say… oh, I don’t know, a forest per se.  Where, if you’re lucky, you may hear the unmistakable cry or hoot of an Owl: natures very own nocturne, a stark reminder of the unknown peril of night, and a creature that has featured heavily in myth and folklore throughout the ages.

Read More

A Polar Bear's Tail

by Harry Miller April 22, 2020

Polar bear swimming in the ocean illustration The Dm Collection
Weighing up to as much as 800 kg - that’s roughly the same as 10 men - a male boar Polar Bear is the largest *hypercarnivorous land mammal on the planet.  In fact the largest specimen ever recorded was an Alaskan bear back in 1960, which weighed in at an astonishing 1,002 kg, and had a length of just over 11ft.  Now that’s a big bear!   

Read More