Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#504 Faroe Islands...Thanks Thorolf!

These 3 stamps are from 1990 Whales issue depicting Sowerby's Beaked Whale(320o),Bowhead whale (350o) and Northern Bottlenose whale (700o).

Sowerby's Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon bidens),also known as the North Atlantic/North Sea Beaked Whale, was the first beaked whale to be described. Its name, bidens, derives from the two teeth present in the jaw, now known to be a very common feature among the genus.

Sowerby’s Beaked Whales are reclusive creatures that stay away from ships and are rarely sighted. The whales are occasionally in groups of 8 to 10 individuals (males, females, and calves) and have been known to strand in groups as well. They are believed to primarily feed on squid and molluscs, but cod has also been found in their stomachs. They have been known to dive down at times approaching 30 minutes.

Bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus)is a baleen whale of the right whale family Balaenidae in suborder Mysticeti. A stocky dark-colored whale without a dorsal fin, it can grow to 20 meters (66 ft) in length. Estimated maximum weight of this thick-bodied species is 136 tonnes (134 LT; 150 ST), second only to the blue whale, although the bowhead's maximum length is less than several other whales. It lives entirely in fertile Arctic and sub-Arctic waters, unlike other whales that migrate to feed or reproduce. It is also known as Greenland right whale or Arctic whale. The bowhead is perhaps the longest-living mammal, and has the largest mouth of any animal.

Northern Bottlenose whale (Hyperooden ampullatus)is endemic to the North Atlantic Ocean and is found in cool and subarctic waters such as the Davis Strait, the Labrador Sea, the Greenland Sea and the Barents Sea. They prefer deep water. The total population is unknown but likely to be of the order of 10,000. "The Gully", a huge submarine canyon east of Nova Scotia, has a year-round population of around 160 whales.

Monday, November 29, 2010

#503 Japan...Thanks Kouichi!

This FDC was released on 22 Nov,2010 greeting for the upcoming Chinese New Year of Rabbit.

#502 USA...Thanks John!

The 41c stamp is from 2007 Pacific Lighthouse issue illustrating St. George Reef Light in Northern California.

The 44c stamp was issued to celebrate the adventure and spirit of scouting on July 27 at the Boy Scout’s Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, VA.To create this original design, illustrator Craig Frazier depicted the images of two different scouts in clothing and accessories that are often part of the outdoor scouting experience—hats, packs, boots, and binoculars. At first glance, one sees the large silhouette of a scout peering through binoculars. Within this figure is another scout perched atop a mountain taking in the vista.

#501 Falkland Islands...Thanks Juan Mauricio!

The 3 stamps on the first row were released in December,2009 for the Maritime Heritage Part Six featuring HMS Exeter.

Five ships of the Royal Navy have been named after the city of Exeter in Devon. Two were built in the 20th Century and both were to play important roles in the history of the Falkland Islands.

HMS Exeter (68) – 4p and 20p
A York-class heavy cruiser, she was commissioned in July 1931. She joined the Atlantic Fleet and was a regular and welcome visitor to the Falklands. On the outbreak of war in 1939 she formed part of the South American Division with HMS Cumberland and, together with the light cruisers Ajax and Achilles, engaged the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in the Battle of the River Plate on 13th December 1939. This heroic action, which resulted in the scuttling of the Graf Spee several days later, was Britain’s first major sea victory of the war and achieved worldwide fame for Exeter. Captain Langsdorf said of Exeter before taking his own life after the scuttling of the Graf Spee, "I knocked out their foremost guns; I smashed their bridge; yet, with only one gun firing, they came at me again. One can only have respect for such foe as that". Outgunned and outranged, Exeter was hit by seven 11-inch shells and suffered considerable damage. With many of her crew dead and wounded, her three guns out of action and her speed reduced to 18 knots she was forced to withdraw from the battle and to make for Port Stanley in the Falklands for emergency repairs. Such was the damage that most of her crew, which included two Falkland Islanders, were temporarily billeted ashore with the people of Stanley. Returning to England Captain Bell’s farewell message to the Islanders concluded “Long shall we remember you with gratitude in our hearts”. For her part in the battle she received the fifth ‘Battle Honour’ for her name.

