17 August 2005

Puffin Love

If you're like me, you love puffins. You know, those big-billed, clownish birds, the penguins of the North. In the summer of 2000, Victor and I spent a week on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia--a destination selected solely for its proximity to puffins. We did get to see some puffins, though not as close up as I would have liked (for that, I had to move to Chicago and visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, which--in a dark and rather stinky building--displays Atlantic Puffins, Tufted Puffins, and several relatives, including Common Murres and Razorbills).

We came home with some wonderful souvenirs: a coffee mug decorated with iconic puffin images, a tee shirt with an embroidered puffin, and a magnetic memo pad (suitable for grocery lists) with a puffin photograph on every page. Over the years, though, the puffins on the coffee mug succumbed to too much rough treatment by the dishwasher, the tee shirt faded and shrank, and the memo pad ran out of pages.

So I've been in the market for puffin stuff. In the past several months, I've occasionally cruised the Web for sources, with no luck. Recently, though, I came across a site that's actually called Puffin Stuff. While I didn't find mugs or tee shirts to catch my fancy, I did find some magnetic memo pads featuring a nice photo of two splendid specimens on top, and a pale watermarked image of a single puffin below. (Imagine my joy!)

They arrived just yesterday and they're perfect, except...

The pad says "Maine" on top. Which I didn't notice when I examined the product online. (Probably didn't fully magnify the image, in my excitement at finding a pristine puffin photo instead of an icky-cutesy drawing.) I've been to Maine several times, but mainly to Portland. I've never seen puffins there.

To rectify this, I guess we'll need to plan a puffin-seeking Maine getaway.

Now, if I can only get Victor to agree with my impeccable logic...

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