Sunday, August 13, 2017

A & B

I didn't get myself organized in time to post my A for Avian stamps, so here are two editions - one for Avian and one for Birds... 
I really, really like this new three year series, though am disappointed that the actual stamp cuts out so much of the bird's features. It would have been nice if the souvenir sheets had the extras perforated as well so you had the option of including them.



This was last year's (2016) issue of Birds of Canada which feature such birds that I have never seen as the Sharp Tailed Grouse that live in Saskatchewan, the Great Horned Owl from Alberta, the Puffin who live off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, a Rock Ptarmigan from Nunavut, and a Common Raven - one I have seen, though not in Yukon where this is the provincial bird.
Except for the Great Horned Owl, all of these birds were in contention for the National Bird Project and all of them lost out to the Gray Jay (also known as Whiskey Jack).
This was only a recommendation by the Canadian Geographic Society. We still don't have an official bird of Canada.

and for this year's avian friends, there is a Blue Jay, so it's not likely the Gray Jay will make the cut for next year's party* (then again, the gray jay does inhabit much of British Columbia which hasn't been represented yet...)

Again, in a clockwise flight from upper left: the Blue Jay, this one from Prince Edward Island, a Gyrfalcon from the Northwest Territories, an Osprey in Nova Scotia, a Common Loon from Ontario, and finally, a Great Grey Owl representing Manitoba.

* party is the collective nouns for jay

and there is a party for B listers over at See it on a Postcard

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

village bell

From this site, the rich vibrant tone of this bell could be heard throughout the village
For over fifty years, beginning in 1890, the village bell announced the out break of fire. When the First Pickering Fire Company of volunteer firemen was formed in 1889, money was collected from the villagers by subscription to ensure fire protection.
A 200lb bell was ordered but was returned for a 500lb bell when concerns were raised that it might not be heard everywhere. Whenever fire was discovered in the village, the first person to reach the fire hall would ring the bell to call volunteers.
The bell also rang four times a day at 7, 12, 1 and 6 by a paid bell ringer to announce the beginning of the work day, lunch time, end of lunch hour and end of work day. On Sundays the bell called villagers to worship at various churches. On V.E. day, the bell rang continuously to announce the end of the war.

for Tuesday's Treasures

Saturday, July 29, 2017

kumo and a cathedral

This is the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica in Ottawa.
It was built in 1846 with the two gothic spires added in 1866. 







They are covered in tin, which is a common feature for French Canadian churches.

In between the spires is a gilded Madonna.













and, for a special Canada 150 event, by special permission of the Archbishop,
a giant spider will spend the night atop the Cathedral
Yeah, Ottawa already has a giant spider, living right across the road at the National Gallery, a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois
but this is a giant mechanical spider. named KUMO.

She 
slept on top of Notre Dame and was awakened on Thursday evening. On Friday morning a giant fire breathing dragon was woken up amid a weekend of traffic snarls around this urban roaming theatre.  You can see a three part video of the awakening (complete with an orchestra suspended in cages and puppeteers rappelling down ropes onto their positions on the spider to make her move. it's a long video, but fast forward and you'll see it's pretty cool!)
All we got in Toronto was a giant duck... and me, an affirmed arachnophobe, I wish I could have been in Ottawa for this.
You can read all about La Machine and the exciting weekend here. But if you want to see this street theatre you need to be in Ottawa from July 27-30th.  The basilica, however will always be there for you to see. On Sussex Drive.

fast forward to around the 9 minute mark

photos of kumo credit ottawa citizen and radio-canada

for InSPIREd Sunday

Friday, July 28, 2017

a bridge to cross

The Osborne Street bridge in Winnipeg had a makeover recently and incorporated in its design was an art project that included phrases cut out (and lit at night by LED, which you can almost see in my dusk photos)  Here are a few of these balustrades as I walked across the bridge
                         
 Bridge ices over – slow down
The phrases all relate to the area
Osborne Village
It crosses over the Assinboine River
Winnipeg is known as a windy city, and the corner of Portage and Main is the windiest intersection in Canada







sharing with Sepia Saturday
and Jo's Monday Walk

Monday, July 24, 2017

rubber ducky

Went for a day trip to Midland last week

(not on the day thousands were trapped on the highway when it was closed for 11 hours due to an accident, thank god!)   (photo courtesy of cp24 news)
The harbour has changed a lot since the days in the early 1900s of this postcard
it's on the southern tip of Georgian Bay
but what we were looking for was this
at the foot of King and First Streets

