Monday, July 30, 2012

Shantytown, New Zealand

I recently discovered that New Zealand post has a few pictorial cancels available in major centers such as Wellington and Auckland. There is also a cancel available for Shantytown: a heritage park on the New Zealand west coast. It's one of those parks where they have several old buildings form the 1800's and they let you see how people lived back then. The town post office is fully functional and mail sent from there receives the special Shantytown postmark. You can sort of see a bit of the town in the postmark.

Unfortunately, New Zealand Post put a big "carried by" inkjet postmark across the top. Doesn't affect the hand postmark though and the application of it looks good. But it obscures the stamp. That is a $2.40 "Nīkau" stamp from the native trees series.

Preserve the Polar Regions and UPAEP 2011

After all this time I'm still acquiring issues from the Preserve the Polar Region and Glaciers series. This time it's the Curaçao sheet that was issued at the start of 2011.

Also picked up a couple more issues to add to my UPAEP Mailboxes collection: a sheet from Costa Rica and a set from Cuba. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Uelen, Russia

Uelen (Уэ́лен), with a population just under 800, is the eastern most settlement in Russia. It is across the Bering Strait from Alaska and just under 60 km from the Alaskan village of Diomede. Most of the population are indigenous Chukchi and Yupik who live a subsistence lifestyle.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Kirkenes, Norway

Kirkenes is a town with a population 3300 in the extreme north-east corner of Norway. So far east it is north of Russian and Finland is to its west.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Troll of Senja, Norway

Senjatrollet or the "troll of Senja" is an 18m tall troll that houses a visitor center and acts as a tourist attraction. It sits on the island of Senja which is the second largest island in Norway. Mail sent from Senjatrollet receives a special postmark that is suppose to bear an image that resembles the troll. The postmark needs to be much clearer than this example to see the trolls face.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

War of 1812, Washington DC

War of 1812 commemorative postmark from Washington DC. In August of 1814 the British captured DC and burned several government buildings, including the White House. Part of the British motivation for doing so was in retaliation for similar attacks that had occurred against Canada. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pornichet, France

Received this cover and postcard yesterday from François in Pornichet. The stamps on the cover are from the "Portraites de femmes dans la peinture" booklet, which features paintings of portraits of women. It is a very nice booklet of domestic rate stamps. I enjoy collecting recent French stamps but do not normally get to see domestic rate booklet stamps such as these.

Pornichet is a town of 10000 on the western coast of France in the Pays de la Loire. It is surrounded by kilometers of beautiful sandy beaches and I'm sure it wouldn't take much to convince my family to take a vacation there. Thank you François!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Netherlands Arctic Station, Ny-Ålesund

I like coming back from a long vacation to find my mailbox stuffed with mail. Unfortunately this time it was mostly bills and junk mail, except for this one. I sent this to the Netherlands Arctic Station late last summer and when the station was opened this past June my request to have this cover returned to me was finally answered.

All philatelic mail returned from the station gets the "Barnacle Goose" cachet that was applied to this envelope. It was also signed by researchers Nico van den Brink and Martine van den Heuvel-Greve and base leader Maarten Loonen. I wish I had sent a bigger envelope. Next time.

The station website has lots of information about this tiny research base and the team that supports it. Dr. Loonen keeps the site updated with photos and videos about their research and Ny-Ålesund. A very informative site. And while looking through his blog I came across an entry that mentions preparing philatelic mail at the Ny-Ålesund post office. You can even see my cover in the image on the left side of the counter.