Friday, 24 October 2014

Vietnamese Primates

Fantastic airmail cover from dear friend showing critically endangered specied of primates native to Vietnam:
*White-headed langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus). The nominate subspecies, often known as the golden-headed or Cat Ba langur, is among the rarest primates in the world, and possibly the rarest primate in Asia, with about less than 70 langur left in the world.
*Delacour's langur, or Delacour's lutung, (Trachypithecus delacouri). I found the description on wikipedia quite confusing: adults measure from 57 to 62 centimetres in head-body length, with a tail 82 to 88 millimetres long. Come on, their tails are so stunningly long! Centimetres rather than millimetres ;)
*Gray-shanked douc langur (Pygathrix cinerea). I must admit I have never heard of a douc before, I've learnt something new! These colobine Old World monkeys have an extremely striking appearance;  they are hunted for bush meat and for traditional medicine purposes.
*Dollman's snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus avunculus). Endemic to northern Vietnam's Tonkin region. Sightings of the monkey have become increasingly rare - it was even thought to be extinct until the 1990s.
All of these unique creatures face the same problems...I start to wonder how much at all can be done to preserve the endangered species habitats :( Its the way of the world that humans are expanding and it doesn't seem likely that it can end...Thank you Mu Chu for this cover :)

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Flowers Of Isle Of Man

Lovely most recent addition in the form of this flowery cover, vielen dank Wolfgang :)

Monday, 6 October 2014

Marine Fauna, Algeria

Many thanks to Khaled for this set showing Green Ormer, Purple Sea Urchin and Swimming Crab :)

Monday, 29 September 2014

Israel Various

Great selection of stamps esp the alphabet from 2001, with an onager sneaking in :) Love it, thanks so much Oleg!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Fauna Of Serbia

Beautiful recently issued set, thanks to Ana :)

Friday, 26 September 2014

Monday, 22 September 2014

Aurora Borealis, Finland

From Elenna, lovely aurora borealis stamp with a special postmark, sent from a postcrossing meeting in Oulu - postcard signed by the participants :)

Saturday, 30 August 2014


For Sunday Stamps #185 one of 'my' themes! Decided to post two covers at the same time, both countries were featured previously but to post about reptiles is a special treat for me. Not really sure how and when my love for reptiles began, i just find them...fascinating. And cool heh.
So I acquired these FDCs for my collection last year - one as colourful as the rainforest of New Guinea and the other as monochrome as the Namibian desert. I'll make a bit of a longer post that you are of course not obliged to read, but I am interested in all of these species and I love learning about them as I do research for the blog!
Papua New Guinea
1.Anglehead (Gonocephalus godeffroyi)  - first one and proves to be a tough one...not much to learn, the species not even listed on wikipedia under Gonochepalus genus...I like mysteries but this is too much..!
2.Pig-nosed turtle (Carettochelys insculpta), also known as the pitted-shelled turtle or Fly River turtle, is native to northern Australia and southern New Guinea - its freshwater streams, lagoons and rivers. Little is known about general behaviour, as there have been few studies in the wild. Their known extreme aggression in captivity suggests the species is markedly more territorial than most other turtles and tortoises. They are still available through the exotic pet trade and rate as vulnerable.
3.Green tree python (Morelia viridis) is found in New Guinea, islands in Indonesia, and Cape York Peninsula in Australia. Especially large specimens up to 2,200 g (4.9 lb) are females, which like most snakes are slightly larger and heavier than males. Primarily arboreal, these snakes have a particular way of resting in the branches of trees; they loop a coil or two over the branches in a saddle position and place their head in the middle. The caging for these animals is a bit more specific than the average python, but as long as these requirements are met, the animal becomes very low maintenance. (to be honest i pictured having this one at home...I wonder how much the snakes suffer in captivity? Of course feeding it would be a problem for me...)
4.Salvadori's monitor lizard (Varanus salvadorii) is found in New Guinea only, and is believed to be one of the longest lizards in the world, verified at up to 244 cm (8.01 ft), and in rare cases it may rival or exceed the length of the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon. V. salvadorii is threatened by deforestation and poaching, and is protected by the CITES agreement. The lizard is hunted and skinned alive by tribesmen to make drums, who describe the monitor as an evil spirit that "climbs trees, walks upright, breathes fire, and kills men"; yet the tribesmen maintain that the monitor gives warnings if there are crocodiles nearby.
This post is getting too long! Let me just name the creatures on the 2nd FDC: venomous viper Peringuey's desert adder, Web-footed gecko (they don't possess eyelids so they must lick their eyeballs clean in order to keep them moist!) and Namaqua chameleon (they use their ability to change colour to aid in controlling temperature - becoming black in the cooler morning to absorb heat more efficiently, then a lighter grey color to reflect light during the heat of the day). Now we have a furry impostor to the top right: a golden sand mole. Cute!
                                                                    P H E W!
I hope there are many more reptiles here:                            

Chinese Zodiac, Japan

My untrained eye didn't recognise at first glance just how much thought was put into this cover - and that it was indeed a chinese zodiac in question! With the years of rooster ('69), dog ('70), pig ('71) and 'my own' snake ('89), completed with cute eeyore from the winnie the pooh series (2013). Another great cover from tabisuruyuki, ありがとう xD


Saturday, 23 August 2014

China Scented Fruit Stamps

'Each stamp contains the scent of the fruit pictured - peach, apple, pomegranate or kumquat - as a result of fruit-scented ink.' Very much obliged richard!

