By Denise McCarty
Photographs of meteorological phenomena are displayed on Canada Post’s second set of Weather Wonders stamps.
Canada Post said of this July 26 stamp issue, “Captured in Canada by amateur and professional photographers with endless patience, keen eyes and some luck, too, these photos reveal the awesome power and beauty of nature.”
Like the first set issued June 18, 2015 (Scott 2838-2843), the new Weather Wonders set includes five nondenominated permanent-rate stamps paying the basic domestic rate (85¢) produced in two formats: as self-adhesives in a booklet of 10 (five of each design), and in a souvenir sheet of five with moisture-activated gum.
The weather wonders pictured this time are steam fog, a waterspout, lenticular clouds, light pillars and a moon halo.
To see the names of the phenomena on the stamps, you will need to get out a magnifying glass as they are hidden in various locations on the designs. These microtype descriptions are in both English and French.
The first stamp features Mark Newman’s photograph of steam fog hovering over a lake in British Columbia. Also called sea smoke, steam fog is formed when cold air flows over a warmer body of water.
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The second stamp illustrates a waterspout. The photo by Garry M. Cass depicts a waterspout over Lake Ontario. Basically a rotating funnel cloud over water, waterspouts can be fair weather or tornadic.
Pictured on the third stamp is Marilyn Dunstan’s photo of lenticular clouds. These lens-shaped clouds often form over mountains, and in Dunstan’s photo they are “soaring like UFOs over the mountains of Alberta’s Jasper National Park,” according to Canada Post.
The final two stamps depict light pillars and a moon halo, respectively. Canada Post said that airborne ice crystals are responsible for both of these “sensational light displays.”
Timmy Joe Elzinga of North Bay, Ont., witnessed the strange lights outside his bathroom window after his 2-year-old son woke him up on a cold January night.
“Red, blue, green, yellow, purple and pink lights seemed to beam up in the air,” he said. “It almost looked like something out of Star Trek.”
It turned out that they were light pillars, caused by the artificial lights of the city of North Bay reflecting off ice crystals.
Elzinga’s cell phone photograph of the light pillars is pictured on the stamp.
David McColm, a landscape and night sky photographer based in Whistler, B.C., took the photograph of the moon halo at the city’s Rainbow Park.
Entro Communications designed the stamps and souvenir sheet. Lowe-Martin printed them by four-color lithography in quantities of 400,000 booklets of 10 (Canada Post ordering number 414088111), and 85,000 souvenir sheets (404088145). The stamps measure 40 millimeters by 32mm, and the souvenir sheet is 158mm by 92mm.
The booklet cover shows the steam fog photo.
The selvage of the souvenir sheet depicts an illustration of antique weather-monitoring equipment and also includes a inscription with the names of the printer, designer and photographers; a thank-you to Environment and Climate Change and for its assistance with the stamp issue; and symbolic images of three clouds and the sun in the basic printing colors of cyan, magenta, yellow and black.
Canada Post official first-day cover (404088144) is franked with the souvenir sheet and is postmarked in North Bay, Ont. The pictorial cancel shows an anemometer, a device used to measure wind speed. Canada Post produced 7,000 of these FDCs.
The stamp booklet, souvenir sheet and FDC are available at the Canada Post website, and by mail order from Canada Post Customer Service, Box 90022, 2701 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON K1V 1J8 Canada; or by telephone from the United States or Canada at 800-565-4362, and from other countries at 902-863-6550.
Canada’s stamps and stamp products also are available from many new-issue stamp dealers, and from Canada Post’s agent in the United States: Interpost, Box 420, Hewlett, NY 11557.
The souvenir sheet also features a background illustration of antique weather monitoring equipment.