January 10, 2013

0309, 0457 UNITED STATES (California) - Yosemite National Park (UNESCO WHS)

0309 King Arthur Tree in Yosemite National Park

Like Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, the Yosemite Valley, part of the park with the same name, famous for its glacially carved domes, are embraced by the Sierra Nevada (Spanish for "snow-covered mountain range"), which runs 640 km north-to-south, between the California Central Valley and the Basin and Range Province. Yosemite National Park is recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls (Yosemite Falls is the highest in North America), clear streams, glaciers, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity.

0457 Yosemite Valley in 1944

"It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter", wrote John Muir, "one of the patron saints of twentieth-century American environmental activity", with more then a century ago. As is written on the first postcard, "the California Tree [now called King Arthur]  is located in the Mariposa Grove, about a hundred yards beyond the Grizzly Giant, The tunnel was cut through in 1895 to serve as a substitute when heavy snows made the Wawona Tree inaccessible."

Mariposa Grove is the largest grove of Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the park, with several hundred mature examples of the tree. Grizzly Giant is probably the oldest tree in the grove, having between 1900 and 2400 years, and is counted as the 25th largest tree in the world. Since the fall of the Wawona Tunnel Tree in 1969, the California Tunnel Tree is the only living tree with a tunnel in it.

About the stamps
On the postcard 0309
The stamps are part of the Aloha series (surfers and their boards; fossil fish, shells, and sea stars; tropical flower known as the bird of paradise), about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 0457
The first stamp is part of the series Bicentennial Era - The Boston Tea Party, issued on July 4, 1973 and designed by William A. Smith. The Boston Tea Party, the historical event that preceeded the American Revolutionary War, is attractively depicted on a block of four stamps with the same value (8c), which make up togheter a complete picture:
• a British Merchantman Ship
• a British Three Master
• boats of the raiding party and a ship's hull - It's on the postcard 0457
• a boat in the harbor and a nearby dock with some people

The second stamp is the first from a set depicting butterflies, for use on large-size non-machinable greeting cards. Nationally acclaimed artist Tom Engeman used images of mounted butterflies to inspire the stamp art he created by computer.

The Monarch (Danaus plexippus) is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, the most familiar North American butterfly. Its wings feature an easily recognizable black, orange, and white pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9-10.2 cm. The eastern North American monarch population is notable for its annual southward late-summer/autumn migration from the United States and southern Canada to Mexico. During the fall migration, monarchs cover thousands of km, with a corresponding multi-generational return north. 

2010.05.17 - Monarch Butterfly (64c) - It's on the postcard 0457
2012.01.20 - Checkerspot Butterfly (65c)
2013.01.20 - Spicebush Swallowtail (66c) - It's on the postcard 0882
2014.02.10 - Great Spangled Fritillary (70c) - It's on other postcard 1430
2015.06.01 - Eastern tiger swallowtail (non-machineable surcharge) - It's on the postcard 2392
2016.09.24 - Eastern Tailed-Blue (non-machineable surcharge) -It's on the postcard 2907

The third belongs to the series Fruit Berries, issued on April 10, 1999, a group of four 33c definitives, showing blueberries (It's on the postcard 0457), raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries.

Yosemite National Park - Wikipedia
Yosemite National Park - National Park Service
Aloha Shirts stamps - Beyond the perf

Sender 0309: Mikaila Michel (direct swap)
Sent from Parlier (California / United States), on 25.06.2012
Photo: Arnold and Carole Compolongo
Sender 0457: Elizabeth Stromberg / estromberg (postcrossing)
Sent from Santa Maria (California / United States), on 03.09.2012
Photo: Ansel Adams / 1944

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