Monday, September 24, 2012

FDC of the day - Belize: Birds

Some of the most beautiful, most colorful birds in all Central America - indeed, all the world - live in the tropical forests of Belize.  Among these are the Blue Crowned Motmot, as shown on the 25c issue, and the Ocellated Turkey, on the 45c issue.  The Motmot nests in the ground rather than in trees.  It digs its nesting holes between August and October, the rainy months while the ground is soft; and then returns in March or April, the breeding season, to inhabit the nest.  Another forest dweller is the magnificently colored Ocellated Turkey.  It boasts a rainbow like plumage of green, blue, gold and copper-bronze, and nothing is quite so grand as this bird in its proud posture of courtship, with its feathers outstretched.  Like the Motmot, the turkey builds its nest in well hidden places in the ground.  Both of these birds are considered among the most attractive birds in the New World.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Pandas from Singapore -- JiaJia/KaiKai

Thanks to Edmund, I've received this cute cover from Singapore with pandas.  Read his detailed article about the pandas here.  I also just realized the the first name of the stamp designer is also Edmund :) What a popular name!

Coincidentally, this year, the UN postal service also issued a set of stamps with a panda as part of their on going Endangered Species series. 

I guess we all love pandas! Here is a cover I sent to Eric who maintains an excellent blog about stamps in French and English. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

FDC of the day - BAT: Whale Conservation

Released Jan. 4, 1977, at Halley Bay, a British scientific station in Antarctica, these four stamps illustrate endangered whales.  On the 2p stamp is a Sperm, unusual in that it has no whalebone with which to catch its food, but is a toothed whale with teeth in the lower jaw only - forty in all, each about 8 inches long.  On the 8p stamp is a Fin.  Often called the Ocean Greyhound, its is gracefully streamlined, very fast and reaches 80 feet in length.  On the 11p stamp is the Humpback which reaches a length of 50 feet.  On the 25p stamp is a Blue.  The Blue can reach a length of 100 feet, but, due to intensive whaling, is rarely seen in the lengths over 80 feet.  Whales are mammals.  Dissection of a whale's flipper reveals the same (though modified) skeleton as the fore limb of a terrestrial ancestor.


Saturday, September 08, 2012

1950 Moscow Skyscrapers Set

I receive emails from various stamp newsletters and this article is really interesting.  As you know, Russian stamps in the Soviet Union era are very unique, and I think they are quite beautiful.  Enjoy.

This iconic series of stamps was issued to commemorate the construction of a series of post-war skyscrapers in a brave new Moscow. Built to rival those in the US they were designed in the distinctive Russian Baroque style and known in Russia as Stalins Skyscrapers and in English to the western world as as the “Seven Sisters”.

In fact the stamp designs feature 8 buildings whereas only seven were planned and of those only six were constructed. They continue to dominate the Moscow skyline and comprise the Smolenskaya Square Building (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Krasnye Vorota (Red Gates Building), Moscow State University (until 1990 the tallest building in Europe), Hotel Ukraine (now the Radisson Royal), Hotel Leningrad (now the Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya) and the Kotelnicheskaya Apartment Building. Also constructed was the Kudrinskaya Building which was not featured on the stamps whilst the featured Vosstaniya Square and Zaryadye Buildings were not constructed.

Much of the driving force for these buildings came from Stalin himself, determined that a victorious post war Russia should not be seen as backward and his hand was evident at every stage of the process, from chosing the architects to chosing which parts of the city should be levelled to make way for them. Most of the detailed planning decisions were made in secret but his masterplan was for a massive 10 lane highway to encircle the city with these monuments to a modern, winning Russia sited to give an impressive cityscape. Much of this was implemented but falling short of the original grand design.

credit to

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

London 2010 International Stamp Exhibition

Can't believe it's been 2 years already. It seems like just yesterday when I was traveling around London with that red double decker.  WooHoo..
Anyway, yes, I was in London in May of 2010 for the international stamp show and it was my first time stepping in Brits soil.  Yea yea, I know this post is really late :(  But Eric from France has covered the show brilliantly and extensively so I thought I was not going to waste your time. Please see his article here.

I had fun shopping around and one thing that really caught me off-guard was that a lady from the Australian postal service recognized me from attending Washington 2006 4 years ago. That was really shocking, what is the odds of that happening?  Someone reconizing you from 4 years ago and had met you only 1 time?  Do I have a special face? LOL .. hope not. But it was really sweet that she remembered me. On the other hand, I am really bad with names or faces.

I had a lot of fun obtaining commemorative postmarks from various postal services. When I was in Washington DC for the 06 show, I bought a philatelic passport and was really busy stamping them. However, it was just not the same as stamping on a real COVER!

Here is a cover I made and mailed to myself. I sort of bumped into the Royal mail postal service by accident. It was not located in the main hall where Royal mail sold their products but it's in a different room on the right hand side of the main entrance to the show.

As you can see, I've sort of trying to confuse the postman by having all these stamps from different postal administrations. Haha..

 But I guess it's really hard to miss that big golden bust of the queen on this one!

Check Out Guide to Stamp Collecting (Collector's Series) from Amazon

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