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POLLINATION
July 17, 2007
 
Nobody wants that stamp, the man at the post office said.

You're kidding? "Pollination"? I said, as I paid for three packets of them. That's hard to believe. I love it. I think it's the most beautiful stamp we've ever had. That might have been something of an overstatement; we've had some beautiful stamps. But still.

Well, take all you want. Nobody's buying it.

"Pollination" is in four parts that fit together to form a pastiche of pollinating animals: a bat, a butterfly, a hummingbird and a pair of bumblebees, each stamp featuring one of the animals knocking back nectar, each from a different flower. Beautiful colors, lovely detailed drawings. I just don't know what's up with some people; there is absolutely nothing not to like about this stamp.

We finally got our bat house up the other day, high up on a tree trunk out back. If the bats like it, they'll all go in there and hang upside down by their toes all day, until it's time to go out in the dark and catch mosquitoes. I certainly hope they do. I wish I could get up there and open it and see them all hanging there in a row, but I don't imagine they'd stand for that. But that's all right; I don't have to see them. It will be enough just knowing they are there with our help, thinking of them sleeping happily in rows in their bat dormitory, dreaming their bat dreams.

And Saturday Q and I went on a butterfly walk, twenty-five cheerful people strolling through a wonderful meadow counting different species. wonderful orange-and-black Monarchs and Viceroys, Yellow Swallowtails, Orange Sulphurs, tiny Eastern Tailed Blues, White and Yellow Cabbages. Several of us kept mistaking a certain grasshopper who augments his long leap with a few feet of flight for a Black Swallowtail, whom we did not see on this trip. But we saw dozens and dozens of the various kinds of butterflies, and many honeybees, all busy on clover, on flowers, on milkweed. Pollination is well underway on all fronts.

Back at home, one whole tube of the most popular hummingbird feeder was drained dry. This hummingbird is not Ethel Merman, I've decided: Ethel is much more sociable, hangs around the feeder longer, visits it oftener. I don't know where Ethel is, but this one is somebody else. I don't yet know her name. She manages to drink a lot without ever showing herself.

Ah. Of course. It's Greta Garbo.
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Take a look at "Pollination" for yourself at
http://www.usps.com/communications/newsroom/2007/sr07_021a.htm
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