Friday, 14 November 2014

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NETHERLANDS

Bornrif is the unofficial name of the lighthouse on the Dutch island Ameland, on the edge of the North Sea (53°26′57″N 5°37′32″E).  The 55 m (181 ft) round cast iron tower was built in 1880 by order of William III and painted with red and white horizontal bands. 
 The 2nd order Fresnel lens in use was used at Goedereede 1908-1912 and then at Westhoofd Lighthouse in Ouddorp from 1912 to 1940; it was installed at Ameland in 1952 and provides a flash with a range of 30 nautical miles (56 km). The lantern of this lighthouse was replaced in 1988. The original lantern is on display at the Reddingsmuseum in Hollum.
In 2004, ownership of the lighthouse was transferred to the municipality of Ameland and opened for tourists one year later. It is possible to climb the staircase with 236 steps (14 floors) up to the lantern and double gallery.
The postcard brings two Dutch Christmas stamps issued on November 17, 2009. TNT Post released a set of 20 Christmas stamps in ten different designs and a face value of 0.34€ each stamp. The illustrations on the stamps depict gifts that also serve as windows through which you look into a house from outside. White dots representing falling snowflakes complete the design of these original stamps.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM AUSTRALIA

Sugarloaf Point Light, also known as Seal Rocks Lighthouse, is located on a prominent cape (Sugarloaf Point), about 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) southeast of Seal Rocks, New South Wales, Australia (32° 26' 3"S 152° 32' 4"E). The light station was designed by James Barnett and first lit on December 1, 1875.
 The 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical brick tower has two stories divided by a concrete floor, the fuel store being located in the ground level. An outside bluestone stairway reaches this floor, followed by internal iron stairs. The original first order Fresnel lens provides a flash with a range of 25 nautical miles (46 km). In June 1966, the lighthouse was converted to electricity and automated in 1987.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD AND STAMPS FROM LITHUANIA

The Curonian Spit is a peninsula that separates the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon in a slightly concave arc for 98 km from the Kaliningrad Peninsula (Russia) to the town of Klaipeda (Lithuania). It is an example of a landscape of sand dunes that is under constant threat from natural forces (wind and tide). Nida is the largest settlement on the Spit and the westernmost point of Lithuania.
 The first lighthouse in Nida was built on the Urbas Hill and first lit on October 24, 1874. At the end of World War II, German soldiers blew up the lighthouse. The current 29 m (95 ft) round concrete tower was rebuilt on the same hill (900 meters from the Baltic Sea) and relit in April 1953 (55°18′31″N 20°59′13″E). The lighthouse was painted with red and white horizontal stripes and its light has a range of 22 nautical miles (41Km).
Lithuania Post issued on July 27, 2013 two stamps from the series Technical Monuments featuring the Klaipėda (Klaipedos švyturys) and Ventė Cape (Ventès rago švyturys) Lighthouses.  Both yellow stamps have the nominal value of LTL 2.45 and bring technical data about the lighthouses and their geographic coordinates.

Friday, 7 November 2014

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD OF USA

New Jersey is home to very historic light stations, most of them restored and fully preserved. The Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the oldest standing light tower in the United States and remains in operation after more than 245 years. 
The U.S. Postal Service issued on May 5, 2014 a sheet of sixteen stamps depicting eight vintage circus posters. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, companies like Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey used evocative pieces of art to let people know the circus was coming to town. Large colorful posters were the perfect vehicle to showcase stunts, performers, and animals, and to give people a taste of what awaited them under the big top. 
Thank you, Lea

Saturday, 25 October 2014

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM INDONESIA

After a long “winter” far from my blog (a lot of work, few time to post), I AM BACK!!! Have hundreds of postcards to post (I did not stop swapping) and a new postal address:
                                               Caixa Postal 27012
                                                         AGF - T9
                                                     Goiania - GO
                                                        74150-970
                                                           BRAZIL
Off the eastern coast of Sumatra, lies Belitung Island and its white sand beaches and crystal clear water, paradise for snorkeling or scuba diving. Belitung Island is surrounded by small islands, and one of them is Lengkuas Island. Here we found the Belitung Lighthouse, a 57 m (187 ft) cast iron tower built in 1883, in the order of King Willem III, when Indonesia was a Dutch colony (5° 27' 3.21'' N  100° 18' 13.7'' E).
The white tower is still active and open to tourists to climb up its 167 steps to the balcony/lantern. It is a big chance to enjoy different views of the island and crystal clear waters surrounding it.

