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

on the water

Relaxing after a long weekend of hard work.

for Sepia Saturday

16 July 2017


1967 postcard book

The annual Calgary Stampede has been on all week and ends today. 
Billed as The Greatest Show On Earth, for 10 days the city hosts rodeos, chuckwagon races, competitions, concerts, stage shows, a midway, and food.

And definitely HATS

The Stampede has been ongoing for 105 years

which featured a prompt with crowds, hats, and sports

Sunday Stamps II - 135

1964, Pakistan, Save the Monuments of Nubia

When the Aswan Dam was being built, UNESCO helped with a publicity drive to educate the rest of the world about the importance and value of the Nubian Monuments which would have been flooded if something wasn't done. Several countries issued stamps in support. The top stamp shows carved figures at Abu Simbel. These were cut into blocks, numbered and reassembled above the new dam. On the right is shown the Temple at Karnak reflected in the Sacred Lake.

for statues or monuments

15 July 2017

church map

received 2013
Bulgaria has some great map shaped cards showing everything they are proud to show off - architecture, landscapes, flora, fauna, foods ...
Here we have churches from various cities, including the capital, Sofia, with the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral which can hold 10,000 people. There are 15 churches from medieval times in Nessebar on the Black Sea coast, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. And a 21st C church, the Cathedral of St Vissarian, built 2006, in Smolyen.

09 July 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 134

2008, USA, Scenic American Landscapes
International letter rate

photographer: George H Huey

The U.S. Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean, consist of three main islands - St Croix, St John, St Thomas, as well as a few uninhabited outlying islands. In 1956 The Virgin Islands National Park was established and covers 60% of St John and a portion of St Thomas. Of the 146,888 acres, 5,650 are underwater. This stamp shows Trunk Bay, which has consistently been named as one of the top beaches in the world. The name comes from the leatherback turtle which are known locally as trunks. 

for aerial views

08 July 2017

02 July 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 133

1976, Bermuda
The Tall Ships Race that took place in 1976 during the American Bicentennial was from Bermuda to Rhode Island. The EAGLE was the only US ship in Class A. Originally named Horst Wessel, this 1936 built barque was renamed the Eagle when it was transferred from Germany to the US in 1945. It is currently used as a training vessel for the US Coast Guard.

for Tall Ships

Starting in August, we will have an alphabet theme for each week. You are invited to share any stamps from a country beginning with each week's designated letter, or showing something beginning with that letter. Any language may be used. So, 'N' may feature 'Netherlands', something orange ('naranja'), 'nautical',  an 'N tariff' on a stamp from Belarus, or even 'new' - as in a new issue, or simply new to your collection.

01 July 2017

Quebec City

Québec is the capital city of the province of Quebec. The city has an accent, while the province does not. The name Quebec comes from an Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows", in this case, the St Lawrence River. First settled in 1535, it is one of the oldest European cities in North America. Its World Heritage old town (Vieux-Quebec) is the only city in the US or Canada that still has fortified walls. This view shows the iconic Chateau Frontenac Hotel, built as one of the chateau style hotels for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

25 June 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 132

1967, Canada Expo 67
designer: Harvey Prosser

Expo 67 was Canada's premier celebration during its centennial year. It ran from April 27 to October 29 1967., then for a few years as "Man and His World", which was the theme. The stamp shows the Canada Pavilion which was a nine storey inverted pyramid called Katimavik - an Inuit word for 'meeting place'.  On the upper left is the logo consisting of eight pars of a pictogram of "man" with arms linked and in a circle of "worldwide brotherhood and friendship".  Expo was held in Montreal on Ile-Sainte-Helen in the St Lawrence River. It was expanded, and another island built, using earth excavated from the building of the metro. Today, these islands are called Parc Jean Drapeau (who was Montreal's mayor from 1960-86 - so during the Expo and Olympic years)

for expositions/fair/events

18 June 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 131

2015, Germany, Most Beautiful Panoramas

This is the Chiemsee with a view to Gstadt and the Chiemgau Alps in Bavaria. The sun is shining on the water, but the mountains are not clear. And the side panels show a misty view of trees. I am imagining this is early morning. 

for views with weather

17 June 2017


received 2017, Norway
painting by Harald Sohlberg, 1903

Røros was founded in 1644 when copper ore was found in the area. It is now a living museum and the entire town's centre with its authentic wooden buildings is protected. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1980. It is now a living museum.

