Monday, May 30, 2011

Nose Flute from Malaysia

Malaysia consists of numerous ethnic groups and minorities, including the Orang Asli (Original People), indigenous groups found in Peninsular Malaysia.  They comprise only 0,5% of Malaysia's total population and their population is about 148,000.  They play a unique musical instrument: the nose flute, shown on this postcard.

Thank you SL for your nice card!  =)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Historical Evolution of National Symbols from Venezuela

In March 2006, the Venezuelan National Assembly approved changes to the coat of arms and the flag, which were made ​​official on March 12, 2006, coinciding with Flag Day.  Prior to 2006 the horse was running, to the viewer, towards his right and looking back to the left.  In heraldic practice, animals and beasts are to appear facing to the dexter, which is considered the natural and honorable position The Economist observed that Hugo Chavez ordered the seal changed after his daughter had described the previous horse as "looking backwards."  Besides, both the legislative and executive branch agreed to add a machete as a symbol representing the peasant fighters during the revolutionary wars in Venezuela since the War of Independence, a bow and an arrow as a retribution to the brave indigenous population who resisted the Spanish conquistadors.  The new Coat of Arms is portrayed on this stamp issued in 2006.

Thanks a lot Jésus! =)  It's my first cover from your country.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Butterflies of Singapore

Singapore Post released a beautiful set of stamps, on April 21, 2010 and representing 4 species of Butterflies, featured on this registered cover.  The species are:

1st Local - Common Birdwing (Troides helena)
It a large and beautiful butterfly having seventeen subspecies and often found in the wildlife trade due to its popularity  with butterfly collectors.

80¢ - Tailed Jay (Graphium agamemnon)
It is a predominantly green and black tropical butterfly also called Green-Spotted Triangle, Tailed Green Jay, or the Green  Triangle.  It is a common,  nonthreatened species native to India, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

Back of cover with Parcel PO and Delivery Office postmarks (18/19/20.05.11)
$1.10 - Common Posy (Drupadia ravindra
This is a small butterfly with a wingspan of about 3cm to 3.5cm.  It has a swift, darting flight and can be found in primary and secondary forest, and is usually seen along forest trails.

$2 - Blue Glassy Tiger (Ideopsis vulgaris)
It is a black and bluish-white butterfly.  Males do not have any special sex-marks on the wings.

Official FDC issued by Singapore Post

150 Years of Singapore Botanical Garden strip of 4 se-teanant stamps...

... and Miniature Sheet

Pond Life Definitive Set (Small Denominations)
Thank you very much Terence for these wonderful stamps!  :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wintry View from China

A brief post for today: here's a nice postcard showing houses covered with snow in a traditional water county in China, with the old river ways and boats very popular among tourists.

Thank you very much Jiayi for your postcard and for the stamps too!

Monday, May 16, 2011

First Economic Census in Algeria

Algeria is preparing to undertake its first economic census in history.  this census is to investigate all activities and all economic entities in all sectors excluding agriculture.  This economic census will enable government to have detailed statistics. It is an important development of statistical production in line with the needs of the economy.  A stamp designed by the National Statistics office was issued by Algérie Poste on April 12, 2011.  Thank you Omar!  =)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Royal Wedding in the UK

On April 29, 2011, HRH Prince William of Wales and Miss Catherine Middleton married at the Westminster Abbey in London.  Middleton wore a white dresser with a 270-centimeter train, by British designer Sarah Burton, as well as a tiara lent to her by the Queen.  Prince William wore the uniform of his honorary rank of Colonel of the Irish Guards. William's best man was his brother, Prince Harry, while the bride's sister, Pippa, acted as herer maid of honour.   The wedding was widely broadcast on television, internet and radio.  It is estimated that the coverage  was watched by two billion people worldwide.

Thank you Nigel for this awesome souvenir sheet, released on April 21, picturing the Royal couple official engagements photographs.  There's some Welsh written on it too: Y Briodas Frenhinol, EUB Y Tywysog William o Gymru & Miss Catherine Middleton, which means The Royal Wedding, HRH Prince William of Wales & Miss Catherine Middleton.  The stamps were unfortunately canceled on April 30. ):

All my wishes of happiness and longevity to the Royal couple

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Plane Crash in Juan de Nova

Thank you so much Eric for sending me this tremendous cover - my first - from Juan de Nova Island.  This tiny island is located in the narrowest part of the Mozambique Channel, between Madagascar and Mozambique.  It is one of the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean, a district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.