Indonesia issued on April 1st, 2014 a set of three commemorative stamps celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first stamp in Indonesia. Indonesia Postal Administration was formally established on September 27th, 1945, but the history of Indonesian stamps started on April 1st 1864, when the first Netherland Indies stamp was released.

Japan occupied the Dutch East Indies, modern Indonesia, during World War II from March 1942 until after the end of the War in 1945. The Rp 8.000 stamp remembers this critical war period under Japanese occupation.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

After a long “winter” far from my blog (a lot of work, few time to post), I AM BACK!!! Have hundreds of postcards to post (I did not stop swapping) and a new postal address:
                                               Caixa Postal 27012
                                                         AGF - T9
                                                     Goiania - GO
                                                        74150-970
                                                           BRAZIL
Bremerhaven was founded in 1827 at the mouth of the River Weser and is one of the most important German ports, playing a crucial role in Germany's trade.
The Bremerhaven lighthouse is the oldest operative lighthouse on the mainland along Germany's North Sea shore and one of the most beautiful lighthouses anywhere. This elegant lighthouse, designed by the Bremen architect Simon Loschen, was built from 1853 to 1855 in brick neo-Gothic style. The 37 m (121 ft) square tower has a large iron bracket structure formerly used to display storm signals. It was electrified in 1942 and automated in 1961.
The Bremerhaven is the rear light at the harbor and is located about 200 m (220 yd) north of the front light, near the lock that provides entry to the Neuer Haven (53°32′46.7″N 8°34′12.4″E).
Germany has issued a set of lighthouse stamps depicting the diversity of German Leuchttürme since 2004. On July 12, 2007 issued two new lighthouse values: the 0.45€ Bremerhaven Oberfeuer (on the postcard) and the 0.55€ Hornum. 

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

Cuxhaven is a German city situated on the shore of the North Sea at the mouth of the Elbe River. The "Alte Liebe" Lighthouse, also called Hamburger Lighthouse, was built in Cuxhaven by the Hanseatic City of Hamburg and first lit on November 15, 1805 (53 ° 52 '22 " N , 8 ° 42 '34 " E). The 23 m (75 ft.) round red brick tower has four floors and a 104 steps staircase leads to the lantern room with its green copper-plated dome.
 The Latin inscription above the tower’s entrance says:  “Nautis signum / sibi monumentum erexit / respublica hamburgensis / Ao MDCCCIII” (A sign to the seafarers this monument was erected by the state of Hamburg in the year 1803).
After only a short time in service (eleven months), the lighthouse was extinguished because of the continental naval blockade decreed by Napoleon against British trade (Napoleonic Wars). The lighthouse returned in operation in 1814 and after almost two centuries of operation the lighthouse (Germany's oldest in service) was deactivated on May 7, 2001 and sold into private ownership. In 2005 the owner, Klaus-Otto Lammert, restored the interior and exterior of the tower. 
Australia and Germany released a joint stamp issue celebrating the 200th birth anniversary of German explorer and naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt (1813-1848). Leichhardt arrived in Sydney in February 1842 with the intention of exploring the inland of Australia. Leichhardt explored parts of Queensland and Northern Territory and attempted unsuccessfully to cross Australia from east to west.
The expedition, which set out in March 1848, resulted in the disappearance of Leichhardt and his entire party. Many search parties went out to try and find traces of the party, but no remains have ever been found.
The German stamp issued on October 10, 2013 features a portrait of Ludwig Leichhardt from around 1846, which is held by the National Library of Australia.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM AUSTRALIA