After extensive repairs while back in England HMS Exeter was then sent to the Far East, arriving in Singapore only days after the Japanese had launched their onslaught in December 1941. After providing convoy escort for several months, on 27th February 1942, Exeter - along with American, Australian and Dutch cruisers and destroyers - participated in the confused and chaotic engagement known as The Battle of the Java Sea. During that battle, Exeter was hit in ‘B’ Boiler Room by an 8” Japanese shell which significantly reduced her speed and forced her to retire to Surabaya to effect emergency repairs. During that same battle the Dutch destroyer Hr Ms Kortenaer and the British destroyers HMS Electra and HMS Jupiter were sunk, while later that same evening the Dutch cruisers Hr Ms Java and Hr Ms De Ruyter were also sunk.

On the evening of 28th February, after completing what basic repairs she could at Surabaya, HMS Exeter, accompanied by the destroyers HMS Encounter and USS Pope, attempted to escape into the Indian Ocean via a circuitous route through the Java Sea, intending to use the Sunda Strait to exit. However, four Japanese heavy cruisers and their accompanying destroyers found her hundreds of miles short of there on the morning of 1st March and a new encounter ensued; a naval battle which is oft now referred to as The Battle off Bawean Island.

Initially the allied trio was detected while heading west by a Japanese destroyer which was accompanying two of the Japanese heavy cruisers. Realizing that her small band was in no condition to fight a prolonged engagement, HMS Exeter turned north hoping to evade. However, within an hour, and with the initial Japanese force in hot pursuit, she ran head on into two more Japanese heavy cruisers and their accompanying destroyers coming down from the northwest. Cornered, she turned back east and a running battle ensued. After trading salvos with the enemy for over an hour without being hit, Exeter’s luck ran out when an 8” shell slammed into ‘A’ Boiler Room knocking out all her propulsive and electrical power. Stopped almost dead in the water and at the enemy’s mercy she was finally overwhelmed by the odds against her. With no hope of saving his ship Captain Gordon ordered scuttling charges set and the crew to abandon ship. As Exeter was sinking she was helped on her way by Japanese ship-launched torpedoes; and in time another ‘Battle Honour’ was added to her name.

HMS EXETER (D89) - 30p and £1.66p
HMS Exeter (D89) was the seventh Type 42 destroyer and the fifth ship of the Royal Navy to be called Exeter. Designed to provide area air defence to a group of ships, a secondary role was to provide naval Gunfire Support, take part in anti-surface operations and to provide anti-submarine capabilities. Type 42’s are often used to provide aid during disaster relief operations.

Built by Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Limited, she was commissioned on 19th September 1980. In 1982 she was deployed from the Caribbean to the Falklands to replace the HMS Sheffield, where she was credited with shooting down four Argentine aircraft. Exeter was the last ship to engage with enemy aircraft before the end of the conflict and was awarded the eighth ‘Battle Honour’ for her name.

She was also involved in defence activities in 1991 when employed as an escort for a US Battleship and Mine Counter-Measures Unit off the Kuwait coast during the 1991 Gulf War, for which she received her final ‘Battle Honour’. Exeter has been posted to 14 major deployments since she entered service and in 2004 visited the supposed position of her predecessor in the Java Sea to remember her last action and sinking as described above.

In 2005 she took part in the International Fleet Review to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, in 2008 anchored in the Thames to host the launch of the Bond novel Devil May Care and in 2007 attended the 25th anniversary commemorations of the Falklands War at Newquay, Cornwall, as the last remaining Royal Navy ship in commission to have served in the Falklands.

In May 2009, the ceremony to decommission Exeter was held at Portsmouth, with 325 invited guests, including the Lord Mayor of Exeter and it seems that there may not be another HMS Exeter for several decades. During her lengthy service around the globe Exeter clocked up almost 900,000 nautical miles.

The 2p and 10p stamps on the second row are from 2008 Aircraft definitives showing Boeing 747 and Lockheed C130 Hercules.

The Boeing 747, which first took to the skies in 1969, was then the largest passenger aircraft ever flown. The initial type being 231 ft long with a wing span of 195 ft, it could carry 500 economy class passengers at a speed of 528 knots and maximum take-off weight was 775,000 lbs. The first 747 to visit the Islands was in May 1985, this aircraft landed at Mount Pleasant Airport shortly after the airport was opened, it was operated by British Airways at the commencement of a year long airbridge contract with the Ministry of Defence. The service was for two flights a week with the aircraft doing a straight turn around at Mount Pleasant Airport and routing from Brize Norton via Ascension Island. This entailed relief crews being based at both Ascension Island and MPA. A further 747 aircraft was introduced onto the Falkland's airbridge during the 1990`s but this time being operated by Air Atlanta.

