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The ‘Collective’ Collection

If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll know I’m developing a series based on the collective nouns of all things birdies and beasties.

Since we are named after the humble bumble bee, we couldn’t ignore the wonderfully descriptive, ‘Hum of Bumblebees’, one of the many collective nouns to describe a gathering of bees. Other words you may be more familiar with include hive, swarm and bike. I even saw ‘a game of bees’ noted, and instantly I began bzzing the theme tune to Game of Thrones in my mind. Sorry, you’re doing it now too, aren’t you?.

Did you know bees flap their wings 200 times per second – that’s where the ‘bzzz’ noise comes from. The hum is used to communicate many different things in the hive and experienced beekeepers have the ability to recognise different types of hum. I love the collective noun Hum though as it really does make you think of bees hard at work, the soundtrack of our Scottish summers.

Perfecting the Playful Puffin

As well as a gulp of Swallows, I turned my attentions to Puffins since I’ve had a lot of fun illustrating them in the  Coastal Collection. Who doesn’t adore the beautifully turned-out Puffin? I was so chuffed when a recent Commission requested a ‘Circus of Puffins’, which meant I had the excuse to illustrate a whole gang of them. There are a few collective nouns associated with Puffins – the ‘Circus’ of Puffins usually refers to Puffins in flight, performing aerial acrobatics as they glide and flap their wings. Other names include colony, puffinry (I love this one), and hilariously the collective noun for a small group of young Puffins is called an improbability.

If you have any further ideas you would like to see added to the ‘Collective Collection’ do let me know. I am seriously contemplating a curfew of curlews or a squabble of seagulls right now. Seagulls around these parts have a high profile and big personality so it could be a lot of fun to capture their essence on canvas.

Until next time x

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