This lighthouse is Port Adelaide’s icon. It stands at the end of Commercial Road marking the place where the city meets the River (34°47'S 138°25'E). The 25 m (82 ft.) hexagonal cast iron skeletal tower  was first lit on January 1st, 1869 and displayed its light through a fixed, fourth order lens. The light was found to be too dim and on February 3, 1875 a revolving lens of the first order (the largest size) was installed.
 In 1901, the lighthouse was dismantled and moved to South Neptune Island in Spencer Gulf.  It was transferred to the Island via the lighthouse vessel Governor Musgrave, and fitted with a new second order dioptric light, first exhibited on November 1st, 1901.  The tower was converted to electricity in 1976 and stood on Neptune Island until 1985, when, in a bad state of repair, it was decommissioned and acquired by the South Australian Maritime Museum.
Restored and re-assembled on the dockside at Port Adelaide, it was opened to the public on March 13th 1986, in a ceremony attended by Queen Elizabeth II.  Visitors can climb the seventy four steps of the spiral staircase and also visit the South Australian Maritime Museum and its rich nautical collections.
The animals of Australia are particularly interesting because many of them are distinctly primitive. There are groups of animals whose relatives have long since disappeared from other parts of the world. Australia is home to a variety of native mammals both on land and in the surrounding oceans. They consist of marsupials, monotremes and placental mammals. The series of six International stamps issued on March 6, 2006 and named “Australian Native Wildlife” highlights six species of these three main subclasses of modern Australian mammals.  The 5¢ issue shows the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the 25¢ stamp presents the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus). Both animals are species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth.
Australia Post Office issued on August 23, 2002 a series of four International stamps, named “Panorama of Australia”. The stamps depict natural landscapes of the country and the $2.20 stamp shows the National Library of Australia in Canberra as viewed from Lake Burley Griffin.
The 10¢ stamp featuring a beautiful view of the cliffs on the coastline of Maria Island is part of the “Island Jewels” series issued on March 5, 2007. 

Friday, 15 November 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

 The Grays Harbor Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in the state of Washington and marks the narrow entrance to the harbor and fishing town of Westport, coastline of the Pacific Northwest (46° 53′ 18″ N, 124° 7′ 0″ W). The 107 ft. (32.5 m) octagonal brick tower rises above a lush pine forest and was first lit on June 30, 1898. The white tower still houses the original 3rd order Fresnel lens and a narrow 135-steps spiral staircase leads to the painted gray lantern room. In 1931, the Coast Guard electrified the lighthouse and automated it in 1968. The tower was thoroughly renovated and repainted in 1999-2001 and reopened to guided tours.
The US Postal Service continues its popular series of lighthouse stamps issuing on July 13, 2013 five self-adhesive stamps depicting New England Coastal Lighthouses. The five lighthouses are among the oldest in the U.S., and each is on the National Register of Historic Places: Portland Head (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Portsmouth Harbor (New Castle, New Hampshire), Point Judith, (Narragansett, Rhode Island), New London Harbor (New London, Connecticut) and  Boston Harbor (Boston, Massachusetts).

Saturday, 20 July 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM BERMUDA

The Gibbs Hill Lighthouse stands on the highest point of Bermuda in Southampton Parish, southwest of Hamilton (32° 15' N 64° 50' W). The 40.5 m (133 ft.) round white cast iron tower is the second oldest cast iron lighthouse in the Americas.
Bermuda limestone, which had been intended for the lighthouse base, was too soft to support the weight and size of the lantern purchased from England to light the tower. Instead, Alexander Gordon designed a cast iron base; 135 concentric cast iron plates in a base of 20 feet of concrete. The plates were fabricated and shipped to Bermuda where the lighthouse was pieced together and first lit on May 1, 1846.
The current optic consists of a 1st order Fresnel lens installed in 1904 and its light beam can be seen 40 miles out to sea. The lighthouse was electrified in 1952 and on June 4, 1964 new electrical equipment was installed and since then the entire operation works automatically. A radar antenna for marine shipping was installed atop the lighthouse in 1987. The optic lens system was damaged by Hurricane Fabian on September 5, 2003 and the tower went dark for three weeks. The Fresnel lens was taken out of service while four fixed halogen lights were temporary lit. After three months of repair, the original lens was replaced on May 2004. 
The Bermuda Post Office released on July 12, 2012 a set of six stamps named “Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art: 25th anniversary”. The stamps depict paintings of international artists who came to paint Bermuda landscapes, its people and cultural heritage. This unique period started in the 1860s, when a number of American and British artists used their time in the winter months painting in the sub-tropical climate of Bermuda. Most painters were of the school of American impressionism including Thomas Anshutz, author of “South shore” the oil on board (1910) depicted on the stamp.

