TUSCON, Ariz. — A longtime Tucson photographer is being recognized by the U.S. Postal Service by having his pictures of flowering cacti distributed a stamp collection available for sale throughout the United States.
The collection, called the Cactus Flowers Forever Stamps , show the bright, surprising beauty of the desert vegetation, captured masterfully by photographer John P. Schaefer and designed by Art Director Ethel Kessler.
Schaefer is no stranger to photography or desert flora.
He currently holds the position of President Emeritus at the University of Arizona, where he has taught and researched for over 20 years. Schaefer also opened the school's Center for Creative Photography with Ansel Adams back in 1975, and has continued to take photography throughout his life, even writing three books on the subject.
The U.S. Post Office expressed it's enthusiasm for the collection at the Mesa Convention Center ceremony with the following words:
“The U.S. Postal Service has a long history of celebrating Earth’s floral diversity,” said Postal Service acting Manager of Operations and Support for the Western Area John DiPeri during the stamp’s first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony. “Cacti in bloom have been described as Mother Nature’s fireworks. Their reds, pinks, yellows and violets bring to life a plant synonymous with an environment where few living things thrive.”
Per a press release from the Postal Service, the stamps will be available in booklets of 20, where each stamp is featured twice, and can be purchased through the Postal Store at usps.com/shop [usps.com] , by calling 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), by mail through USA Philatelic, or at Post Office locations nationwide.