Huangmei Opera, China

Time to post again after a whole month...starting with this gorgeous set of recent stamps with additional ones and great postmarks, thank you aeronest as always ;)
I had an additional thought to share this cover for the anything you wish theme on Viridian's Sunday Stamps. Let me find out some more info...
Huangmei opera is a type of local opera and an intangible cultural heritage. It originates from the early Tang dynasty and has 1400 years of history. It is one of the five biggest operas in China, along with Peking opera, Yueju opera, Pingju opera, and Yuju opera.
The stamps are released in Anhui Province which is the home of Huangmei Opera -  they feature opera artists from the old generation, and the painting makes sure the costume and gestures are all from original works of the plays.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Songbirds, USA

Participating in my favourite RR brought me these two covers with new Songbirds stamps, 4 from the set of 10 showing: Evening Grosbeak, Western Meadowlark, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak and American Goldfinch.
Thanks to Patrick and Edwin :)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Illustrations, Mexico

This week's Sunday Stamps topic is Artists and Illustrators - last month I've received this fantastic cover from Marco who was visiting Mexico - very much appreciated! The airmail envelope with the colours of the mexican flag is a nice touch :)
Beside the familiar definitives showing folk art (2011) there are also three of five stamps issued in 2013 under the title Philatelic Promotion, showing paintings of the renowned Mexican artist Francisco Eppens Helguera: Cacti (1988); Eagle Warrior And Tiger Warrior (1980); Calla Lilies (1988). Whats more, Eppens  achieved international fame for his award winning modern designs for Mexican postage and revenue stamps (1935–1953). I find his images striking, very happy to have learned about this artist via posting for Sunday Stamps xD

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Croatian National Parks

Actually this FDC was issued in 1994 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Croatian tourism, and is one of 3 FDCs as there were 7 stamps in a set. This one shows the national parks in my region: Plitvice Lakes (UNESCO), Kornati Islands (my workplace!) and Krka waterfalls.
I have posted an entry on Sunday Stamps' landscapes theme on my postcard blog before remembering that I have this FDC, I hope noone will mind me having two entries xD

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Goran Ivanišević, Wimbledon Winner 2001

I wasn't to post but one entry for Sunday Stamps, but then reading Ana's blog reminded me of this FDC which is apt for today as the Wimbledon finals Djokovic vs Federer is being played as we speak.
The whole nation was in front of their TVs in 2001 during Wimbledon finals, holding their breath dozens of times during the tense Ivanisevic vs Rafter match - the win came after five sets and tie-break in the last one, you can imagine the nerves! Esp for Ivanisevic who was known not only for his fast serve but also for swearing a lot and breaking his rackets heh. He was already nearing the end of his professional carreer and entered the tournament unseeded - he became the first wildcard, the first Croatian and the lowest ranked player in history (world No. 125) to claim the Wimbledon title :))

Winter Olympic Games Calgary '88, Guinea-Bissau

Sunday stamps theme for this week is sports, and the first idea I had for posting is this recently acquired souvenir sheet - bobsleigh has always been one of my favourite winter sports, maybe I was even watching it back in 1988 during Winter Olympic Games in Calgary, I definitely remember watching the games. Not sure which team this is, but the Golden Medal was taken by the former Soviet Union.
More sporty stamps here:

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Thangka Souvenir Sheet

Here is one of the most impressive covers that landed in my mailbox, like, ever :) For my mini-sheet group Wong sent me this recent issue representing Thangka - a Tibetan-style scroll painting on cotton, silk or paper, which is painted or embroidered. This envelope is C5 size (app 23x16cm) so you see this sheet is not exactly 'mini' :) the special postmark is so fine, I wish I'd be able to send something similar one day; I've sent my first special postmarks last week and yet they didn't look nearly as neat. Croatian Post, learn from China..!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Australia's Ocean Gardens

I got these last week as a surprise, you know when someone knows you collect stamps and remembers to take it off the envelope for you...Amazing colours (as I suspect they are in real life) of the underwater life in two of Australia's UNESCO sites Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Coast. These were issued in august of 2013, with two more stamps showing an aerial view of the both sites.
Am a tiny bit early but this will be the post for anything you wish theme on Sunday Stamps.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Jazz Day, UN

