26 June 2016

Suday Stamps II - 80

issued July 1, 1979, Canada  Provincial flags
designer: Raymond Bellemare

The flags of each province appear on this souvenir sheet in established order of precedence with the date written below the name. From left to right is Ontario; Quebec; Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Manitoba; British Columbia; Prince Edward Island; Saskatchewan; Alberta; Newfoundland; Northwest Territories; Yukon Territory. A year after this issue, Newfoundland would have its own new flag; and twenty years later, in 1999, a new territory of Nunavut would be formed after the Northwest Territories was divided.
for flags and ensigns

19 June 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 79

2015 Germany Asterix and Obelix
designer and engraver: Thomas Steinacker

Prior to the release of the latest book (the 34th) in October 2015, Deutsche Post issued a special series of stamps featuring the comic book heroes Asterix and Obelix. Thjis stamp is of Obelix (the big, sturdy one) with the other two stamps showing Obelix's dog, Dogmatix (or Idéfix as he is known in every other language), and Asterix (the small, cunning one).  The series was originally written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo. Obelix's favourite food is wild boar.

for cartoon characters

12 June 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 78

1999, Solomon Islands

issued for the 100th birthday of the Queen Mum (1900 - 2002)

05 June 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 77

1988, Canada, Dogs of Canada
designed by David Nethercott
paintings by Mia Lane

The Canadian Kennel Club celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1988, and in celebration, Canada Post commissioned artist and dog breeder Mia Lane to paint four dog breeds that are native to Canada.  Each dog is shown in what would be their natural setting.

Top left is a Tahltan Bear Dog, a breed that is believed to now be extinct.  The Tahltan Indians of northwestern British Columbia used these small dogs - about the size of a fox - to locate game, then with their high pitched, staccato barking and unpredictable darting to harass the target until the hunters arrived with their bows and arrows. Their smaller size made it practical to carry them in packs and to conserve their energy for the hunt. Apart from their peculiar 'yodel', they also had a distinct tail that was often described as looking like a shaving brush or whisk.

Top right is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, the smallest of the retriever breed. They are high energy dogs who got their name from their ability to lure waterfowl to within gunshot range and then retrieving the downed bird.  Originating in southwestern Nova Scotia around the beginning of the 19th century, it appears to have some genes of spaniel, retriever, pointer-setter type dogs, rabbit hounds and possibly also collies as they eventually became herders as well as hunters and family pets.  In 1995, these Tollers became the provincial dog of Nova Scotia.

Bottom right is the Newfoundland, originally bred as a working dog for the fishermen of Newfoundland. they excel at water rescue and lifesaving because of their muscular build, thick double coat, webbed paws and innate swimming ability.  Many harbour boat tours in St John's have a Newfoundland on board partly for local charm, but mostly for passenger safety.  St Bernard dogs are descendants of Newfoundlands since the two were introduced in the 18th century when the St Bernards were threatened by a distemper epidemic.

Bottom left is a Canadian Eskimo Dog, also known as Qimmiq (an Inuit word meaning simply 'dog') is one of the world's oldest breeds, having been in the Arctic for 4,000 years. It is a distinct breed known for its ability to pull heavy sleds, resist harsh climate and thrive on a high protein and fat diet of fish and frozen meat.  They have declined drastically in number, but are still used for sled dog teams for tourists and (by law) for commercial polar bear hunting in the Northwest territories and Nunavut. This is a good safety measure as the working dogs can sense when a polar bear is around, whereas a noisy snowmobile would mask any signs of a nearby bear. When the new territory of Nunavut was created in 2000, the Qimmiq was adopted as their animal symbol.

for canines

Next week I will be on holidays, but the link will be up as usual. It is a free choice theme, so everyone can join in with whatever takes your fancy.  If anyone has any particular themes, or ideas for future posts, please leave a message in the comments or by email (maplesaunt@gmail.com)

29 May 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 76

2015, Latvia, Lighthouses
Designer Arta Ozola Jaunaraja

The white brick, rectangular Salacgrivas Baka (baka = lighthouse in Latvian) can be found at the mouth of the Salaca River on the Gulf of Riga in northern Latvia. It's difficult to see, but in the clouds of the stamps is a map. It was built because of the numerous sandbanks that made the Gulf of Riga dangerous for navigation. In 2014, a promenade was built by bringing stones from the sea to protect the shore from erosion. The lighthouse has been inactive since 1970.
The artist Arta Ozola-Jaunaraja has designed at least 60 stamps for Latvia Post since 1993. Some of the themes, including the Lighthouses of Latvia, were suggested by Arta herself. More of her stamps can be seen here.

for lighthouses

22 May 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 75

2010, FDC Singapore Butterflies
Illustrator: Nicodemus Loh

These four stamps show the butterfly and caterpillar in similar backgrounds with the name highlighted in the butterfly's dominant colour. From top left, the Common Birdwing is a highly sought after collectable butterfly of the swallowtail family that is found in the jungle. The Blue Glassy Tiger can be found in coastal mangrove areas. The Tailed Jay is often found in gardens and urban areas. And the Common Posy is a common forest butterfly that is found near jungle paths in sunlit spots.

for Butterflies or Moths

15 May 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 74

2006, Russia floral compositions
designer Alexandr Ozolin

A se-tenant stamp showing bouquets of flowers for (clockwise from top left) spring, summer, winter and autumn.

for flowers