Friday, April 24, 2009

New Stamps from Switzerland

Here are a few of the new issues from Switzerland, valid after 8 May 2009:

Switzerland 2009 European Wildcats
Switzerland Europa 2009 Astronomy
Switzerland 100 Years Pro Patria

The first is a self adhesive issue that features the European Wildcat. The second is the Swiss Europa 2009 Astronomy issue which features glow in the dark orbits and planets. And finally, a souvenir sheet commemorating 100 years of the Swiss Pro Patria Foundation.

Barry's Bay Ontario Żurakowski Park Cancel

This is a cancellation I recently received from Barry’s Bay Ontario. The stamp is the Canadian “First Flight” stamp issued on 23 February 2009. It commemorates the first flight of the Silver Dart on 23 February 1909 at Baddeck Bay in Nova Scotia. It was the first controlled powered flight in the British Empire.

The cancellation was made by the Barry’s Bay Post Office. The CF-105 Arrow was a delta winged fighter jet developed in Canada by Avro Aircraft Limited between 1953 and 1959. Janusz Żurakowski, a Polish born fighter/test pilot, was the chief development test pilot for Avro at the time. He was the first to pilot the CF-105 and several of its variants before the program was abruptly cancelled. He retired with his family to Barry’s Bay Ontario and lived there until his death in 2004.

A park in Barry’s Bay named after Janusz Żurakowski is also home to the 1/3 scale CF-105 Arrow monument featured on this cancellation.

Barry's Bay Żurakowski Park Cancel

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Greece: Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers

A nice little sheet from Greece with a pair of circular stamps.

Greece 2009 Preserve the Polar Regions

Norway's Preverve the Polar Regions not quite circular

Norway issued a "Preserve the Polar Regions" sheet in February of 2009 and it consisted of a pair of 8 Kr stamps. One stamp had UV sensitive print that showed the ozone layer coverage of the Earth and the other was printed with a foil embossing technique. They look very nice. But what confused me was the perforations. They are perforated as square stamps but the globe graphic in each stamp is perforated as a circular stamp. However the 8 Kr and Norway labeling is not within the circular perforation boundary so I can't consider them circular stamps.

Norway 2009 Preserve the Polar Regions

Here are some of my favorite recent circular issues:

France 2008 Je Suis Sports
British Antarctic Territory 2007 International Polar Year
Ireland 2008 Year of the Planet
Iceland 2005 Europa Gastronomy

Sunday, April 19, 2009

France and French Andorra Preserve the Polar Regions

French Andorra 2009 Preserve the Polar Regions
France 2009 Preserve the Polar Regions

Davo Preserve the Polar Region Album

Iceland Post is advertising a new Davo album for collectors of the "Preserve the Polar Region" series of stamps. I don't yet see in on the Davo website. The album is full of supplemental information about the polar regions as well as the stamps from the series and counties that produce them. But only for 27 issuing countries. I can't find any information about it on the Davo site but Iceland Post has a pdf brochure online with some photos. It's a nice album but at what a cost - you can order from Iceland Post for 24185 ISK. A bit too high for me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Canada: Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers

I seem to be stuck on “Preserve the Polar Region” issues but I can’t help it. I am determined to collect them all. The Canadian issue (souvenir sheet and pane of 16) came out on 9 April 2009 and consists of two stamps: A polar bear and an arctic tern. The Northern Territories of Canada are home to something like 60% of the worlds polar bear population. Terns can be found living on either ends of the earth. In fact, they migrate between the poles during the year. Both species face certain extinction in the face of receding ice caps and warming temperatures.

Canada 2009 Preserve the Polar Regions Souvenir Sheet

The FDC was cancelled in Eureka. This is home to Canada’s northern most post office. Eureka is a research base located in Nunavut at 79°58′59″N 85°56′59″W on Ellesmere Island. It’s postal code is X0A 0G0. The image below is served from wikimedia commons.

Eureka Nunavut (photo provided by Wikimedia Commons)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Moldova - Preserve the Polar Regions

I must confess that I know next to nothing about Moldova. I know that it is land locked between Romania and Ukraine and I've heard it referred to as the poorest county in Europa. But apart from that... nothing. I certainly didn't know they had participated in any sort of polar expeditions and yet they have issued a pair of stamps under the title "Preserve the Polar Regions". I've looked over their postal website and can not find any information regarding recent stamps issues. And I can not find any information on the Internet about Moldovan involvement in polar research.