The permanent collection of the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art began with twelve paintings depicting Bermuda. Today, after 25 years the collection consists of over 1500 pieces of art covering all mediums including painting, photography, and sculpture, all drawing inspiration from the beauty of Bermuda. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

Warnemünde (means Warnow mouth) is a sea resort and city situated on the Baltic Sea in the northeast of Germany at the estuary of the river Warnow. The city is a center of maritime traffic and this green tower is located on the west mole. The history of the mole lights of Warnemünde is quite complex; both moles (east and west) have been extended several times and there have been several lights on each mole. The current 12 m (40 ft.) round green metal tower was built in 1985 and relocated in 1998 onto a new arm of the west mole extended to the current length of 541m (590yd). There is a similar red lighthouse on the east mole and both are locally known as Die Zwillinge (the twins).
The traditional German Flower series presents two different and colorful species very popular as ornamental garden flowers. The 0.05 EUR stamp issued on August 11, 2005 is dedicated to the crocus genus (here: Crocus tommasinianus), a lilac flower in the Iridaceae family, often referred to as 'tommies', were named after the botanist Muzio Spirito de Tommasini. Crocus tommasinianus has small long-tubed flowers with 6 petals from pale silvery lilac to reddish purple, which appear in early spring. It is often planted in large drifts in gardens and parks.

The 0.70 EUR stamp issued on April 13, 2006 depicts Kartäusernelke (Dianthus carthusianorum) an herbaceous perennial plant commonly found wild in dry, grassy habitats. The Kartäusernelke is usually between 15 and 40 centimeters tall and flowers are 18–20 mm wide, dark pink to purple. Today it is widely used mainly as an ornamental plant and the flowering period extends from July to September.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FINLAND

This white brick tower is one of the oldest, best known, and most accessible lighthouses of northern Finland.  Marjaniemi Lighthouse is located in the village of Marjaniemi on a sharp point at the western tip of Hailuoto Island, on the Gulf of Bothnia (65°02.40′N, 24°33.68′E). The light station was designed by Axel Hampus Dahlström and it was first lit in 1872. The 25 m (82 ft.) round white masonry tower has a red lantern with a green dome and a 110 step staircase to the top.
Two keepers and a lighthouse master took care of the lighthouse until 1962, when it became automated. Now the buildings are owned by the municipality of Hailuoto. Old pilot houses have become a hotel and hostel. 
EUROPA stamp issue for the year 2013 is dedicated to postal vehicles. Finnish Postal Administration issued on May 6, 2013 a pair of self-adhesive stamps which illustrates a modern and an old Finnish postal truck. The1st class stamp (1 LK/KL) depicts an old Volvo LV-70-1933 mail car.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NETHERLANDS

Hellevoetsluis is a small fortified city on Voorne-Putten Island in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The history of Hellevoetsluis is connected to the sea for a long time ago. Thanks to its strategic location the city grew from the beginning of the 17th century to be the homeport for the Dutch naval fleet.
Hellevoetsluis Lighthouse is located on the west side of the entrance to the commercial harbor, on the north side of the Haringvliet. The 18 m (59 ft) round cylindrical white tower was first lit on September 1st, 1822 and was partially rebuilt in 1901. More recently, it was restored in 1965 and the building was about to collapse in mid-2004 when it began a large restoration. The renovated lighthouse was reopened in 2005 and tourists can visit it every last Sunday of the month from May through August.
Netherlands issued on August 16, 2011 a set of twelve stamps presenting some of the fine green initiatives being undertaken by the Netherlands. The series named ‘Going Green’ shows positive mottos, tips and tricks to encourage citizens in “going green” in their lives. They include the following themes: new way of working, reducing energy consumption, using alternative energy sources, insulating homes, LED and energy-saving lighting, and organic food production.  The stamp on the postcard shows a tree with the inscription “Denk Groen voor een groene wereld” (“Think green for a green world”). 

Friday, 26 April 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

The New Canal Lighthouse was built in 1838 and takes its name from a failed 1830s effort to link Lake Ponchartrain with downtown New Orleans by canal. The original lighthouse was rebuilt in 1855 and again during the 1890s always damaged by hurricanes.
A new tower was constructed in 1901: a 32 ft. (10 m) square 2-story frame keeper's quarters on pilings, surmounted by a square cylindrical tower. The building painted white with red roofs had a fifth-order Fresnel lens. Since that time some additions and renovations brought the lighthouse up to modern standards. It is located on Lake Pontchartrain at West End Boulevard and Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans (30°02′37″N 90°06′47″W).
The lighthouse was heavily damaged and virtually destroyed after suffering double hits in 2005 from Hurricane Katrina (August, 29) and Hurricane Rita (September, 22). By the fall of 2007, the wreckage of the building was dismantled and stored for use in rebuilding the structure.
In 2012, thanks to the efforts of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, the lighthouse was rebuilt and relit on 26 September. The only significant difference between the previous structure and the new structure is that the new lighthouse is built higher up on stilts, to help protect it from future storm surges. For an overall cost of about $1 million, the iconic guardian of the New Orleans lakefront reopened on April 18, 2013 as the new home of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation.  It has been renamed the New Canal Lighthouse Museum and Education Center.
The U.S. Postal Service issued on December 1, 2012 the One Dollar Waves of Color stamp, one of four sheets of elegant stamps denominated at four different rates: $1, $2, $5, and $10. The One Dollar Waves of Color stamp shows variously colored undulating lines against a white background. A portion of the left side of the stamp provides white space to display the numeral 1. The stamp also includes its denomination written out as One Dollar.
The definitive stamp “American Clock” features an artistic rendering of the dial, or face, of a banjo clock. Constructed of brass and steel in 1805, the banjo clock depicted on the stamp has a painted iron dial and a mahogany case crowned by a brass eagle.

