Stamps highlight Canada’s Weather Wonders
Sequel to 2015 issue showcases 5 spectacular new images
After Ontario resident Timmy Joe Elzinga awoke on a cold January night to soothe his crying two-year-old son, he rose to comfort him. When he looked out the window, what he saw in the distant night sky was magnificent.
Today, Elzinga describes it as “dancing beams of light, like something out of Star Trek.” He reached for his camera, threw open the bathroom window and screen and began snapping. His images went viral, drawing international attention.
The strange shafts of colour that Elzinga photographed was an unearthly optical phenomenon known as light pillars. These can appear when ice crystals in the cold air reflect light drawn from artificial sources. The beams shot up from the ground to the heavens, reflecting the distant city lights of North Bay.
One of Elzinga’s images is showcased in Canada Post’s latest stamp issue, Weather Wonders, Part 2. The five-stamp issue is a sequel to the wildly popular 2015 Weather Wonders stamps. Like the first instalment, the sequel highlights some of Canada’s most awe-inspiring weather phenomena in photographs taken across the country.
In 2015, Canada Post issued stamps of hoar frost, early-morning fog, a double rainbow, lightning and sun dogs. The latest issue features Elzinga’s light pillars and four other images:
Mark Newman’s photograph of a thick layer of steam fog over an unidentified British Columbia lake was taken just as an icy wind caused humid air to condense over the warmer surface. The image beautifully captures a moody, almost ghostly, scene.
Garry M. Cass photographed a magnificent if not menacing-looking waterspout over Lake Ontario near Toronto. These swirling funnels of water can be just as dangerous as land-based twisters.
Marilyn Dunstan’s bucolic photo of lenticular clouds – some call them UFO clouds because of their disc-like shape – was taken in Jasper National Park in Alberta.
David McColm’s photograph forever freezes a moon halo in Whistler, B.C. The weather phenomenon is the result of airborne ice crystals refracting the moonlight on a chilly night.
Timmy Joe Elzinga snapped spectacular light pillars reflecting the city lights of North Bay, Ontario. These can appear when ice crystals in the air reflect light drawn from artificial sources.
Newman’s steam fog shot adorns the cover of the booklet of 10 stamps. There is also a souvenir sheet and Official First Day Cover that include all five weather-themed stamps designed by Parcel Design of Toronto.