Thursday, June 26, 2008

From the Archives - Canada Wildlife Stamp - Loon

Note: This post originally appeared on Stamps of Distinction on February 6, 2008. This was the 8th post I had written, including the Welcome message! Readership was just a handful at that time, so now would be a good time to take a stroll down memory lane. It is a very brief post, but closely examine the stamp.

This stamp is one of my favorites, due to its graceful appearance. It is an engraved stamp, which really adds to the sharp distinctions between the black and white feathers of the loon.

Ever heard the expression "He's as crazy as a loon?" It derives from the wailing, haunting cry of the waterbird known as a loon, which might vaguely remind someone of an insane person's maniacal howlings.

The loon is a magnificent, duck-like bird. When mature, its markings produce a sharply delineated black-and-white plumage, with the head and neck being gray in some species. The beak of the loon is sharp and dagger-like. It grows to the size of a small goose.

Loons, which are most prevalent in the northern half of North American and Europe, rarely come out to dry land and when they do they are notoriously awkward when walking. They prefer the water where they are very adept at swimming and diving. Loons have been known to dive over 200 ft and stay submerged for more than a minute.

In 1998, Canada Post introduced the $1 (CDN) Loon stamp as part of its Canadian Wildlife definitive series. It is a large stamp and is beautiful in appearance, with wonderful coloration. It is a must-have stamp, if for no other reason than its graceful artful and simplistic design.

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