Friday, 19 April 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FINLAND

Sälskär Lighthouse is considered to be one of the Baltic Sea’s most beautiful lighthouses. The 31 m (102 ft.) round white brick tower is situated in Hammarland in the northern part of Åland, an archipelago lying at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia, midway between Sweden and Finland (60° 24’ 42”N 19° 35’ 30”E). 
The tower was designed by the Finnish architect Axel Hampus Dalström and built in 1868. The lighthouse was damaged by storms in 1894 and ten years later the tower was strengthened by steel cables. This could be the reason that the lighthouse has survived until our time. The wires were removed in the 80’s and the lighthouse was renovated at the end of the 90’s.
Sälskär is a few hectares large and as the name suggests it used to be a base for seal hunters. The nature is strikingly beautiful with only low-growing vegetation and today there are no inhabitants in the island. This tower was the first lighthouse in Finland to be automated in July 1949.
Bothnian Sea National Park is the 37th national park in Finland and it was established in 2011. The name of the park is Selkämeri in Finnish. It is the fifth marine national park in Finland and it stretches over a distance of 160 kilometers on the western coast of Finland. A total of 98 per cent of the national park lies under the surface: the park protects the marine nature.
Finland Postal Administration issued on May 7th, 2012 a 1st class stamp (0,80 €) featuring the Bothnian Sea National Park. The stamp is the third issue in the National Park stamp series (started in 2009) and shows a coastline scenery and an underwater image. 

Sunday, 3 March 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM RUSSIA

Anapa is a very popular beach resort situated in the southwest part of Krasnodarsky krai of the Russian Federation, on northern coast of the Black Sea near the Sea of Azov. The first light station built in Anapa was in 1909, but the tower was destroyed in 1943 during the WWII. The 20 m (66 ft.) octagonal masonry tower was built in 1955 on a seaside bluff at Verhnaja Naberezhnaja Street and is a traditional meeting place of both local inhabitants and tourists in Anapa (44°53’.27”N 37°17’93” E). The tower is painted white with three black horizontal bands only on the seaward side and its red light is visible from 18 nautical miles (33km). 
Russia Postal Service issued on September 11, 2012 a commemorative stamp celebrating the bicentenary of Fort Ross.  Fort Ross, the southernmost Russian settlement in North America, was founded on September 11, 1812 by Commerce Counselor Ivan Kuskov of the Russian-American Company, on the Californian coast, 80 kilometers north of San Francisco. Colony Ross was settled to produce food to support the Russian settlements in Alaska. Stockade, corner towers, warehouses and timber houses were built there. Later the first windmills in California and the shipyard, as well as brick and tannery, blacksmith, stables, carpentry, plumbing and shoemakers, a dairy farm were built. Nearby the fort settlers established kitchen gardens, orchards and vineyards. The Russian American Company was sold to Captain John Sutter in 1841, but those dedicated people became one of the California’s earliest entrepreneurs. The 13.00 RUB stamp depicts a panorama of Fort Ross of the first half of the XIX century.
A beautiful set of four stamps issued on October 19, 2005 marks the 300th anniversary of Sea Infantry of Russia. The regular Russian Navy was created at the initiative of Peter the Great in October 1696, during the second Azov campaign against Ottoman Empire. An order to form the first detachment of Marines was issued after the battle with Swedes on November 27, 1705. This date is considered to be the birth of the Russian Naval Infantry(Morskaya Pekhota), and since then it has fought in the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimean War, the Russo-Japanese War, and the First and Second World Wars. The 2.00 RUB stamp features the early sea Infantry and Boat.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM CANADA

