Sunday, February 22, 2015

Year of the Ram

Perhaps I was a little too optimistic in expecting to see more Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram stamps. I've not yet received any from China or Taiwan... so the only ones I have are the Canadian ones I bought.
And this year brings another design by Hélène L’Heureux with an illustration by Susan Scott and calligraphy by Ngan Siu-Mui

I think I managed to get a photo that shows off the embossing
which makes the 2003 stamp look very smooth, and almost plain in comparison (image from CanadaPost website)

I'm not sure why Canada Post has chosen to call this the Year of the Ram, though my best guess is that since a ram is both a male sheep and a male goat, 
in the great Canadian tradition of compromise, Ram was chosen! 

and just for the cuteness factor, here is a mountain goat, part of the baby wildlife series issued in 2014. 
this image is from the postcard, but is valued at $1.20 for US postage


Today, the Toronto Postcard Club is having it's annual show and sale, so I'm off in the snow to see what I can find. Then it's dinner with a friend. Then, maybe a nap before work in the frigid cold again. Sheep makes me think of lambs, which makes me think of spring, which can't come soon enough!!
I'll visit you all later.

Along the way, I might even find some inspiration to post something other than about stamps....

Sunday, February 15, 2015

red, yellow, or blue

I'm not really a big fan of red roses
I much prefer these yellow ones with just a touch of red

although, personally, on a day like today, with the temperature dropping to -34ºC (that would be -29F for the American readers) I would forgo the over-priced cut flowers and prefer to be whisked away to the warmer clime of the Caribbean... 
St Lucia would be nice, where the weather is (at the moment) a balmy 28ºC (oh, look that's my birthday!) how romantic would that be?!

While Saint Lucia offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the world none can top the majestic Pitons, the island’s iconic mountains. Said to be the most photographed site in the Caribbean and most famous mountain pair on earth, the Pitons are a must-see for anyone who visits the island. Located just south of the town of Soufriere on the west coast, Gros Piton (771 m / 2,619 ft) and Petit Piton (743 m / 2,461 ft) rise regally from the blue Caribbean below.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

ships in the far north (east)

I had to twist my head around in circles to understand this map. Then I finally found out that the stamp honours the discovery of the Commander Islands, 
a group of islands in the Bering Sea
about 175km east of Kamchatka, which is shown in the second stamp.
These are from the Landscapes of the Far East series issued in 1966.

Vitus Jonassen Bering was a Danish explorer and officer with the Russian Navy. Born in 1681, he was chosen by Peter the Great to head the first Kamchatka Expedition in 1725 to map the area and to establish whether or not Asia and America were connected by a land. He returned in 1728 to report that it was all open sea between Asia and America and immediately made preparations for a return expedition, which wouldn't take place until 1741. He found Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, but storms and ill health forced his ship to land at an uninhabited island in the Commander islands group. It was there, on what would be later named Bering Island that he and 28 of his men died. The ship - the Svyatoy Pyotr, or St Peter, shown in the first stamp - made it back to the Kamchatka Peninsula after being stranded on the island for nine months. The second stamp shows the city of Petropavlovsk (Peter and Paul) - named for the two ships under Bering's command - which Bering founded in 1740.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

water - fresh, frozen, thermal

Fresh water is something that many of us take for granted. However, it may not always be so readily available to all of us (as it already isn't for so many millions of people in Africa and Southeast Asia) if we don't take care of our resources.
This stamp from Spain, was issued in 2013 for the International Year of Water Cooperation
It actually took me a few moments of turning the stamp around in circles to figure out the 'right' way up, until I realized it was meant to show the water going in both directions.

these stamps, also from 2013, aren't really about water - they are actually part of the Canadian Flag series - but do feature water.
 Lake Scugog to be specific.
one of my favourite pastimes includes sitting in a chair looking out over a calm lake. though, maybe not a Muskoka (aka Adirondack) chair as I find them incredibly difficult to propel myself out of (then again, an excuse to stay put and enjoy the view...) now, sitting in an ice fishing hut looking out over - or into a hole in - a frozen lake is not something I have ever aspired to do.

maybe you would prefer your body of water to be indoors,
away from the biting cold, or biting mosquitos. 
then head over to Budapest, Hungary to partake of the Rudas Baths. apart from this swimming pool, there also six therapy pools in this thermal bath built in 1550. there is even night bathing on Fridays and Saturdays from 10pm-4am. it is still mostly an enclave for the men though, with Tuesdays being a women's only day and the other four weekdays for the men. weekends are "group use".