The Hercules aircraft designed by Lockheed in the United States of America was first flown in 1954. This aircraft was first introduced into the RAF service in 1967 and is still serving in one form or another today. RAF Hercules aircraft played a very significant role during the Falkland's War in 1982 carrying out flights between the UK and Ascension Island with equipment and personnel. When the task force headed south the Hercules continued to support them by dropping mail, essential supplies and occasionally personnel. The Hercules fleet flew a total of 13,000 hrs between 2nd April and 14th June 1982. The first RAF Hercules to land in the Falkland Islands occurred on 24th June at Stanley Airport. This wasn't the first Hercules to land at Stanley Airport however, as the Argentines had landed a number of their aircraft there both before and during the War. The RAF continues to operate the Hercules aircraft at MPA.

#500 Latvia...Thanks Juris!

Friday, November 26, 2010

#499 Latvia...Thanks Juris!

This FDC was issued on Nov.12,2010 celebrating 100th Anniversary of Latvia Republic,which was founded in 1918.

World War I devastated the territory of what would become the state of Latvia, along with other western parts of the Russian Empire. Demands for self-determination were at first confined to autonomy, but the Russian 1917 Revolution, treaty with Germany at Brest-Litovsk, and allied armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918, created a power vacuum. The People's Council of Latvia proclaimed the independence of the new country in Riga on November 18, 1918, with Kārlis Ulmanis becoming the head of the provisional government.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

#498 Sweden...Thanks Peter!

This stamp is from the minisheet "The Art of Engraving" joint- issued with Ireland this year.

Sweden Post´s stamp printing works is widely recognized for high quality and extensive experience in producing engraved stamps. In the current joint issue with Ireland, the art of engraving and recess printing is celebrated.

Sweden Post’s stamp printing works is located in Kista, north of Stockholm, and every day it produces stamps with high quality and precision. More than half of all of the motifs during a year are engraved and printed in recess or a combination of recess and offset.

Printing in recess has been a specialty of the printing works for many years and postal organizations from around the world have placed their assignments here, both as direct assignments and as joint issues. The printing works’ greatest asset is its skill in creating end-to-end solutions – handling the entire process from design to the final print and packaging.

This was the deciding factor when Ireland's postal organization presented the idea of a joint issue with Sweden on the art of engraving and turned the entire production over to Sweden Post's stamp printing works.

Sweden’s three stamps come as a minisheet. The motifs are a silver bowl from the Viking era found in Rute, Gotland, King Erik XIV’s impressive armor and a re-print of master engraver Czeslaw Slania’s (passed away 2005) stamp Ballet from 1975.

The bowl from Rute, Gotland, was found in 1863 by a farmer plowing his field. Beside the bowl there were several pieces of silver jewelry and around 600 coins dating back to the 1050s. Today the bowl is on display at the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm.

The Royal Armoury is home to King Erik XIV’s splendid armor from the middle of the 1500s. The armor was probably forged and manufactured in Arboga, but the decorations were made by a goldsmith in Antwerp in what is now Belgium. The decorations include the Vasa family weapons, shackled prisoners, battle scenes and mythological creatures.

The engravers are Czeslaw Slania, who will be honored posthumously with this issue, Lars Sjööblom and Martin Mörck.

#497 Sweden...Thanks Christer

#496 Myanmar...Thanks Thitar!

This nice FDC was issued on Nov.18,2010 celebrating 25th anniversary of Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer.

The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer is a Multilateral Environmental Agreement. It was agreed upon at the Vienna Conference of 1985 and entered into force in 1988.
It acts as a framework for the international efforts to protect the ozone layer. However, it does not include legally binding reduction goals for the use of CFCs, the main chemical agents causing ozone depletion. These are laid out in the accompanying Montreal Protocol.

Monday, November 22, 2010

#495 Norway...Thanks Louis!

#494 U.A.E...Thanks Devashish!

#493 Germany...Thanks Hans!

#492 Myanmar...Thanks Thitar!

This stamp was issued on Nov.7,2010 celebrating the multi-party democracy general election.

A general election were held in Myanmar on 7 November 2010, in accordance with the new constitution which was approved in a referendum held in May 2008. The date of the election, 7 November, was announced by the SPDC on 13 August.