11 June 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 130

1958 - US, Forest Conservation
designer: Rudy Wendelin

Rudy Wendelin worked at the United States Forest Service as an illustrator from 1933 until his retirement 40 years later in 1973. His best known work is of Smokey the Bear, an advertising mascot created to educate the public about the dangers of wildfires. This issue was the first of the USPS annual series of forest conservation stamps.

for gardens or forests

04 June 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 129

1922, Ireland, 2 penny definitive
designer: J Ingram

This was the first non overprinted stamp issued in the Irish Free State, and it controversially shows a map that includes Northern Ireland. It was in use until 1940 when a new, nearly identical stamp was issued with an e watermark. Two pence is written in Gaelic on the bottom da pingin. Interstingly, 'Eire' is often shown this way with the I and R in upper case and both the 'e's in lower case.
for interesting fonts

03 June 2017

icons of Canada

pre 1999

This map card does not include the newest territory, Nunavut, which was created in 1999. It comprises the eastern portion of the Northwest Territories seen on the card.

28 May 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 128

2013, Canada, Adopt a Pet series
illustrator: Monika Melnychuk
photography: Raef Miles

The background of these stamps shows a sketch of the dog's dream home. The animal models (there is also a parrot and two cats in the series) are actual shelter animals. The stamps were a partnership with the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies with a message to check out a local humane society or SPCA for a new pet.  

for pets

21 May 2017

Sunfay Stamps II - 127

2013, Canada
The Kitchen Sink 1919
photographer: Margaret Watkins

An unusual still life of domestic chores - a sink filled with crockery, a milk bottle and a jug. Ms Watkins used palladium printing paper which resulted in softer grey tones.

for photography

14 May 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 126

2017, Canada, 100th Anniversary Vimy Ridge
designer: Susan Scott

This joint issue international rate stamp (France and Canada) shows the Canadian version on  the left with the French version on the right. The statues on the stamps are (left) of the Mourning Parent and (right) Canada Bereft. On the sheet is the monument (sculpted by Walter Allward) that serves as a grave marker for all 11,285 Canadian soldiers of all ranks whose bodies were never found. Also shown are the preserved trenches at Hill 45.

for commemorative stamps

07 May 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 125

1989, Finland, Christmas
designer: Paavo Huovinen

The Old Church at Sodankyla is one of the oldest timber churches in Lapland. It was built in 1689, but decommissioned in 1859 when a new stone church was built. It almost fell into ruins but in 1929 was restored and now is in use during the summer months.

for places of worship

30 April 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 124

1954, Canada
engraver: Silas Robert Allen
based on a photograph by Dorothy Wilding

This issue of six stamps featuring Queen Elizabeth based on a photograph by Dorothy Wilding replaced the five (1¢ to 5¢) issues from 1953 based on a photograph by Yousuf Karsh. (those stamps replaced the King George issues which were also based on a Wilding photograph). Dorothy Wilding (1893-1976) was considered one of Britain's most successful portrait photographers.

for Kings and Queens

29 April 2017



The American (foreground) with Bridal Veil (the single fall just beyond the American) are completely on the US side of the border. Horseshoe (background) is mostly within Canada with only a small portion of the north east corner in the US. The Niagara River flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, and while the falls aren't exceptionally high, they are very wide at over 3,400 feet from the extreme American side to the extreme Canadian side.

for Postcards for the Weekend: body of water

23 April 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 123

2015, Canada, Weather Wonders - fog at Cape Spear
Cape Spear is on the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland (near St John's) and is the easternmost point of North America. The lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador. It was built in 1836, with a new tower built in 1955 using the active light from the original tower. Generations of the Cantwell family of lightkeepers lived at Cape Spear for 150 years, from 1847 to 1997.

for lighthouses and/or windmills

22 April 2017


The flowerpots in Tobermory on Georgian Bay were formed after years of rain, wind, waves and ice wore away at the cliff at the water's edge. The softer rock eroded more quickly until the shape of a 'flowerpot' emerged from the harder rock.

The flowerpots in Hopewell Cape on the Bay of Fundy have been formed by tidal erosion. The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world. The extremes mean that the base of these rocks are covered in water twice a day. The only way to view them at ground level is at low tide.