The 3 se-tenant stamps commemorate the plane crash which happened in the late 1920's in Juan de Nova.  In fact, on December 8, 1929, a Farman F 190, departed from the airfield of Ivato in Madagascar to Quelimane, on the Mozambique coast.  On board boarded three men: the captain Marcel Goulette, Chief Warrant Officer "René Marchesseau, and Staff Sergeant "Jean Michel Bourgeois".  A fuel leak forced them to land the aircraft on Juan De Nova.  The steamer "Gallien" retrieves them 3 days later, but Bourgeois stays on the island to monitor the aircraft.  He stayed two months, which allowed him to describe the island and to construct a makeshift runway.  On 28 January 1930, a boat brought back his two colleagues, and on February 1, 1930, the Farman F 190 could take off again towards Antananarivo in Madagascar.

The last, 0,56€ stamp pictures the Southern Cross (Crux) viewed from the Concordia base.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Green Living in Hong Kong

In order to promote the concept of 'Green Living', i.e. conserving energy and reducing emission so as to protect our home planet, Hongkong Post issued on April 14, 2011 a set of 4 stamps.  The $3 stamp above calls us to save energy.  In fact, there are numerous ways to save energy: turning on the lights only when needed, switching to energy-saving light bulbs and keeping the doors and windows closed when the air-conditioning is on are some examples.

The $1,40, $2,40 and $5 stamps are about Conserving Water, Cleaning Air and Recycling respectively.  It should be noted that the leaf-shaped design of the $5 stamp sheetlet, the first of its kind to be released by HK Post, echoes with the theme of green living and conveys the message of cherishing the Earth.  Special thanks to Trudy for this inspiring FDC.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Reptiles from Algeria

Thank you Omar for this FDC with two 15 DA stamps illustrating the:

Horned Viper
It is a venomous snake found in the deserts and semi-deserts of North Africa. This nocturnal species' horns consist of a single long scale spinelike.  They fold back in response to direct stimulation, thus streamlining  the head and easing passage through burrows. Horns often occur in more individuals from sandy deserts as opposed to stony deserts.

Diadem Snake (Lytorhynchus diadema)
It lives in countries with very dry climate, and is hence present in North Africa.  Feeding on lizards, birds and rodents, it helps enormously in regulating the populations of those animals harmful to agriculture.  It reaches up to 180cm when adult and lays 5 to 16 eggs which hatch between 60-70 days.

Omar also affixed on the verso of the envelope the 'Degla Beida date' stamp issued by Algeria in 2010.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pond Life from Singapore

Singapore Post issued, on April 13, 2011, a set of 10 definitive postage stamps depicting a few of the commonly found life forms at a pond.  Three of those stamps are featured on that lovely FDC:

5¢ - White-Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)
It is Singapore's commonest Kingfisher and feeds on various types of insects, shrimps, snails, worms, frogs, lizards, small fish and crabs.  Females tend to be greener than males while immature birds are duller than the adults with dark scaly markings on the neck and breast.

55¢ - White-Breasted Waterhen (Amaurornis phoenicurus)
It is the most common of the Rail family in Singapore and often heard before they are seen.  Their loud quarrelsome calls sound like their Malay name, Ruak Ruak.  They eat mainly seeds, insects and small fish.

50¢ - Black Marsh Terrapin (Siebenrockiella crassicollis)
It is also known as the 'Smiling Terrapin' due to its upwardly curved jaw line.  It feeds on frogs, freshwater prawns, worms and snails.  The habitat of this secretive species extends from the vegetated shallow margins of the quiet streams to lakes and reservoirs.  The Black Marsh Terrapin is actually classified as 'vulnerable' due to habitat loss.

Thank you Terence. :-)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

10th Anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers in Hong Kong

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers so as to celebrate volunteerism, a way to build respect, trust, understanding and solidarity between generations.  Hongkong Post has celebrated the 10th anniversary of this International Year of Volunteers with an issue, on March 29, 2011, of a series of four stamps.  Thank you Trudy for sending this cover with the heart-shaped first day of issue cancellation.