To celebrate International Jazz Day on 30 April the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA)issued three mini-sheets of twelve stamps - this one was sent from Vienna headquarters with the 1st day cancellation, many thanks to Marco :)

Winter Flowers, USA

What a beautiful flowers set, and so neatly used and cancelled - with a Yellowstone NP cancellation! Great surprise from Bryon :)) and the cutest card inside xD

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

YOTH Japan

Always meticulous mail from Japan, the snowman stamp is just too cute! Thank you once again Ai :)

YOTH France

One of the few Year Of The Horse covers I received this year is from France, beautiful illustration, thanks to Alex :)

Friday, 30 May 2014

Hansel And Gretel, Germany

A fairy tale on stamps...Hansel and Gretel by Grimm Brothers (or so I thought, but it seems to be only recorded by them!) is one of the stories that marked my childhood. Very nice recent issue by German post.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

EUROPA 2012 - Russia

Wonderfully welcoming Russian FDC, thank you Runa :)
The last of the five 'missing' ones!

EUROPA 2012 - Czech Republic

Highly recognisable dancing house in Prague featured in CZ issue, thank you Radim :)

EUROPA 2012 - The Netherlands

Holland from Paul, thank you :)

EUROPA 2012 - Estonia

'Postal Trinity' achieved with great stamps, cancellation and fdc/envelope - as always thank you Heidi :)

EUROPA 2012 - Switzerland

Before I update with all the wonderful 2014 EUROPA covers I have been receiving lately...its only right to present the missing 2012 issues for some chronological order. (I havent swapped at all in 2013...happy to be back on track:))
The Swiss decided to make it funny for the 'visit...' theme, thanks Sara :)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Little Prince

It took me a while to post this because in my research I got immersed in the life story of  a French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, whose death/disappearance haven't been fully explained to this day. This FDC showing his most famous literary hero The Little Prince was issued in 1994 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the tragic event when Saint-Exupéry went on his ninth reconnaissance mission (being a war pilot) only to disappear without a trace. In May 2000 the partial remains of a Lockheed P-38 Lightning were found, spread over thousands of square metres of the seabed off the coast of Marseille, near to where the bracelet with his name was previously found.

“All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems... But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them... In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me... You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure... It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh”
All of the novella's simple but elegant watercolour illustrations, which were integral to the story, were painted by Saint-Exupéry. What a mind, what a talent...

Discover more historical lessons clicking on this link:


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Turks And Caicos Islands

This sheet has been purchased rather than received via regular much as it would be wonderful to get it, I am still waiting for a postcard from this elusive territory..!
This weeks Sunday Stamps is about anything we wish, which inspires me to show something that normally doesn't fit into any of the standard themes (though this one might under archaeology or native peoples?) and here is one of my favourites.
The Lucayans  were the original inhabitants of the Bahamas archipelago before the arrival of Europeans; they were the first inhabitants of the Americas encountered by Christopher Columbus. The Spanish started seizing Lucayans as slaves within a few years of Columbus's arrival, and they had all been removed from the Bahamas by 1520. Another tragic story of colonization...
This set was issued in 1974 and shows the practical objects like a stool, an axe and wooden bowls. It would appear that the object on the last stamp is also a stool, even though it looks like a toy :)
I am sure lots of great entries this week can be seen on Viridian's blog!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Beauty Of Orchids, Czech Republic

Now I have posted this some days ago, but today's theme for Sunday Stamps is flowers and I have no other cover to show here on this topic...and quite honestly, I think this one deserves some more attention ;)
This souvenir sheet on orchids was issued in 2012, when the Czech Orchid Society ("Ceská orchidejárská spolecnost") celebrated its 125. anniversary. Altogether 18 species are shown, but let me point out the four that adorn the actual stamps:
*10 Kc a Dendrobium peguanum is shown which can be found in Nepal, India and Myanmar. She was named after the town Pegu in Myanmar.
*14 Kc you can see a Coryanthes feildingii, whose biotopes are the wet forests from Mexico to Brazil.
*18 Kc two different orchids are shown. On the one hand there is a Cattleya aclandiae which can be found only in Brazil, the other a Cattleya maxima with her large blossoms (maxima) whose biotopes are in Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil and Amazonia.
*20 Kc we even see three species of Paphiopedilum - the Paphiopedilum charlesworthii from Myanmar, Thailand and SW-China; the very hirsute or scrubby (hirsutissimum) looking Paphiopedilum hirsutissimum grows in NE-India and Myanmar. The glorious (insigne) Paphiopedilum insigne is native in NE-India.
Now let me enlarge for a better view:

Friday, 9 May 2014

Giuseppe Verdi, Israel

This stamp issued in 2013 celebrates the 200th Anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi's birthday. Thanks to Sauj and friends :)