The general election forms the fifth step of the seven-step "roadmap to democracy" proposed by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) in 2003,the sixth and seventh steps being the convening of elected representatives and the building of a modern, democratic nation, respectively.However, the National League for Democracy boycotted the election.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party declared victory, after at least two opposition parties conceded. The United Nations and Western countries have condemned the elections as fraudulent.

#491 Morocco...Thanks Laaroussi!

The triangular stamp was issued in 2010 celebrating 90th anniversary of Group OCP,which is a publicly-owned Moroccan company producing phosphate.

Moroccan phosphate is mined in the framework of a State monopoly entrusted to a publicly-owned company created in August 1920, Office Cherifien des Phosphates, which became OCP Group in 1975. However, actual mining and beneficiation started on March 1st, 1921, in Boujniba, not far from the city of Khouribga.

In 1965, with the start-up of Maroc Chimie, in Safi, the Group became also an exporter of phosphate derivatives. In 1998, it reached a new stage when it started manufacturing and exporting purified phosphoric acid.

The stamp on the right is Moroccan issue for the International Year of Bio-Diversity 2010.

#490 Liechtenstein...Thanks Robbie!

These two se-tenant stamps are the first two stamps in the “Liechtenstein Panorama” series highlight the “valley landscape” issued in 2010.

Although the picture most people have of Liechtenstein is determined by the mountain world of the Lower Alps, in reality it is the valley landscape divided in two by the Rhine which for centuries has influenced the fate of this country’s people. It was on the valley’s elevated parts (such as Gutenberg or Eschnerberg) which offer protection against the Rhine floods that the first settlements came into being some 7 000 years ago, and the Rhine was the route followed by the military road the Romans built in the 1st century AD, which linked Rome with the Empire’s northern provinces and later became one of the most important trade routes between northern and southern Europe. This continuous contact with the throngs of people passing through the Rhine valley, along with the ideal conditions for profitable farming, had a significant influence on the people’s character and habitual way of life. The first two stamps in the “Liechtenstein Panorama” series highlight the “valley landscape”. Two stamps on the theme “Mountain Landscape” will follow in the coming year. The panoramic photograph reproduced on the stamps is by the Ruggell photographer Josef Heeb. As a member of the Spektral photographic club he entered and won a competition initiated by Philatelie Liechtenstein on “Liechtenstein Panorama”. The panoramic photograph was taken in the middle of the Ruggell marsh in a slowly dispersing morning mist. The view shown is from the north looking south. Far away in the background one can see the Mt. Pizol massif in the Sarganserland. On the “East” stamp (face value CHF 1.00) one can see the gently rising summit of the Eschnerberg together with the Liechtenstein Dreischwestern massif. Both these heights are still in shadow. On the “West” stamp (face value CHF 1.00) the mountains of the Alvier chain in St. Gallen canton are already bathed in the soft light of the morning sun as it rises over the Liechtenstein mountains. At the centre of the stamp is a white willow, characteristic of this area and called “Felba” in the local dialect.

#489 Latvia...Thanks Juris!

This special cover was issued on 2010 commeorating 175 years of birth of Krišjānim Baronam (1832-1923) ,who was a folklorist of Latvia.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

#488 India...Thanks Vigesh!

#487 Japan...Thanks Honda!

#486 Brazil...Thanks Murilo!

The 55c stamp was issued in 2006 celebrating 11th anniversary of Brazilian Paralympic Committee.

The Rs 2 stamp was issued in 2008 commemorating Bicentenary of Portuguese Royal Family arrival in Brazil.

D. João (King John VI) arrived in Salvador on January 22, 1808. Six days later, decreed the opening of Brazilian ports to friendly nations. Soon after, he created the Medical-Surgical School of Bahia. With the first act, would cancel the colonial monopoly: henceforth, Brazil could trade with any country and not just with the mother country or with the mediation of Portugal. With the second, creating the first institution of higher learning in Brazilian land. Both decisions were breaking the strict dependency on that Lisbon had its American domains and foreshadowed the major reforms that D. João would in Brazilian life.

To relocate with the Royal family to Rio de Janeiro, where he landed on March 8, 1808, the Prince Regent changed the Portuguese capital Lisbon to Brazil. There came to Rio as outlaw or exile, but as their sovereign soil. And among his subjects, protecting it from the dynasty indignities to which Napoleon referred many others, would maintain the integrity of the territory of Portugal and retain their possessions in the world.

