Friday, May 10, 2013

Stamp of the Day: Baltimore checkerspot

This is an American stamp of the Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton), a butterfly in black, white, and orange. Its caterpillar lives on a plant called White Turtle Head.  Don't you love these common names!?  It has also sometimes switched over to the weedy Lance-leaved Plantain, which came to the US from Europe with the colonialists.

The post office released this stamp for the particular use on large envelopes for greeting cards.  How practical!  I use them for letters to Sweden that need more than the usual postage. More on the stamp, the art, and the orange, black and white here. These were the color of the coat of arms for Lord Baltimore, who not only gave name to the city, but also this butterfly, and the bird called Baltimore Oriole, which we have in our yard.  It hasn't arrived yet this year, but it will, and it builds hanging woven nests in the big silver maples along the road.

This butterfly is relevant to me, because tomorrow I am driving to Baltimore to pick up AREA who has finished her first year in college (yeah! congratulations!!!).  I doubt we will bring back any butterflies or birds in the car, but there will be art, more art, kitchen stuff, a table, microwave, unused foods, and who knows what that will need to be emptied out from her college apartment and stuffed into my car.  Welcome home AREA!

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