Monday, October 7, 2019

Hartland, New Brunswick

Hartland is a town in New Brunswick that sits on the east shore of the St John River at one end of the Hartland covered bridge: the longest covered bridge in the World. This cover has a perfectly applied postmark and it's paired with a stamp showing the same bridge. But it's ruined by an unnecessary pen scribble over the stamp.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

TAAF, Martin-de-Viviès via Marion Dufresne

As predicted, the third and final cover to come back from the Marion Dufresne. This time from Martin de Viviès on St Paul Island.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Scott Base, Ross Dependency

A post on the Antarctica New Zealand Facebook page implies the first Scott Base summer crew reached the base on the 16th of September. It didn't take long for this cover to make the round trip. I only sent it down there at the beginning of September.

There is effort underway to redesign Scott Base over the next few years. Very early stages. They don't have a design or contractor yet. But the plan is to replace all existing buildings with three interconnecting buildings.

Monday, September 30, 2019

TAAF, Alfred Faure via Marion Dufresne

From the research station Alfred Faure on Possession Island in the Crozet Archipelago. Like the cover I received from Port-aux-Français last week, this too was carried there and back by the French research vessel Marion Dufresne during OP2 of 2019. I wouldn't be surprised if I get another one soon from Martin-de-Viviès. Perhaps a blue envelope. I still have no memory of preparing these or sending them down there.

A cachet on the back implies OP2 was also scheduled to stop Tromelin Island. I wish I had known that when I prepared this. It's not always a stop for the Marion Dufresne and a cover from Tromelin,  carried by the Marion Dufresne, would have been nice to receive.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

San Ġwann, Malta

The stamps are from the third in an annual series that commemorates the Feasts of Malta.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

TAAF, Port-aux-Français via Marion Dufresne

From Port-aux-Français, the "capital" of the Kerguelen Islands. Carried there and back by the French research vessel Marion Dufresne during its second tour of 2019 through the French southern lands. I don't remember sending this down there but I must have sent it early last year. The "Ectemnorhinus viridis" stamp (a weevil) is from 2018.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Last order from Postphil?

Possibly maybe my last order of stamps from Iceland Post's "PostPhil". With Iceland Post losing money and Postphil operating at a loss since 2014, the decision was made to shut Postphil down. What does that mean? It means no more philatelic sales. Fewer stamp issues or none at all. And stamps that are issued will be difficult to obtain because Iceland Post will no longer have a philatelic bureau. I understand there are a few possible scenarios for the future of stamps in Iceland but for now it doesn't look good.

This is the official statement from the Postphil website:

Dear customer,

In an effort to help stabilize Iceland Post’s economic situation, the company’s board has decided to close Postphil in its current form at the end of this year. Postphil has been operating at a loss since 2014. Revenue has decreased significantly due to a fall in the number of customers, while operating costs have remained the same.

As things stand today, there are no certainties regarding the number of stamp issues in the coming years. However, it is certain that there will be a reduction in the number of issues and the number of issue dates per year.

Best regards,

The staff at Postphil

This is what was in my last order. There was a time when I used to regularly purchase mint stamps and FDCs from places like Iceland. Back when the Canadian dollar was stronger and I had more disposable income. But it's been quite a while since I've purchased stamps from Postphil. In fact, I probably stopped around the time their revenue started falling. Too many self adhesive issues and the costs were getting way too high for a casual collector like myself. I'll probably place another order after the Christmas issues are available, before the office gets shutdown for good.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ridgeway, Ontario

The Battle of Ridgeway took place 2 June 1866. The Fenian Brotherhood in the United States felt they could cause trouble in Canada and use that as leverage to force the UK into negotiations for Irish independence. About 700 Fenian insurgents crossed the Niagara river near Fort Erie and were confronted by Canadian forces just outside the current-day village of Ridgeway. The Fenians won the battle but as reinforcements flooded into the area they were forced to retreat back across the river where they were apprehended by US authorities.

On the back of this envelope is a postmark showing the Point Abino Lighthouse. This is a short distance south-west of Ridgeway on Lake Erie at the southern tip of the Point Abino peninsula. The interesting thing about this lighthouse, other than its Greek revival architecture, is the fact that it's built on the water. Only when water levels are low on the lake, or when it freezes, can you walk out to the lighthouse without getting wet. The land on Point Abino is private and controlled by a home owners association who negotiated that the lighthouse not be directly accessible over land when it was built in 1917. Road access on the peninsula is also restricted but registered guests are allowed to walk to the shore by the lighthouse during the summer months.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Kock, Poland

From the town of Kock in eastern Poland. The bird stamp on the right is the 2019 Europa stamp from Poland featuring a common chaffinch (fringilla coelebs).

