Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A beautiful cover from Australia!

Australia is home to a huge variety of animals which are unique to the country. Some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 90% of fish and insects and 93% of amphibians that inhabit the continent are endemic to Australia. This high level of endemism can be attributed to the continent's long geographic isolation, tectonic stability, and the effects of an unusual pattern of climate change on the soil and flora over geological time.

When talking about Australia, the main animals that one thinks of are kangaroos and koalas. But there are many others.

On 1st July 2009, Australian Post issued a set of 4 beautiful stamps, entitled "Australian Bush Babies" which features four species of some of the most popular Australian marsupials and their young.

The four marsupials featured on the stamps are:
Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus)
And here is a cover with my favourite koalas.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

An awesome cover from Finland!

On 9th September 2009, the Finnish Post issued a stunning set of stamps entitled "Aurora Borealis" or "Northern Lights".

I am very lucky to receive a FDC with these 3 gorgeous stamps on it. Thank you soooo much Johanna Palonen!!!
­The Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights have always fascinated mankind, and people even travel thousands of miles just to see the brilliant light shows in the earth's atmosphere. The Aurora Borealis surrounding the north magnetic pole occur when highly charged electrons from the solar wind interact with elements in the earth's atmosphere. Solar winds stream away from the sun at speeds of about 1 million miles per hour. When they reach the earth, some 40 hours after leaving the sun, they follow the lines of magnetic force generated by the earth's core and flow through the magnetosphere, a teardrop-shaped area of highly charged electrical and magnetic fields.

Aurora Borealis in Fairbanks, Alaska

­As the electrons enter the earth's upper atmosphere, they will encounter atoms of oxygen and nitrogen at altitudes from 20 to 200 miles above the earth's surface. The color of the aurora depends on which atom is struck, and the altitude of the meeting.
Green - oxygen, up to 150 miles in altitude
Red - oxygen, above 150 miles in altitude
Blue - nitrogen, up to 60 miles in altitude
Purple/violet - nitrogen, above 60 miles in altitude

Its southern counterpart, the "Aurora Australis" or "The Southern Polar Lights", has similar properties, but is only visible from high southern latitudes in Antarctica, South America, or Australasia.

Northern Lights over Des Moines, Lowa, USA

The origin of the northern lights has various explanations in folklore and mythology. And here are some interesting ones...

The Finnish name for the northern lights "revontulet" is associated with the arctic fox. According to a folk tale, an arctic fox is running far in the north and touching the mountains with its fur, so that sparks fly off into the sky as the northern lights. Another version of the story says the fox throws the northern lights up into the sky by sweeping snow upwards with its tail.

Red and green Aurora in Fairbanks, Alaska

The Eskimos in the northernmost parts of Canada believe that the northern lights are created by spirits, which, dressed in the mystical light, are having fun because the sun is missing. Rapidly moving aurora were called the dance of death. In the folklore of the Eskimos of eastern Greenland, the auroras are the souls of killed new-born babies or stillborn babies. The northern lights can be called by the name "alugsukat", which means a secret birth.

Amrimen Fox Indians were afraid of the northern lights because they believed them to be the avenging souls of enemies they had killed.

Aurora australis in Antarctica

The Makah Indians believed that the northern lights were fires lit by dwarfs. In contrast, the Mandan Indians saw the northern lights as fires on which the great shamans and soldiers from the northern lands were slowly cooking their dead enemies in huge pots.

The Menomini Indians believed that a benevolent giant was catching fish in the northern sea, using a fire. On the coast of the Pacific Ocean, in Siberia, and in Russian and Finnish Lapland, there is a belief that the northern lights are associated with violent death in battle, which is continuing in the sky.

Northern lights over Calgary, Canada

The Chuvas tribe had a god named Suratan-Tura, which also meant the northern lights. This god helped women to give birth. The northern lights were especially a sign of giving birth to a son.

I would love to experience this awsome sight one day!

The other stamp franked on the cover was issued by the Finnish Post on 06th May 2009 for its Europa CEPT "Astronomy" series. The pair of stamps depict a fantasy landscape of lakes and different heavenly bodies. The left-hand stamp has the Moon in the centre, with the Milky Way on the right side of the stamp. The stamp on the right bears a comet on its left side, accompanied by a lunar eclipse. The large planet shown on the stamp is Saturn.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Another awesome cover from Liechtenstein!

Before I share with you guys today's cover... here's a little information on the origin of this cover, Liechtenstein.

Do you know that Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest country in the world? Measuring just 25km in length and 6km in width, the country is barely larger than Manhattan. (The five independent countries smaller than Liechtenstein are Vatican City, Monaco, Nauru, Tuvalu, and San Marino). Bordered by Switzerland to its west and by Austria to its east, this tiny alpine country is still governs by an iron-willed monarch who lives in a Gothic castle on a hill...

