Sunday, 13 August 2017

Balloons and Bugs

2012: Autumn Dream
Up, up and away this Finnish stamp's balloon floats over the golden glow of autumn as part of a miniature sheet.
A mass of balloons float across a clear blue sky portraying the sport of hot air ballooning.  These were two of a four stamp set the USA issued to mark Montgolfier's and the world's first manned flight over Paris in 1783 meanwhile France's neighbour marked the bicentenary
1983: Bicentenary of Manned Flight
with a balloon floating over an unnamed Belgium town. If it was floating over Brussels then this fine natural history museum would float into view on the Rue Vautier.

The Museum of Natural Sciences features on a stamp booklet cover and one of the museums etymologist, Morice Leponsce, uses hot air and helium balloons to float over tropical forests to study arboreal ant colonies and also collects plants and insects at 30m in the sky.   This year one of the balloons is on display elsewhere in Brussels in the magnificent surrounds of the Throne Room at the Royal Palace in an exhibition highlighting the museums research.   The stamp booklet however was issued back in 1996 to mark the 150th anniversary of  the Royal Belgium Institute of Natural Sciences with a celebration of insects (one of their vast collections) and happily these are shown in their natural habitat on the stamps and feature
1996: 150th Anniversary of the Royal Belgium Inst of Natural Sciences
the Ruddy Darter Dragonfly (Sympetrum saguineum) and Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) one of the first bees of the year to appear.
The magnificent European Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) and the Common Cockchafer (Melolantha melolontha) sometimes called the May bug for that is the month when it starts its uncertain whirling flight.
One may be more likely to hear the chirps of this dark brown insect than see it, the Field Cricket (Gryllus campestris) and lastly the lovely Seven Spotted Ladybird (Coccinella Septempunctata|) an insect the gardener always welcomes.  The stamps are the work of the Belgium watercolourist, miniaturist and engraver Jacques Duppée who has produced a number of stamps for Belgium.




An entry to Sunday Stamps II prompt of the Letter B - Belgium, bugs, beetles, bees and balloons - be quick  Bs at See It On A Postcard.  



9 comments:

VioletSky said...

I'm not at all a fan of bugs (though ladybugs are cute, in a way) and I do like the name buff-tailed bumblebee!
One of my dreams would be to go up in a balloon. Or even to see such a festival.

Heleen said...

Beautiful balloon stamps! Must be such an amazing experience.

And I must say that I love insects, so am enjoying these stamps a lot :-)

viridian said...

Lovely stamps. I have never been up in a balloon, would love to some day.

VioletSky said...

Heleen, I immediately thought of you when i saw these insect stamps :)

Bob Scotney said...

Glorious stamps. I never associate Belgium with such variety. I can now see what I have missed - balloons and bugs especially.

FinnBadger said...

Wonderful balloon stamps, and I like the bugs too. I'm only surprised that the Finnish stamp isn't balloon-shaped!

william charles said...

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Thank you so much for sharing

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