Saturday, August 31, 2019

France, First Man on the Moon FDC

This was the first time I've ever requested a first-day postmark from La Poste and it came back perfectly. And not just the application of the postmark. I sent it without a return envelope so I expected it to just come back as-is with the rest of the mail. Instead it was returned by registered mail in a cardboard mailer. Pretty impressive service.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Stanley, Falkland Islands

From the Falkland Islands philatelic bureau. I had to buy some stamps and they came in this great little envelope. The stamps are recent definitives. A series featuring small native birds.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Singapore Bicentennial

Postmarks celebrating Singapore's 200th anniversary. There was a philatelic event held at "Our Tampines Hub" between 22 and 30 June and that's where the postmark and cachet were applied. OTH is a large event space and sport facility in Singapore. The spray-on Bicentennial postmark is really nice.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Jakarta, Indonesia

Orchid stamps from a 2017 sheet commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Bogor Botanical Gardens, south of Jakarta.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Carrot River, Saskatchewan

I love this postmark. Carrot River is a small town in northeastern Saskatchewan. And "Big Bert" is the world's most complete fossilized Terminonaris robusta crocodile skeleton. They lived in the area 92 million years ago, when Saskatchewan was covered by the Hudson Seaway. Bert was discovered in 1991 on the shore of the Carrot River at the edge of town.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

JPL Moon Landing Postmark

I don't know why this postmark just says "Special Dedication". It could have said something a little more specific and contained words like "moon landing" or "50th anniversary". But it's a decent  postmark. It was applied at a post office just down the street from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Saint-Louis de Kent, New Brunswick

Saint-Louis de Kent is a small Acadian town in New Brunswick. A priest named Father Marcel-Francois Richard who resided in Saint-Louis designed the official Acadian flag in 1884. The postmark on the left bears the official town seal. Not the best of postmark applications.

Friday, August 16, 2019


The stamps are all 20+ years old, but the postmarks are from the 36th Asian International Stamp Exhibition held in Singapore, 31 July to 4 August 2019. This postmark was available on the first day of the show when they commemorated Singapore's bicentennial.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Little Current, Ontario

This postmark was introduced earlier this month so it's still crisp and fresh. Little Current sits on the northeast side of Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. Although technically a town it was amalgamated with the rest of the township and nearby islands to form the municipality of Northeastern Manitoulin. The only road-access onto Manitoulin island is Highway 6 which passes over the Little Current swing bridge: the bridge on the postmark.

The only other way onto the island by car is via the seasonal ferry M.S. Chi-Cheemaun that sails between Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula and South Baymouth on the island. It's about a 2 hour crossing.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Soyuz and the ISS, Houston TX

This was postmarked on 6 June 2018 to mark the launch of Soyuz MS-09 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to transport crew to the International Space Station. Interesting that this letter took a year and two months to find it's way from Houston to Toronto. The spray-on postmark says it left Houston a little over a week ago.

There is a post office in Houston that provides this postmark and I found the address in this forum. There is an updated address towards the end of the thread but I'm not really sure where I sent my request, or when. I'm actually kind of surprised this came back to me at all.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Wuppertal, Germany

Three recent stamps: one commemorating the 20th anniversary of the children's book "The Gruffalo", another showing a microscopic view of palladium from the "Microworlds" series of stamps and finally the Campen lighthouse near the city of Emden in Lower Saxony.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Algerian protected species

The scimitar oryx and African cobra are the two endangered and protected species depicted on the stamps on this souvenir sheet from Algeria.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Milan, Italy

Three stamps. One showing a Giotto fresco in the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi entitled "The trial of fire in front of the Sultan". A stamp commemorating the 50th anniversary of the newspaper Avvenire. And a stamp commemorating the bicentenary of the introduction of stamped postal cards in the Kingdom of Sardinia.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Dutch Architecture

Stamps from a sheet issued 17 September 2018. The "New Construction" architecture movement of the early 20th century was all about functional design. On these stamps, the Zonnestraal sanatorium in Hilversum (1928) amd the Glaspaleis department store in Heerlen (1935).

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Japan's Syowa Station and the Icebreaker Shirase

A pair of covers from the Japanese Antarctic research program. One form the Syowa Antarctic research station and the other from the Icebreaker Shirase. I received both of these on the same day. Despite the fact that I sent them to different addresses, I suspect they were prepared together and sent back from the same source. The date stamps are the same.

Syowa Station is Japan's permanent Antarctic research station. It's quite large, consisting of several buildings that can accommodate up to 110 people with an overwintering crew of 30.

Syowa is supported by the icebreaker Shirase. The current version of this vessel was put into service in 2009. The cachet on the bottom left of the Shirase cover shows an image of a stone shrine  honouring Shin Fukushima: was a Japanese Antarctic expedition member who died in October 1960.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Lucky Pigs from Switzerland

Pigs are considered lucky in German speaking regions of the world. Hence the issue of this "Glücksschwein" stamp from Switzerland. It's printed on flocked paper which gives it a soft fuzzy texture. Like a pig I guess. It's a cute little stamp.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Aston Manor, South Africa

These were in my mailbox when I got back from a short vacation. Both from Aston Manor in South Africa. A nice selection of old and new stamps on the top cover. 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Neumayer Station III

From the Germany Antarctic research station Neumayer III. There are a couple of hand-stamps on the back as well including one for the 38th over-wintering team of 2018. Neumayer III was officially opened twenty years ago on 20 February 2009. It is located on the Ekström Ice Shelf near an iceport known as Atka Bay. The ice port is an indentation in the ice sheet that makes it possible for ships like Polarstern to load and unload.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Warrington, UK

The Buckingham Palace stamp was part of London Landmarks set issued in 1980. And the Sopwith Camel F1 was a WWI fighter plane in use from 1917 to 1920.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Toulouse, France

Toulouse. Forth largest city in France. Home to Airbus, a big university and lots of pinkish brick buildings. The stamp on the right commemorates the 70th anniversary of the UNs adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. And on the left, Looney Toon characters Coyote and the Roadrunner.