Schloss Vaduz, overlooking the capital, is still home to the prince of Liechtenstein

Ok, let's return to Philately!

The beautiful stamp franked on the left of this cover belongs to the "Views of the villages" definitive series. It was issued on 4th March 1996. This set of 19 values (CHF 0.10 to 5.00) would continue until 2001.

First 2 stamps from the "Views of the villages" definitive series

The stamp franked in the middle is from "The Forest and its benefits" series. Issued on 8th June 2009, this set of stamps depict Living Space (CHF 0.85), Leisure and Relaxation (CHF 1.00), Protection against Natural Hazards (CHF 1.40) & Timber production (CHF 1.60).

Lastly, we have this lovely stamp from the "Butterflies" series, issued in September 2009. They feature Small Cabbage-White (CHF 0.85), Apollo Butterfly (CHF 1.00), Marbled White Butterfly (CHF 1.30) & Admiral (CHF 2.00).

Postmarked on 22 September 2009 in Vaduz, capital of Liechtenstein, this cover took only 3 days to reach me!

Once again, I would like to thanks Vural Oguz for sending this awesome cover. Thank you very much!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A nice Malaysian cover!

In my previous post, I have shared with you guys a Malaysian cover franked with 3 stamps from the "1 Malaysia" series, issued on 31 August 2009. This time round, I received a 'complete' cover from fellow blogger Khor Kok Keong. Thank you so much!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My three '999' covers!!!

Here are 3 awesome covers bearing the special '999' postmarks to share with you guys today!

This first colorful FDC was sent from Kullu, India. Many thanks to my good friend, Jeevan Jyoti!

Home to more than 50 varieties of spices grown in its different agro climatic zones ranging from the tropical to the temperate. India is the spice bowl of the world. The total production of spices is estimated at 2.7 million tons and India exports 0.25 million tons to over 150 destinations of the world, accounting for over 45 percent of the international spice trade both in terms of value and volume. On 29th April 2009, India Post is proud to issue a set of five commemorative postage stamps on 'Spices of India'. The 5 stamps depict Cardamon, Cloves, Black pepper, Cinnamon and Coriander.

To make up for the postage, a lovely Saras Crane stamp (100p) from the Animals definitive series (issued 2000) was used. The Saras Crane is the tallest flying bird on Earth and the state bird of Uttar Pradesh. The cranes are known to pair for life and are found near marshes, lakes, village ponds and well watered fields. Their numbers is however fast declining. Ironically, they have long been a symbol of fertility and fidelity in India, the second most populated country in the world.

The second cover of the day was a registered mail sent from Fujian, People's Republic of China. It is my first cover received from Mr. Zhou Fan. Thank you!! The lovely stamp franked on the cover belongs to the "The Centennial National Library of China" series, issued on 9th September 2009.

Last but not least, we have this cover franked with a lovely set of stamps from the Royal Malaysian Navy Submarines series, issued on 3rd September 2009. In fact, this is my second cover bearing these stamps sent by Khor Kok Keong. Of cos, the difference is that this cover bears the special 999 postmarks! Thank you so much!

In addition, I would like to give my special thanks to Jeevan Jyoti for this great gift from India! A gorgeous postcard of Ganesha (The Elephant God). Simply love the vibrancy of Rajasthani colours!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A lovely cover from Italy!

Hello everyone! Just a short post for today in the midst of my long weekend (we are having Hari Raya Puasa holiday here!).

This lovely cover was postmarked on 12 September 2009 in Cogliate (Milano), Italy. Courtesy of Gottardi Lorenzo. Thank you!!

The beautiful stamp depicting "Bocca della Verità" was issued on 31 October 2008 to promote the International Philatelic Exhibition "Italia 2009", to be held in Rome, at the Palazzo dei Congressi in the EUR quarter, from 21 to 25 October 2009.

La Bocca della Verità (in English, "the Mouth of Truth") is an image, carved from Pavonazzetto marble, of a man-like face, located in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome, Italy. The sculpture is thought to be part of a 1st century ancient Roman fountain, or perhaps a manhole cover, portraying one of several possible pagan gods[1], probably Oceanus. Most Romans believe that the 'Bocca' represents the ancient god of the river Tiber.
The most famous characteristic of the Mouth, however, is its role as a lie detector. Starting from the Middle Ages, it was believed that if one told a lie with one's hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off. The piece was placed in the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin in the 17th century.This church is also home to the supposed relics of the saint, St Valentine.

That's all folks! See you soon!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A stunning cover from USA!

