I rotated the image anti-clockwise because I want to use it on a greeting card. Usually when I rotate images of flowers I can see that the image is not going to work. The image just looks like what it is – on its side.
But when I rotated this photograph, it looked OK. So let me ask you, does it look OK to you or does it look wrong?
This card ‘Loyalty’ is from our Friendship range. The two puffins are perching on a rock on the Isle of May. It’s an island that my wife Tamara and I visited in 2012. I went again in 2015 to look at and photograph puffins.
The Isle Of May is a little sliver of an island, just one-and-a-half kilometres long. It is located in the mouth of the Firth of Forth. The island is much nearer to the north side of the Firth, so it’s quite a journey to get there, setting off from Berwick on the southern shore.
Beyond the mouth of the Firth of Forth you are out into the North Sea. So there’s a real sense of being out with elemental nature when you go out to the island.
As well as thousands of breeding pairs of puffins there are also other sea birds. There are thousands upon thousands of breeding pairs of kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, and greater and lesser black-backed gulls on the island.
So where does loyalty come in? Well, puffins are loyal and breed with the same mate each year. And they will re-use the same nest site each year, too.
A boat and two flowers and a quote from Edward Lear’s poem The Owl and The Pussycat.
And topped off with ‘Be My Valentine’ as the name of the boat.
With all of it set against an impressionistic blue sea with toy waves.
In case you don’t know it, the quote ‘Oh let us be married, too long we have tarried’ is from the second verse of the poem. It goes:
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl! How charmingly sweet you sing! O let us be married! too long we have tarried, But what shall we do for a ring?
Too Long We Have Tarried
There is a whole story tucked in those words ‘too long we have tarried’, isn’t there. It is the story of a couple who have been romantically entwined for ages, for forever, but until how have not taken the step into marriage.
This is of course leaving aside that in this particular case we are talking about crossing the species boundary – so children probably aren’t going to be in the picture for the couple’s future life together.
Still – love is love.
My Favourite Line
My favourite line from the poem is the one that goes:
Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling your ring? Said the Piggy, “I will.
The more prosaic and direct way to have phrased it would have been to ask whether the pig was willing to sell the ring. And then to offer a price, something like:
Will you sell the ring, I can offer you one shilling.
But that is not what the poet does. He makes his character do a little musical sidestep mid sentence by mentioning the price with the words ‘for one shilling’. It is just delightful.