04 December 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 103

2001, Botswana joint issue with South Africa

The two stamps on this souvenir sheet are of a leopard and a bat eared fox. Though leopards are the most common cat in Botswana, they are also the most elusive. The bat eared fox is also known as the cape fox and is the only known true fox in southern Africa. It is also a prey of the leopard. Off on the upper right are some kudus a type of antelope known for its twisting horns. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was created in 1999 with South Africa. It is a 37,000 sq km protected area that borders both countries with three quarters of the area within Botswana.  The animals are free to roam their ancient migration routes without encountering any fences.

for wild animals

27 November 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 102

1998, US,  Celebrate the Century series
illustrated by Richard Waldrep

Binney & Smith developed its wax crayons in 1903 which were branded as Crayola - a name derived from 'craie', French for chalk and 'ola' from oily, or oleaginous, continuing with the popularity at the time of commercial brand names ending with 'ola' (Mazola, Victrola, granola, pianola). Crayola is sold in over 80 countries, though most of the crayons are made in the US. Crayons are sticks of coloured wax, chalk and charcoal. This stamp features the Gold Medal box - the award was won in for their dustless chalk at the 1904 World's Fair. The first box of No 8 crayons had eight colours. You can find a comprehensive list of all the colours ever produced by Crayola here.

for 20th century inventions

20 November 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 101

2013 Canada Children's Literature
illustrator and author: Marie-Louise Gay

This stamp features the cover illustration from the book Read Me A Story, by Marie-Louise Gay. The series of books, first published in 1999, tells of nine year old Stella and her four year old brother Sam. Stella has a wild imagination and Sam is curious and inquisitive. In this story Stella introduces her younger brother to the pleasures of reading. It's been described as a model of positive sibling relations and the way books and stories can play into everyday life.

for: children

13 November 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 100

1994, Saint Lucia, 

Commemorating the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women's branch of the British Army during the Second World War from 1938 until 1949 when it became the Women's Royal Army Corps.  All women who were in the army were in the ATS with the exception of nurses and other medical officers. They were attached to the Territorial Army and received two thirds the pay of the male soldiers. By 1941 there were 65,000 women in the ATS from the ages of 17-50.

for war and peace

06 November 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 99

2016, USA, National Parks Service Centenary
photo by Art Wolfe

Photographer Art Wolfe described this shot as "perfectly backlit bison standing on a small rise in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley". It was taken at dawn on a cold winter's night in February, 2000.  This was the last of the 16 Forever stamps issued this year in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. Yellowstone became a National Park in 1872 as the first national park in the US (it is also considered as possibly the first in the world) and previous to 1916 was managed by the US Army. The free ranging bison herd is the oldest and largest public bison herd in the States. Mostly in Wyoming, the park (and, presumably, the bison) also extends into Montana and Idaho.

for fireworks, or night views

31 October 2016


2016, USA Halloween
carved by Paul Montanari
photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce
designed by Derry Noyes

The Forever Jack-O-Lantern stamps are the first Halloween themed stamps by the USPS.
Folklorists trace the name to a scoundrel named jack who meets up with the Devil. Jack unscrupulously tricks the Devil which prevents him from going to Heaven. The Devil is infuriated by the trickery and refuses to carry jack's soul to Hell. With nowhere to go after he dies, jack wanders the earth with a lantern made from a hollowed out pumpkin (or turnip) lit by an ember from the fires of Hell.

30 October 2016

Sunday Stamps II - 98

2016, Australia Fair Dinkum Aussie Alphabet Series
S for South Australia
artist: Gavin Ryan

The idea is for Australians to "grab a magnifying glass" and attempt to see how many hidden names, places and treasures can be found on each stamp. This one shows (apart from the three men and a baby) a snail, shark, surf, sandcastle, starfish and a sausage. Once you know that each thing on the stamp will correspond to the designated letter, and that all can be found in that letter's state (in this case South Australia) it sort of makes sense. Except for the angry looking dad taking over the building of the 'sandcastle' that looks more like a bridge than a castle. And the little girl feeding a sausage to a shark. And would any self respecting surfer dude carry his surfboard in a shopping cart?
(I accidentally passed my postcard on before checking to see if my photo of the stamp was clear. It wasn't. So this one is from the website.)
for the bizarre or unexplainable