Thursday, December 31, 2020

Napapiiri: the Arctic Circle, Finland

Christmas in Finland. Postmarked at the Santa Claus village post office just outside Rovaniemi, Finland.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Island, Nova Scotia

I'm trying not to let the ugly black line through the stamp distract me from appreciating the colourful and exceptionally well applied postmarks. The Christmas Island post office goes out of their way to do this every year and I'm happy to see the tradition continue, especially during what I imagine is the busiest mailing season they've ever had. I'm not sure when they started using this particular postmark. They redesign it every few years.

This year's non-secular Christmas stamps from Canada Post feature paintings by the late folk artist Maud Lewis.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Christmas in Liechtenstein

Christmas maximum card from Liechtenstein Post. What looks like tree decorations on the stamp are actually the digits from the denomination of the stamp: 100 CHF.  I received this with some other cards and stamps I purchased recently. 


Saturday, December 12, 2020

Friday, December 4, 2020

Germany, Alfred Wegener postmark

Postmark commemorating the 90th anniversary of the death of German polar researcher Alfred Wegener. The stamp shows two shades of grey... or does it. It's suppose to be an optical illusion. The grey at the top is the same shade as the grey at the bottom. The white and black areas in the middle are supposed to trick your brain into thinking they are different.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Polarstern and the MOSAiC Expedition

The Bremerhaven postmark on this pre-stamped International Polar Year envelope from Germany commemorates the MOSAiC Expedition. This was a one year expedition that turned the RV Polarstern into a drifting Arctic observatory to study effects of climate change. It involved several countries and hundreds of researchers, making it the largest Arctic expedition in history.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Neustadt am Rübenberge, Germany

From the Germany town of Neustadt am Rübenberge, postmarked 10-10-20. Received yesterday on 10-20-20 :)

Friday, October 16, 2020

Mars 2020

Postmark commemorating the launch of NASA's latest Mars mission. Launched on 30 July at 11:50 UTC, the Perseverance rover and an autonomous helicopter drone called Ingenuity are scheduled to land on Mars on February 18th, 2021. 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Canada Post Community Foundation Stamp 2020

Annual semi-postal stamp from Canada. The additional 10 cents added to the purchase price of each stamp goes to non-profit organizations that help children in need.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Bromma, Sweden

Bromma is a suburb of Stockholm. From left to right, Small Horses from Gotland (1977), Heartfelt Greetings (2020) and the artwork of Hilma af Klint (2020).


Saturday, September 19, 2020

Gamagori, Japan

More stamps from the recent Philanippon 2021 stamp sheet showing images of Mount Fuji.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Fox Bay, Falkland Islands

Fox Bay is a settlement on West Falkland. Less then 30 people live there yet it is the second most populated settlement on the island. There has been a post office in Fox Bay since the 1890's.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Philanippon 2021, FDC

Japanese world stamp exhibition in Yokohoma, August 2021. Sent from Yokohama. The stamps are from a sheet featuring different images of Mount Fuji to promote the event.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Mariehamn, Åland

Year of the Rat stamps from Åland. The stamps on the left feature harvest mice, or maybe they are yellow necked mice. The little round nest is typical of a harvest mouse. And on the left, the aurora borealis.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Turin, Italy

The World Canoe and Kayak Championship in Valsesia 2002 on the left, the 2012 Nobel Peace prize awarded to the EU in the middle, and the 2020 Sanremo music festival on the right.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Rome, Italy

The Treaty of Rome's 60th anniversary on the left and the Codice Romano-Carratelli (16th century manuscript) on the right.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Prague, Czech Republic

Czech actor Miroslav Horníček on the left and politician František Ladislav Rieger on the right.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

SpaceX Crew Dragon in Earth Orbit postmark

Postmark commemorating the first crewed SpaceX flight to the ISS. The launch was on May 30 but they docked on May 31. I asked for the wrong date on the postmark.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Lajes Das Flores, Portugal

Lajes Das Flores is a municipality in the southern half of the Azorean island of Flores.

