17 December 2008

Redwood philately

Our backyard redwoods will be featured on the US Post Office's 2009 Priority Mail stamps available in January. (Yellowstone's Old Faithful graces the more expensive 2009 Express Mail stamps.) The illustration shows a pair of Eddie Bauer attired hikers (Does the woman look like Jennifer Aniston to you, too?) beneath the towering redwood canopy. The illustration is the digital creation of an Illinois artist under the direction of a southern California art director. These long-distance artists (no locals were available apparently) capture nicely the multi-layered canopy, fire scars, ferns, even an old dead top tree...all indicative of old growth forests. I'd love to find out which of our forests from Santa Cruz to Humboldt and Del Norte served as the model for the illustration.

Though I'm no where close to being a philatelic historian, the redwoods were last featured by the USPS in the 2006 Wonders of America series of 39-cent first class stamps. The only other redwood-themed stamp I've discovered in 12 minutes of exhaustive googling research is a 1964 issue honoring John Muir with redwoods as the backdrop. Though they could be the giant sequoias with which Muir has more of a stronger association, the shape of the trees and their proximity to one another makes 'em look a whole lot more like our neighborhood coast redwoods.

Here's a link to yesterday's USPS press release on the Redwood stamp including directions on where and where to get 'em when they're available: http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/2008/pr08_132.htm


Kym said...

My dad just gave his collection to our oldest son. I'm thinking these would make a great birthday present.

Bob Flame, Ranger said...

Cool thought. My dad-in-law is slowly passing down his collection to our daughter. It's fun to see these kinds of things moving through the generations.