By Dave Coulter
Puffin is a word that I will probably always say with an exclamation point. I remember that I thought they looked cool when I saw pictures as a kid. A few years ago that pleasant memory was rekindled when my late brother and I toured the Oregon Coast Aquarium (AKA the House that Keiko Built). They had a fine little display of sea birds, and their puffins were endearing, active and comical.
My affection for these birds was sealed for good last summer when E and I spotted puffins on the Oregon coast. BTW, she gets credit for seeing them first. So this is clearly a creature that always brings me some fine memories and puts a smile on my face. Hence the exclamation point.
This odd little story only got better this week when I was surprised with my own puffin! My "other brother"- Dave "Harley" McComb of Batavia, IL - is an outdoorsman and a wildlife artist who creates duck decoys. We used to work together, and this fine example of wildlife art was waiting for me on the job. I was told that I tend to go on about these birds, and I guess I do. I also suspect that Dave is trying to shame me into finally painting that blank Saw-whet owl I have on the shelf.
Anyway, life is a strange and wonderful thing. You just never know what's around the next corner. I guess in my case it's puffins.
I mean, PUFFINS!
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