In 1903, one of the three stacks at Flowerpot Island collapsed.
In 2016, part of one of the Hopewell Rocks - Elephant Rock - collapsed.

here is a drone view of the collapse

16 April 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 122

2011, France, transportation

In 2006 a tram network was opened in Mulhouse, a city in Alsace. By 2010 it also included this hybrid tram-train, a first in France. This is a light rail public transport system that runs on urban tram lines that connect with a main railway line. This stamp shows the tram-train at station Mairie. Each station has a different coloured archway holding the electrical wires.

for a favourite, (or Easter)

15 April 2017

A happy Easter

unsent, Easter

featuring lily of the valley and a newly hatched chick, early signs of rebirth and spring

for Postcards for the Weekend

09 April 2017

sunday stamps II - 121

1951, Vietnam, Landscapes of Vietnam
designer: Do Hoang Ke

This olive green stamp shows Pongour Waterfall, the biggest of the falls in Dalat. Pongour is surrounded by unspoilt forest about 50 kms from Dalat City. This terrace waterfall is 40 m high and 100 m wide.

for green

08 April 2017

Spring with Krtek

received 2016, Czech Republic
Krtek, (the Mole) is an animated cartoon created by Zdenek Miler.

for whimsical postcards for the weekend

02 April 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 120

2009, Netherlands, Children's Stamp  surcharge
artist: Christian Borstlap

This stamp is one of a series of six for the theme "Let Children Learn" for Children's Stamp which is a charity focused on the promotion of children's eduction. I had no idea what this was meant to portray until finding this site. Each stamp offers a bit of advice with this bit of inspiration "something boring can be beautiful if you look at it upside down"

for something odd or humorous

01 April 2017


received 2017,  from Lithuania
artist Luka Va

Luka Va is from Lithuania, but now lives in Melbourne Australia.
You can read an interview with this quirky artist here.

for Postcards for the Weekend: odd or humorous

26 March 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 119

1981, Canada,  Aircraft
based on a painting by Robert Bradford

Between 1937 and 1942, 1500 Tiger Moths were built by de Havilland. The RCAF first used this model for elementary pilot training in 1938 and thousands of pilots  would receive training during during WWII. Many remembered this plane affectionately as a pleasant aircraft to fly. This stamp shows a DH-82C in Second World War trainer-yellow flying over Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

for flying

19 March 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 118

1973, Czechoslovakia
graphic designer Karel Svolinsky
engraver Ladislav Jirka

for flowers

18 March 2017


1980s (?) Norway

There are about 1190 fjords in Norway. Some are as short as 2 or 3 kilometres. Sognefjorden is the largest and most well known at 205 kilometres with 12 smaller fjords branching of it. A fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep cliffs created by glacial erosion. Norway's coastline is 29,000 km if all the fjords are included, but only 2,500 km if they are excluded. Fjord is a Norwegian word.

a country I would love to visit

12 March 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 117

1953, Bermuda

Bermuda lies in the North Atlantic about 1034 miles northeast of Miami, Florida and 768 miles south Sable Island, Nova Scotia. It is actually 181 islands, with a total land mass of 20 square miles. Only eight of the islands are populated. It was discovered in 1503  by the Spanish explorer, Juan de Bermudez. But it wasn't until 1609 when one of a flotilla of British ships was shipwrecked on its way to the colonies in Virginia that the island had any settlement. It is believed that Shakespeare's The Tempest was based on the account of that shipwreck.

for maps

11 March 2017


1980s (?) Netherlands

The 19 windmills at Kinderdijk, near Rotterdam, have been a UNESCO site since 1997.
The windmills themselves have been there since 1740.
Although I've been to Holland several times, I've only been to the Rotterdam area once, in 1980.

for Postcards for the Weekend
a favourite country I've visited

05 March 2017

Sunday Stamps II - 116

1982, Canada, Heritage Artifacts Series
designer: Jean Morin

A weathercock is a 'wind vane' in the shape of a rooster often used on church steeples, being the highest point in a village, for showing the direction of the wind. Pope Gregory, in the 6th C, declared the cock/rooster to be a symbol of Christianity which may have led to the beginnings of the steeple tradition.

for roosters/chickens