|Date of Issue||October 1, 2012|
First-Class Mail® Forever Commemorative
|Perforation or Dimension||1.224 x 1.224 in./31.09 x 31.09 mm|
|Series||Earthscapes - Satellite Images|
|Series Time Span||2012|
|Issue Location||Greenbelt, MD 20770|
|Postal Administration||United States|
“Islands” of wood — log rafts made up of harvested timber — travel by water toward an Idaho mill for processing. This older method of transport has largely died out. Today the timber industry relies on rail and roads to transport trees and tree products from forests to sawmills. Circa 2005 photo taken in Idaho by Tom Brakefield of Hendersonville, TN. Brakefield was as a passenger in an ultra-light aircraft. He encountered steep canyons and strong winds when taking this picture.
On October 1, 2012, in Greenbelt, MD, the Postal Service™ will issue Earthscapes commemorative stamps (Forever® stamp, priced at 45 cents) in 15 designs in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of 15 stamps. The stamps will go on sale nationwide October 1, 2012.
This Earthscapes issuance offers stamp customers an opportunity to see the world in a new way. This stamp pane presents examples of three categories of earthscapes: natural, agricultural, and urban. The photographs were all created high above the planet’s surface, either snapped by “eyes in the sky” — satellites orbiting the Earth — or carefully composed by photographers in aircraft.
In the top row, we fly over America’s stunning wilderness. While a volcanic eruption scars the forests of Washington State, fog drifts over the timeless sandstone towers of Utah’s Monument Valley. In Alaska, a wide stripe that looks like a highway is actually a glacier, an immense conveyer belt of ice. At its base, jagged white shards resembling broken glass are really icebergs, bobbing in a lake.
The stamps in the center row may look like abstract art, but they show five products being gathered, grown, or harvested: salt, timber, grain, cherries, and cranberries. Center-pivot irrigation systems create the beguiling play of geometric shapes in the middle stamp — although bystanders on the ground might see only sprinklers in fields of wheat, alfalfa, corn, and soybeans.
In the bottom row, urban life takes center stage. Highways corkscrew around themselves and neat subdivisions sport tiny blue pools. It’s our familiar world, shrunken into miniature — and seen with the new eyes that a fresh perspective can bring.
From the power and glory of nature to the interaction of people with the land — in both agricultural and urban settings — each stamp, within its limited amount of space, represents only a fragment of a geographical area, which may or may not be typical of a particular region.
Art director Howard E. Paine designed this educational and visually rich pane of stamps.
The Earthscapes stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.