Although the walnut plantations are small, Ukraine is among the top five exporters of shelled walnuts. The Dutch Royal Court values them so highly that they have been on the menu there for more than 20 years.
One may wonder what is going through the minds of Queen Elizabeth and King George VI as they posed for this anniversary picture. They seem to have the same expression; perhaps sending telepathic messages to each other...
I cannot find if they ever actually visited Trinidad, though Prince Edward did visit in 1920 as did his father, George V, as a child in 1880. The current Queen Elizabeth visited for the first time in 1966.
for the letter T - Trinidad and Tobago, three cents
We always need honeybees - though maybe not such a supersized looking one?! The apis cerana javana is one of four bees found in Singapore and is not even the giant honey bee (apis dorsata). This is an Asian honey bee, and there is also a dwarf honey bee as well as a stingless bee.
1976, Rwanda, African trees and shrubs
designer: J Van Noten
This Southern and Central African native tree, Ilex mitis, is commonly known as Cape or African Holly - or in the Kinyarwanda language of Rwanda as 'umunywande'. The stamp shows the tall, straight tree which can grow to 20 metres, and the leaves withe smooth edges which are unlike the traditional holly used for Christmas decoration in Europe and North America with its spiny leaves.
Most of the African masks in this set are rather scary or gruesome looking (as I imagine they are meant to be). I could find no information on the masks as to where they originated, or why this theme was chosen. Umm al-Qiwain, or Quwain as it is sometimes spelt (or spelled), is one of the United Arab Emirates. It is the least populous within an area of around 300 square miles. The designer, Gyula (also known as Julian) Vasarhelyi is from Hungary and throughout his career as a freelance artist, designed more than 7500 stamps in 650 countries.
The Maine Coon is one of the oldest North American breeds of cats and is native to the state of Maine (and is their official state cat). Maine Coons are large, social creatures with long bushy tails and an uneven two layered coat. No one knows exactly how the Maine Coon originated, but it may have been from a pairing of short-haired domestic cats with long-haired cats arriving on English or Norse ships (there is a resemblance to the Norwegian Forest Cat, a breed also thought to have traveled with the Norsemen).