Moldova Preserve the Polar Regions

My stamps did come to me in a nice cover though which I'll keep. I'm starting to get an interest in collecting covers. There appear to be networks of people out there who exchange letters to contribute to each others cover collections and just to keep in touch with other like-minded collectors. I think I will be exploring this area of philately more in the near future.

Moldova Cover

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ukraine Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers

Ukraine 2009 Preserve the Polar Regions

New Stamps from Slovenia

Well, some of them weren't new but they were to me. I don't collect Slovenian stamps but Slovenia Post's website looked clean and was loaded with information and some of their stamps issues were of interest to me so I figured I'd check them out. You can not order online but there is a stocklist available that is very up to date (updated monthly or weekly or something like that). However I could find no order form online. So I wrote to them with a list of what I wanted and provided my credit card number. Within weeks I received a huge envelope with stamp bulletins from the past few quarters and my stamps sandwiched between some of the thickest cardstock I've ever seen come through the mail. There was no way these stamps were getting bent or damaged. Overall I was quite impressed.

Stamps from Slovenia Post are only available for purchase for one year after the issue date. And I discovered that foreign orders are not subject to the VAT which is include in the price of the stamps so my order was even cheaper than I had expected. There was a 2 Euro handling charge on my order by after seeing the VAT savings, I didn't think twice about it.

Ancient Wooden Wheel

Solvenia Carthusian Monastery

Slovenia 2009 Preserve the Polar Regions

Monday, April 13, 2009

Indonesian Interest in the Polar Regions

I received the Indonesian "Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers" issue the other day and there are two things about it I found interesting. The first was just the fact that there is an Indonesian issue in this series. As it turns out, they have participated in expeditions to Antarctica in the past:

The other thing about this issue that interests me is that it looks identical to a 2007 issue entitled "Melting Ice". It's the same stamp sheet. Same image with the polar bear and a tear in its eye. Even the same stamp denominations. The differences are the year, title and inclusion of the "preserve the polar regions" logo.

Indonesia Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers

Saturday, April 11, 2009

LaPoste now charging for PhilInfo subscription

You used to be able to view PhilInfo for free on the LaPoste website but not any more. They are now charging 23€ for a one year subscription (I think it was one year, have to check). I think this is rather unfortunate for collectors. PhilInfo is a magazine put out monthly by LaPoste providing a few articles with technical details and images for all issues that month including those from the territories.

I found the monthly heads-up rather useful but not enough for 23€. Ironically, to subscribe to the online magazine, you have to print out a order form, fill it in and mail it back to them to receive your user name and password.

French Andorra Europa 2008

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stamps from Brazil

I received some stamps from Brazil today which included the "Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers" issue. I was just as impressed with the cover they came in though. Normally I just clip the stamps and toss the envelope but this one I decided to keep. It's got a row of nice Brazilian stamps from the 90's across the top. Registered mail. Cancelled in Sao Paulo. Unfortunately my postal center wrote "D720" in felt tip marked across the top. That's what happened when the mail carrier comes by for a signature and you're not around... oh well.

Cover from Brazil

Brazil Perserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Canada 2009 Internation Year of Astronomy

Not only did Canada Post offer 7500 uncut press sheets featuring their IYA Souvenir Sheets but they also made available 80,000 souvenir sheets with the IYA logo overprinted on it. This overprint was done using UV sensitive ink so you can only see it under UV light. It's hard to see without it but under the right lighting conditions if you look closely in the upper left corner, you can just barely see it. But an easier way to tell if you're looked at an overprinted sheet is to check the product code: the overprints are 6349107202 whereas the non-overprinted sheet is 6349107203 of which 350,000 were produced.

Canada 2009 International Year of Astronomy

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tracking Down "Poles and Glaciers"

I've decided to hunt down more "Preserve the Polar Regions and Glacier Issues". My list of participants is now at 39: Aland, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Faroe Islands, France, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

Czech Republic Preserve the Polar Regions and Glaciers

I picked up this beautiful sheet from the Czech Republic on EBay. Couldn't find any information about it on the Czech Post website until I went into the Czech version of the site (instead of English). I have to say I'm really impressed with Google's language tools. The list of languages it can translate keeps growing and growing and it doesn't appear to suck as much as it used to