With his coming, D. João has entirely changed Brazil. Wherever you look today, it's hard not seeing her a founding gesture. He was aided by advisers as Rodrigo de Souza Coutinho, redo the Portuguese state in Brazil, to recreate the structures that left the other side of the ocean and invent new ones. Broke a ban that had factories in Brazil, dictated the rules of the General Administration of Posts, established the Royal Press, which, in addition to official documents and publish the first newspaper that had the country, the Gazeta do Rio de Janeiro, has become a great publishing house, and created - the list is not complete - the State Council, the Council of Finance, the Supreme Council of Military Justice and the Military Archives, the Court of the Bureau of Paço and Conscience and Orders, ie , an independent judiciary in Brazil, the Quartermaster General of Police, the Board of Trade, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Shipping, the Navy, the Gunpowder Factory, the Bank of Brazil, a medical school, the Academy of Marine Guards, Military Academy, a school of commerce, the National Museum, the School of Sciences, Arts and Crafts, the Royal Library and the Botanical Gardens. During his stay, the country became another and progressed at a pace that never before met. Hence, between 2008 and 2021, many Brazilian organizations celebrate their 200 years of foundation or transfer to Brazil. In the latter case is the Marine Corps.

On December 16, 1815, D. João equaled a UK Brazil to Portugal. And on February 6, 1818, almost two years after the death of D. Mary I, became king acclaim in Rio de Janeiro. It is believed that it did not intend to return to Lisbon and wanted to turn the Rio, temporary, permanent capital of the kingdom. Forced by the Portuguese liberal revolution of 1820 to return to Europe, left a country much better than that which it had reached thirteen years before and the structure of an assembled state, ready to become independent. Therefore, one can date the arrival of D. João and the Royal Family in Rio de Janeiro the beginning of the process of political emancipation in Brazil.

#485 Faroe Islands...Thanks Thorolf!

The 6 DKK stamp on the top right was issued in 2008 featuring Ancient Cross excavated in Faroe Islands.

Straight Talk
”I shall also make you aware that I have changed religion and has become a Christian man. I have orders from King Olaf to convert all inhabitants on the islands to the Christian faith.”

Those were the words of the Viking chieftain Sigmundur Brestisson on the parliamentary assembly in Tórshavn around year 1000 A.D., when he tried to maintain the orders from the Norwegian king Olaf Tryggvason – at least according to Faereyinga Saga. But it did not work as Sigmund planned it. The assembly, lead by the renowned Tróndur of Gøta, rejected the king’s order, and Sigmundur had to go home without having achieved anything.

But when words did not work, Sigmundur used other, more heavy handed methods. He sailed to Gøta one night accompanied by thirty men, surrounded Trónd’s farm, and gave the old chieftain the choice between the new faith or beheading. Facing such an ultimatum, Trónd off course agreed to accept the new faith – he was baptised and: “Sigmundur then travelled all over the Faroes and did not stop before the entire population was Christianized.”

Thus sounds the official explanation about the Christianization of the Faroe Islands, based on the tales from Faereyinga Saga, written more than 200 years after the alleged events took place.

Early Christianity
There are a few traces of evidence from the early Christianity on the Faroe Islands. On the island Skúvoy archaeologists have found several gravestones with Celtic and Roman crosses. Spread around the islands so called “bønhús” (prayer house) ruins, small houses with circular graveyards, appear, which may be interpreted as relics from an Irish inspired tradition. Besides that there are the extensive excavations around the church of Sandur, which unearthed the oldest church and several graves, which date from the first centuries of Christianity on the Faroes.

Because of the lack of written sources regarding early Faroese Christianity, all information has to be used with reservation. In that area we only have the information from Faereyinga Saga to rely on, and the question whether there have been Christian people on the islands before the first century is an open question.

The 4.70 DKK stamp on the top left is from 1988 Kirkjubour Cathedral Ruins issue showing Cruxifixion bas-relief.

Kirkjubøur is the southernmost village on Streymoy, Faroe Islands and the country's most important historical site.

The village was important in the Middle Ages. At that time it was the episcopal residence for the Diocese of the Faroe Islands and as such the spiritual centre of the society. In those days the village is said to have had around 50 houses. The majority of these houses were washed away by a fierce storm in the 16th century.The oldest still inhabited wooden house of the world, Kirkjubøargarður from 11th century.