The giant rubber ducky that has garnered so many complaints from those who have no desire for fun and silliness in their lives. This was her first visit to Canada and she made her appearance for the Canada 150 celebrations.  (just google rubber duck toronto and scroll past the newer stories of how spectacularly successful it was to the weeks before she arrived and read all the whining about the cost, what a duck has to do with Canada's sesquicentennial, the cost! ... ad nauseum)
She is big. Six storeys tall. It takes almost 3 hours to inflate.
And it was a LOT less crowded here than in Toronto (hence the 3 hour drive)
Keeping the duck company is this swan sculpture
which celebrates the efforts of those who helped reintroduce the trumpeter swans to Georgian Bay. The swan sculpture is more life size.
We didn't see any swans, though
just a big duck who couldn't hide no matter how hard she tried
Then, we walked round town looking for murals, but that will be another post. I'm reintroducing myself to short walks for Jo's Monday walk

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Kizhi

In the far north-western corner of Russia is the Republic of Karelia. 
In Karelia is a lake, called Lake Onego. 
In the middle of that lake is an island called Kizhi.
On Kizhi is a "pogost",  a settlement or churchyard.
And in that pogost, are two wooden churches and a bell tower.
The church on the left has 22 domes while the one on the right has nine. The smaller church is known as the Church of the Intercession. It is heated and is therefore used as a winter church (October to Easter), whereas the larger church - the Church of the Transfiguration - is not heated and is only used during the summer months. Both churches date back to the 18th C and are built entirely of wood - no nails! Along with the belfry, these structures were built of pine (the main structure), spruce (roof) with aspen covering the domes. This pogost is an UNESCO World Heritage Site with the island and its open air museum of 87 other buildings (including more wooden churches, barns, mills, houses and saunas) brought to the island is a Russian Cultural Heritage Site.




So, apart from the Moscow Metros from last months post, this is one place I would love to see. (yes, I have thing for Russia!)

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Moscow Metro

Novokuznetskaya opened in 1943 (in spite of the war!) 
and won a state prize for its design. It has seven octagonal ceiling mosaics on the theme of wartime industry. The marble benches were rescued from the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour before it was demolished.

Taganskaya opened in 1950
It has majolica panels with floral patterns on each of the 48 curved pylons. Within each panel is also a bas relief of various WWII Red Army and Navy servicemen


Kropotkinskaya opened in 1935 after only 180 days
it has flared columns of white marble with lighting concealed in the top.


Belorusskaya opened in 1952
it has 12 octagonal mosaics on the curved ceiling and the floor is patterned to resemble a Belrussian quilt.


Novoslobodskaya opened in 1952
its most striking feature are the 32 stained glass panels in the pylons

The city I grew up in has a subway system, but its stations were mostly renowned for its bland 'subway tiles' (which I actually kind of liked for its minimalism and clean design) There were four trim colours and three - later five - colours of tile. The gentle repetition was soothing to me. I later found out that many people didn't even notice the pattern.
I cannot imaagine anyone not noticing the designs in these Moscow Metro Stations

for Maria's postcards for the weekend

Sunday, April 23, 2017

the state of windmills

This is a nice series of old windmills the USPS put out in 1980

the one in Virginia is located in Williamsburg, known as the Robertson Windmill. 
the one in Illinois is in Batavia and known as a Dutch windmill 
the Massachusetts one is a Cape Cod windmill in Eastham
the Rhode Island one is based on an Old Windmill in Portsmouth
and the Texas one shows windmills typical of the southwest
I was sure I had a couple more s, but alas I can't find them. At least I have the complete set of stamps.

and then there is this sample from Kansas, issued in 2011 and also showing the more recent wind turbines.

wind your way to Sunday Stamps for windmills or lighthouses

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Machin Green


I quite like these Machin stamps and am always excited to add one more colour to my collection. There are so many colours and shades
Machins first appeared in 1967, so this will be the 50th anniversary in June.












find more green stamps at Sunday Stamps II

Sunday, April 2, 2017

de fokker spin

Had this plane arrived in time it would have made a nice addition to last week's flying post.
It shows a 1911 Fokker Spin with Anthony Fokker sitting in the pilot's seat. It's a bit hard to see clearly, so below is a better resolution of the plane on the ground and in flight. 
It is a funny looking contraption, rather like a giant moth caught in a spider's web. The landing gear is a bit odd looking with what looks like both wheels and skis! and all those wires...

This was Anthony de Fokker's third version, the previous two having been destroyed beyond repair by his business partner. The first one was finished in December 1910, but because of the weather Fokker decided it was best to wait to fly. He went off to celebrate Christmas with his family and when he returned to Germany where the plane had been built, found out that his partner had flown it right into a tree. Fokker built his second plane and taught himself how to fly and obtained his pilot's licence. But again, his business partner flew the plane and crashed the thing. Just like a determined spider, (spin means spider and the plane was so named because all the cables and steel wires resembled a web) Fokker built a third plane and did not allow his partner in the air.
On Queen Wilhelmina's birthday on August 31st, 1911, he gave a demonstration by flying over Haarlem and around the St Bavo Church. In 2011, the Spin was brought back to the church for a special exhibition.
Here is a video of the plane being brought into the church.



for more odd and/or humorous stamps, fly over to Sunday Stamps II