Many thanks to fellow CCCC member, Wei-Tsu Tseng for sending this stunning cover from USA! The 2 beautiful lighthouses stamps featured on this cover belong to the Gulf Coast Lighthouses stamp series. On 23 July 2009, the U.S. Postal Service honored 5 lighthouses situated in the Gulf Coast that withstood the fury of devastating hurricanes such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Wilma, Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Carla.

These lighthouses are located at Biloxi, Mississippi; Matagorda Island, Texas; Sabine Pass, Louisiana; Sand Island, Alabama; and Fort Jefferson, Florida.

The third stamp franked on the cover is from the the "American Design" definitive series, issued from 2002-2007.
This cover was postmarked on 11 Sept 2009 in Fishkill, New York and took 6 days to reach me, which is the norm for a mail to travel from USA to Singapore.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another awesome Slovak cover!

Another awesome Slovak cover to add to my collection! Many thanks to Robert Brnka!

The lovely stamp franked on the left of this cover belongs to the "Postage Stamp Day 2003" series, issued on 28th November 2003. In this issue, Jozef Baláž was honoured with a special stamp that depicts the drawing which he created for the issue of 110th Anniversary of the Universal Postal Union (Czechoslovakia 12 June 1984).

Jozef Baláž (1923-2006) was a prominent painter and stamp designer in Czecholovakia and Slovakia.

In 1957 Jozef Baláž created the first stamp designs, three animals, for the issue for the 10th anniversary of TANAP (Tatra National Park). Besides his own artistic works, he devoted an unbelievable 46 years to graphic lay-outs of postage stamps for Czechoslovakia and Slovakia. He designed more than 120 different stamps with portraits of famous persons, animals and scenes from Slovak history and culture. For Jozef Baláž’s stamp art he made meticulous research. His complete knowledge of the technical stamp making parameters enabled him to better create designs specifically to commemorate particular anniversaries and important social events.

Franked in the middle of the cover is a T2 50 denominated stamp from the Flora series, issued on 20th March 2008. It can be used for postage for a second class letter up to 50 grammes in the domestic service.
This beautiful stamp depicts Dahlia, a flowering plant. It is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Dahlias were cultivated by the Aztecs, taken to Europe by the Spaniards, and soon spread throughout the world in widely different climates. There are 18 species and thousands of hybrid varieties.

Last but not least, we have a stamp from the "Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava" series, issued on 14th August 2009.
The Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB) is one of the oldest international honours for children's book illustrators. First granted in 1967 to Yasuo Segawa (Japan), it is one of the more prestigious children's book awards today, along with Hans Christian Andersen Award. Artists are selected by an international jury, and their original artwork is exhibited in Bratislava, Slovakia. It is sponsored by UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture, Slovakia. There are eleven awards and a grand prize for unique and outstanding illustration.

I am looking forward to visiting this beautiful country this coming June!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A lovely Israeli cover!

Do you know that Israel exports over $22 million worth of wine annually? Now I do! Thanks to this lovely cover sent by Ya'ary Mordechai from Modi'in, Israel. The beautiful stamps with tabs franked on the cover are from "Wine in the Land of Israel – Festivals 2002" series, issued on 27th August 2002.

The NIS 1.20 denomination stamp depicts grape shears with grapes. The top half of the tab shows the Rishon Lezion Winery at the beginning of the century and the lower half shows modern stainless steel wine-making equipment.

The NIS 1.90 stamp features a corkscrew with a cork. And on the tab is a picture of a modern vineyard meticulously designed in the Cordon system which is suitable for the mechanical harvesting that is acceptable today. On the lower half of the tab is an ancient wine-press in which the grapes were crushed under foot as part of the historical wine production process.

The NIS 2.30 stamp shows a wine bottle with wine glass. The tab illustrates two stages in the aging of top quality (mainly red) wines namely, the aging of wine in oak barrels, and the continuing maturation of the wine in bottles stored in suitable conditions.

It's sad that this cover was not postmarked.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A lovely FDC from Malaysia!

Once again, I would like to thanks Khor Kok Keong for sending this lovely FDC from Ipoh, Malaysia.

On 3rd September 2009, Malaysia welcomed the arrival of her first of two Scorpene submarines for the Royal Malaysian Navy. Named 'Kapal Diraja Tunku Abdul Rahman', after the first prime minister, the submarine left Toulon, France on 11 July on its 54-day journey with stopovers in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), Djibouti and Cochin (India), finally arriving in Malaysia on 3 September.

To commemorate the special occasion, Pos Malaysia Bhd in collaboration with the RMN issued this set of 3 lovely stamps.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A lovely postcard from Iraq!!!