The sketch on the cover was painted by Ingálvur av Reyni (1920-2005),who was the most celebrated painter of the Faroe Islands during the last years.

#484 Mauritius...Thanks David!

#483 Finland

This 1st class stamp is Finland 2010 Christmas issue showing the beauty of the special kind of darkness in Lapland.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

#482 Korea...Thanks Wonsik!

The upper souvenir sheet was issued in 1996 Literature series illustrating a traditional Korean folk song.

The souvenir sheet below is the 1993 New Year (Year of the Dog) issue.

#481 Denmark...Thanks Leo!

These two stamps were issued in a three-part stamp series entitled Nordic Coastlines. All eight Nordic countries will be issuing stamps and minisheets in this series during 2010, 2012 and 2014. The theme of the first part is "Life by the coast".

Down through the ages, people who live along the coast have always adapted to and benefited from the proximity of the sea. Besides the traditional occupations of shipping and fishing, many other industries have grown up along the Nordic coasts, including energy production and tourism.

Lindø Shipyard
Shipping magnate A.P. Møller founded the shipyard Odense Staalskibsværft in 1917-18. It was originally located by Odense Canal, but soon outgrew this site, and in 1957, construction began on a new and much larger shipyard at Lindø, north-east of Odense. The new shipyard opened in 1959, and has since supplied all kinds of vessels for international shipping.

The DKK 5.50 stamp shows the ship MAAS VIKING, photographed at the fitting-out quay at Lindø Shipyard. The ship, designed to carry wheeled cargo such as cars, truck trailers and railway trucks, was delivered in May 2009 to a British shipping company, and now sails on a regular service between the Netherlands and England.

Denmark's biggest port
The Port of Aarhus is the largest and busiest container port in Denmark. It is in operation 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With 1,500 ship calls and more than 900,000 container units annually, the Port of Aarhus is an important traffic node for the transport of goods between major ports in the Nordic countries and Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as ports in the UK, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Far East.

The DKK 8.50 stamp depicts a crane grab used by the port's quayside cranes to unload animal feed. The tall building is an animal feed warehouse belonging to a local bulk goods company. The grey building on the left is a warehouse, originally a salt store, but now used for various other products.

Friday, November 12, 2010

#480 Macedonia...Thanks Goran!

The 20 Denar stamp on the right was issued in 2010 depicting Lake Ohrid Snail (Gocea ohridana).

Gocea ohridana is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species. This species is endemic to the Macedonian part of ancient Lake Ohrid in the
Balkans. It lives exclusively in the rocky southeastern shore habitats of the lake and is found
in small numbers. Today Gocea ohridana is restricted to a few square metres in the immediate
surroundings of underwater springs found on the bottom of the lake. Within this setting the
species is specialised, living in little holes in underwater rocks.

Deforestation has led to increased sediment loads entering the lake, blanketing the rocks
and their holes, which affects this tiny species. Other threats come from pollution from
settlements along Lake Ohrid which contaminate the water. The underwater springs are fed
by underground connections from Lake Prespa. Agriculture around this lake has increased the
nutrient load in the waters which feed through to pollute Lake Ohrid and the springs.
Currently, there are no particular conservation measures in place to protect this species,
although Lake Ohrid is a World Heritage Site.

#479 India...Thanks Syed!

This FDC was issued on 3rd October,2010 on the inaugural day of the XIX Commonwealth Games held in Delhi between 2010.10.03 to 10.14, illustrating tennis,archery,hockey and athletics.

The XIX Commonwealth Games is the largest multi sport event in Delhi after the Asian Games in 1951 and 1982.It is also for the first time that the Commonwealth Games held in India.

85 Commonwealth Nations participated in 260 games in 17 disciplines.These events will take place in the upgraded existing stadiums and new stadiums constructed specially for the games.

The opening and closing ceremonies of the Games took place at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium,New Delhi.It showcased the spirit,talent and rich fiber of Indian culture.The mascot of the game,"Shera",combines modern and traditional India and embodies the values,majesty,power,charisma,intelligence,grace and elegance of the tiger.

The official slogan of the Commonwealth Games 2010 is "Come out and Play".The logo tagline is an invitation to every person across all divides Indian and Commonwealth to participate in the Games to the best of their abilities,in the true spirit of the Games.

India Post has already issued two sets of stamps on themes:One set on the Queen's Baton Relay and a second set on the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium and Talkatora Stadium.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

#478 Russia...Thanks Starkova!

