13 August 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 139

1995, Belarus, Belovezhski Bison Bonasus

A European Bison in the Belovezhskaya National Park within the Bialowieza Forest (a UNESCO site on the Belarus-Poland border). in 1996, they were declared an 'endangered' species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, though that has been upgraded to 'vulnerable'. There are now around 800 in Belarus and the population is growing. The bison in the Bialowieza Forest were protected by the Polish kings with a death penalty for killing any instituted in the mid-16th century. Later, the Russian czars continued to protect them but their numbers still dwindled until there were none left by 1928. Slowly, captive bison from zoos were bred to be reintroduced to the wild with the first pair finally leaving captivity to live in the forest in 1952. The modern day bison bonasus are all descended from only seven animals.

for the letter B - Bison, Belarus

08 August 2017

blue cats

received 2017 from Belarus
artist Irina Zeniuk

International Cat Day

06 August 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 138


The US postal service started constructing airway beacons between 1923-1933 to aid navigation before there were good aviation charts for pilots. A series of lighted beacons were placed every 10 miles or so along with a brightly painted concrete arrow for navigation during inclement weather and at night. The lights would flash a code to identify each beacon's number. By 1940, when technology had improved, the beacons were torn down and the steel went towards the war effort.

for the letter A - air mail

30 July 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 137

1971, USSR, Space Exploration

The Lunokhod - "Moonwalker" - was a robotic lunar rover, and this stamp shows the Lunokhod 1, the first remote controlled rover which landed on the moon in 1970. It has a rather cartoonish look here, which I love.  On the lid is a solar cell for powering the batteries. It landed on Sea of Rains and travelled 6.5 miles during its 322 day sojourn. No one knew exactly where it was when the final signals failed, but in 2010 A NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter found it and found that the reflectors are still useful.

for stars, moon or planets

28 July 2017

international bridge

 Canada 1950 above, 1910 below
The World's Smallest International Bridge
Zavikon Island, 1000 Islands Canada

The 1000 Islands are an archipelago of some 1800 islands that straddle the border between Ontario and New York in the St lawrence River. It has been an enduring myth that this 32' bridge between the main Zavikon island and the one used as a backyard by the owner of the two has the bigger one in Canada and the smaller one in the U.S. It has been a great tourist ploy since around 1880 and is still touted as the shortest international  bridge on boat tours. Apparently, the official border is a couple hundred feet south of the smaller island making both of them in Canada.

for Sepia Saturday

23 July 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 136

1984, Vietnam, Halong Bay

Ha Long Bay was made a World Heritage site in 1994. There are some 1600 monolithic islets, mostly made of limestone, that has weathered over 500 million years. These stamps show Hon Dua (top) and Nui Yen Ngua (right). The name Ha Long (or sometimes Halong) means descending dragon. Legend has it that when Vietnam was starting to develop as a country, to help defend against invaders, the gods sent a family of dragons as protectors. These dragons spat out jewels which became the islands and by using magic, they had mountains suddenly appear in front of enemy ships. After the battles were over and the bay became peaceful, the dragons decided to stay. 

for a place you would love to see

In August we will start a new "alphabet theme" where you may choose any stamp on any theme that begins with that week's letter. This should prove less restrictive, but hopefully still challenging. Any language spelling is acceptable so we might also all get to learn a few new words!

22 July 2017

covered bridge

1970s Canada Hartland Covered Bridge
photo by E Otto

This 391m bridge was opened in 1901 but wasn't covered until 1922 after repairs were needed when it was seriously damaged by ice in the St John River.   The signs on the front say

you are now entering the longest
covered bridge in the world
1282 feet