I am beaming with joy! Today, I received a new country to my collection, my 80th country, Iraq! Courtesy of a private swap from Milad E. Zia! Thannnk you!! The stamp franked on this lovely postcard belongs to "The rejection of violence and the national reconciliation" series, issued on 27th October 2008. Although it's still a long and tough way for war-torn Iraq, the release of these postage stamps was a great step of conveying its commitment towards national reconciliation. This postcard depicts the great Tigris river overlooking Abu Nawas Street in Baghdad. For decades Abu Nawas Street, named after a 9th-century Persian poet, was one of Baghdad’s most famous landmarks. During its heyday, the wide street was lined with fish restaurants, nightclubs and a park with grass so lush and soft it felt like a carpet of flower petals. In the summertime when the air cooled and the day waned, families gathered for picnics along the riverbanks, and young lovers strolled along the banks of the Tigris River and found anonymity under the magnificent old eucalyptus trees.

But it became a no-go zone shortly after U.S. occupation in 2003. It was only reopened in November 2007 after a $5 million facelift. Hopefully, the reopening of Abu Nawas will lift public spirits, as people may start believing there's a chance that the worst times are now behind them.
The postcard was postmarked on 23 August 2009 in Baghdad and took 20 days to travel an estimated distance of 7,118kms to reach me. It is indeed a special addition to my postcards collection!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

An awesome cover from Ethiopia!

How often does one receive a mail from Africa? 'Once in a blue moon' I would say. Yesterday, I was thrilled to receive this wonderful cover from Ethiopia! Thank you very much, Chitra Mohan Nair!
The 4 lovely stamps franked on this cover belong to the "Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC)" series, issued in Jan 2009. Trypanosomiasis is a parasitic disease of people and animals, caused by protozoa of the species Trypanosoma brucei and transmitted by the tsetse fly. It is responsible for the death of some 50,000 people and three million livestock in Africa every year. This disease is still unknown to many people and has become a major constraint for rural development in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Ethiopian government hopes that the release of these postage stamps will serve to draw attention not only to the plight caused by tsetse and trypanosomiasis, but more importantly, to PATTEC's objective of eradication of the disease.

Let's wish them all the best!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A lovely cover from Canada!

It is always a great pleasure to receive covers from my readers, not to mention new ones. Here is a lovely cover sent by a new reader of this blog, Kong Wei Xie from Vancouver, Canada. Thank you very much! It's just a pity that this cover was not postmarked. Anyway, enjoy this cover!

These four stamps franked on the cover celebrate four Canadian inventions in the world of sport: basketball, five-pin bowling, lacrosse and ringette. They were issued on 10th August 2009. Hoping to devise an indoor game to fill the winter months between football and baseball seasons, James Naismith’s experiment in a YMCA class was an instant hit. A long way from its peach-basket beginnings, basketball is now an international athletic and marketing phenomenon that stands among the world’s most widely played sports.
When French explorers were first introduced to the native ball and stick game, baggataway, they called it “la crosse” for the stick’s resemblance to a bishop’s crosier. Europeans began playing the game in the 19th century, but rules were not standardized until lacrosse goalkeeper George W. Beers published the first set in Montreal in 1867. In 1994, lacrosse was declared the national summer sport of Canada. When members of the Toronto Bowling Club complained about the weight of the standard ten-pin bowling ball, Thomas F. Ryan, the club’s co-founder, introduced a smaller ball and had his father whittle down five pins to match. He devised a new scoring system and introduced his game in 1909.
In 1963, Sam Jacks, Director of Parks and Recreation in North Bay, Ontario, combined the speed of hockey with the strategy of basketball to create ringette, an on-ice alternative to hockey for girls and women. Designed to emphasize skill and teamwork with no intentional body contact, Jacks was confident his game would be a hit—and it was. Today, more than 50,000 girls and women belong to ringette teams worldwide.

A new blog to share.

Hi! Just to share with you guys that I have created a blog on Travels entitled, "Come Travel With Us!". The objectives of this blog are to share our travel experiences, trip details, photos, journals of our past, present and future travels... and also to serve as memories of our unforgettable trips. Pls feel free to take a look :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A wonderful Astronomy FDC from Aland!

A BIG thank you to Johanna Palonen for this wonderful Astronomy FDC with matching stamp from Aland, Finland! It was issued on 08th May 2009. 'Astronomy' was chosen by PostEurop to be the theme for the Europa 2009 stamp issue following a request from the International Astronomical Union's Commission for History of Astronomy which, in 2009, will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first telescopic observatory.
Below is a checklist of the Europa 2009 stamps and souvenir sheets
Aland French Andorra
Spanish Andorra
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Croat post)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Serb post)
Cyprus (Turkish post)
Czech Republic
Faroe Islands
Greece Greenland
Isle of Man
Kosovo Latvia
Russian Federation
San Marino

Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom



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