Friday, June 19, 2020

TAAF, Martin-de-Vivies via Marion Dufresne

Mailed from the Marion Dufresne during its first rotation of 2020. They always go out of their way to prepare covers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Japanese Icebreaker Shirase

The ship left Australia on Dec 3 and reached the Showa research station on Jan 6 to support the 61st Antarctic research expedition during the 2019/20 season. Apparently it returned to Japan sometime in March.

I just discovered that the year in the the date of Japanese postmarks is the number of years into the current era. With the ascension of the new emperor last year, Japan is now in the Reiwa era. The date format is year, month, day so the first "2" in the date stamp means 2020 on the Georgian calendar.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Gottlieb von Bellingshausen

The Bremerhaven postmark on this cover from Germany commemorates the 200th anniversary of the first sighting of the Antarctic continent by Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen on 27 January 1820. The stamp is from 2001 and show an image of the RV Polarstern.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Yangzhou, China

Inside was a card postmarked with a pair of cancels that honour the efforts of healthcare workers during the pandemic.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Eastend, Saskatchewan

Eastend is a small town in the south-west corner of Saskatchewan. In 1991 a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil was found near town. It was named Scotty and became the centerpiece of a natural history museum. It took nearly 20 years to recover 65% of Scotty's bones.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The History of Radio in Canada

The stamps on this FDC commemorate the 100th anniversary of a radio broadcast of a concert in Montreal to an assembly hall in Ottawa, 160km away. It was the first documented example of a successful experimental radio broadcast for entertainment purposes in Canada.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Gamagori, Japan

I believe this sheet commemorated the start of the Reiwa period in May 2019 with the ascension of Emperor Naruhito. 

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Canada's Group of Seven

The Group of Seven were a prominent group of Canadian artists best known for their paintings of Canadian landscapes in the 1920's and 30's. It was a time when the imagery of the Canadian wilderness was considered to wild to be captured by art. This sheet commemorates their first exhibition in May of 1920 which started the first Canadian national art movement.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Arnold Palmer FDC, USA

Golfing legend Arnold Palmer on a stamp issued last month.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Davis Station, Australian Antarctic Territory

Canada Post has suspended sending mail to something like 163 of 218 countries and I don't even get advertisements in the mail any more. But I still received this from the Antarctic.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Rothera Research Station, British Antarctic Territory

From the British Antarctic Survey research station Rothera, located on the Antarctic Peninsula. Nothing very exciting. The back has the usual Rothera Station cachet with an outline of the Antarctic continent and a penguin in the middle.  This is the first time I've received a BAT cover with the "First Day of Issue" postmark.

I received this sometime last week. I can't be bothered to go out and check my mail every day because lately there just hasn't been that much mail coming in. So I'm not sure exactly when this was delivered, but it was last week.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Canada, Return to Sender

I mailed this to India on March 18. It made it to the South Central processing plant (M4L) in Toronto and was then returned to me: temporary suspension of postal service. I mailed other letters that day and they didn't come back. This one did. I'll have to hold on to it and try again when things get back to normal. Could be a while.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Santa Claus postmark, Finland

It's not easy to make out, but the postmark on the right side of the envelope is from Napapiiri: the Arctic Circle. I believe this comes from the Santa Claus Village outside of Rovaniemi, Finland, which is just a few kms south of the Arctic circle. At the top of the postmark you can see Santa Claus in his hat, peeking out over the date. And in the wavy lines to the left you can see a reindeer. It's not very clear but it's there. The round postmark on the left is a Helsinki postmark applied a day after the Santa Claus postmark.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

Beautiful postmark. Yellowknife, capital city of Canada's Northwest Territories, sits on the north shore of Great Slave lake. It's 400km south of the Arctic circle so safe to say there are no polar bears there. But it is a good place to see the northern lights.