The 2 RUB and 5 RUB stamps are from 2009 Sixth Definitives Series:Russian Kremlins depicting Kazan Kremlin and Novgorod Kremlin respectively,both listed as World Heritage Sites.

Built on an ancient site, the Kazan Kremlin dates from the Muslim period of the Golden Horde and the Kazan Khanate. It was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552 and became the Christian See of the Volga Land. The only surviving Tatar fortress in Russia and an important place of pilgrimage, the Kazan Kremlin consists of an outstanding group of historic buildings dating from the 16th to 19th centuries, integrating remains of earlier structures of the 10th to 16th centuries.

Situated on the ancient trade route between Central Asia and northern Europe, Novgorod was Russia's first capital in the 9th century. Surrounded by churches and monasteries, it was a centre for Orthodox spirituality as well as Russian architecture.

#477 Taiwan...Thanks Chang!

This stamp is from 1991 Chinese Traditional Gods issue showing Fu star,namely God of Good Fortune.

Fu Lu Shou (simplified Chinese: 福禄寿; traditional Chinese: 福祿壽; pinyin: Fú Lù Shòu) refers to the concept of Good Fortune (Fu), Prosperity (Lu), and Longevity (Shou). This Taoist concept is thought to date back to the Ming Dynasty, when the Fu Star, Lu Star and Shou Star were considered to be personified deities of these attributes respectively. The term is commonly used in Chinese culture to denote the three attributes of a good life.

The Fu star (福) refers to the planet Jupiter. In traditional astrology, the planet Jupiter was believed to be auspicious. Alternately, according to Taoist legend, the Fu Star is associated with Yang Cheng, a governor of Daozhou. Yang Cheng risked his life by writing a memorial to the emperor to save the people from suffering. After his death, the people built a temple to commemorate him, and over time he came to be considered the personification of good fortune.
He is generally depicted in scholar's dress, holding a scroll, on which is sometimes written the character "Fu". He may also be seen holding a child, or surrounded by children.

#476 France...Thanks David!

#475 France...Thanks David!

#474 Poland...Thanks Juris!

This souvenir sheet was issued in 2008 celebrating World Stamp Show - EFIRO 2008.

The first EFIRO (Romanian Philatelic Exhibition) had taken place in 1932 on an occasion of the 70th anniversary of unification of the Moldavian and Multanian Post Services. That event was inspired by the "Philatelic Tribune" magazine, and was carried out under patronage of the king Carol II.

The occasion to organize the next EFIRO Exhibition (1998) had been given by the 150th anniversary of 1848 revolution and the 140th anniversary of issue the first Romanian post stamp. Finally the third EFIRO Exhibition (September, 2004) took place on an occasion of the 130th anniversary of establishing the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in connection to its 23rd congress.

The actual EFIRO exhibition is therefore the fourth one in that line, accompanying at the same time the World Philatelic Exhibition, being hosted by Romania for the first time. The exhibition organized under the motto "Time goes by, stamps remain" was held in an exhibition centre Romexpo on June 20-27, 2008, where one day after its final conclusion the FIP (Fédération Internationale de Philatélie) congress was assembled.

Immediately on the opening day of the EFIRO 2008 exhibition Poczta Polska has issued the stamp in block, featuring an open envelope, out of which the fragment of the Romanian Athenaeum building can be seen. Off the stamp's frame there is an image of fountain-pen with its nib decorated with the engraved aurochs' head.

The concert hall, built partially thanks to the public subscription to become a national temple of sciences and art. Currently it is a home of the Romanian Philharmonic. Nowadays the Atheneaum is a symbol of the national tradition and culture in dominated by the social-realistic architecture Bucharest. It was built at the end of the 19th century in neoclassical style by the design of French architect, A. Galleron.

#473 Latvia...Thanks Jelizaweta!

The 4.5Ls stamp is from 2007 Latvia-Germany joint issue:UNESCO Cultural Heritage illustrating Hanseatic cites Stralsund and Wismar.

The medieval towns of Wismar and Stralsund, on the Baltic coast of northern Germany, were major trading centres of the Hanseatic League in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries they became Swedish administrative and defensive centres for the German territories. They contributed to the development of the characteristic building types and techniques of Brick Gothic in the Baltic region, as exemplified in several important brick cathedrals, the Town Hall of Stralsund, and the series of houses for residential, commercial and crafts use, representing its evolution over several centuries.