Prince Edward Island, smallest of the ten Canadian provinces, is located in the southern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, separated from the mainland by the Northumberland Strait. The coastline has a combination of long beaches, dunes, red sandstone cliffs, salt water marshes, numerous bays and harbors  and the island has 63 lighthouses still standing.
East Point Lighthouse is the 19.5 m (64 ft.) octagonal white wood tower threatened by the red cliffs erosion at the top-right corner of the card. Built in 1867, it marks the northernmost and easternmost points on Prince Edward Island (46° 27' 7.17" N, 61° 58' 22.5" W). East Point Lighthouse appears much the same today as it did when it was built, and many visitors come to the site to admire the beautiful scenery and explore the tower.
West Point Lighthouse is a 20 m (67 ft.) square pyramidal wood tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands.  It was first lit on May 21, 1876 at the southwestern tip of Prince Edward Island (46 37 13.1″ N 64 22 12.3″ W). The lighthouse was automated on May 19, 1963; the station was fully restored and renovated and now offers overnight accommodations and includes a restaurant as well as the museum.
Since 1851, the Blockhouse Point Lighthouse lies at the west entrance of Charlottetown Harbor (46° 11' 26.1" N 63° 7' 46.2" W). This present 12 m (40 ft.) square pyramidal wood tower, attached at one corner of a 2-story wood keeper's house was built in 1876. The structure maintains its original innovative foundation. In over 100 years, it has never required restoration. The only change made was to add automation on July 25, 1962.
Twenty five years since the release of the first book by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, Franklin the Turtle is the first animated character to earn a postal issue. Canada Post issued on May 11, 2012 four stamps depicting the famous Canadian children’s literature character. Franklin has sold 65 million books in 24 languages in 38 countries; he also starred an educational television series in 78 episodes during six seasons (1997 – 2003).
Canada Post issued on May 17, 2012 two commemorative stamps celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, the annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The domestic-rate Permanent stamp features a powerful standing rodeo horse.
Canada Post celebrates 150 years of military service in the country releasing on October 11, 2012 three commemorative stamps. Each stamp depicts four soldiers, dressed in uniforms from throughout the militia’s history, and bears the group’s name.  This domestic-rate Permanent stamp affixed on the postcard salutes the Royal Regiment of Canada, an infantry unit based in Toronto.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NORWAY

Lista Lighthouse is the last lighthouse in Norway before the North Sea, near to the southernmost point of Norway. Lit is located about 800 m (1/2 mi) west of Vestbygd, a village in the municipality of Farsund. The first light station was established in the prominent cape in November 1836. The actual 34 m (112 ft.) round granite tower was built in 1853 and its light reaches 17.5 nautical miles out to sea. A well-preserved 2-story keeper's house, a fog signal house and garage flank the unpainted dark gray stone tower. Approximately 60.000 people visit Lista Lighthouse all the year round, where the attractions include an information center, a meteorological and an ornithological station, art exhibitions and small concerts. 

The European public postal service members of PostEurop annually issue the Europa stamp series with a common theme. The 2012 topic is devoted to promoting each country’s culture and tourism under the title: Visit … Norway issued on April 13, 2012 three self-adhesive stamps presenting the Pilgrim's Route, (Pilegrimsleden) also known as St. Olav's Way or the Old Kings' Road.
The sainted King Olav Haraldsson was buried in Trondheim in 1030. Nidaros Cathedral was erected over his grave, and for four centuries this city was a pilgrimage site for pilgrims seeking consolation, help and healing. The main route is approximately 640 kilometers (400 mi) long. It starts in the ancient part of Oslo and heads north to end at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. To mark Trondheim's 1,000th anniversary in 1997, the Pilgrim's Route was re-instated and re-opened, and today many use the pilgrim trail as a way of experiencing Norway’s landscapes. The stamp shows two pilgrims along the hiking trail crossing a route marker in Dovre.

Monday, 11 February 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM AUSTRALIA

Kangaroo Island is Australia's third-largest island and lies off the coast of South Australia. Cape du Couedic is the south-western point of Kangaroo Island and the cape was named in 1803 in honor of the French sea captain Charles Louis, Chevalier du Couedic. The Cape du Couedic Lighthouse is a prominent landmark and is located on a 82 m. (270 ft.) high rocky cliff,  providing spectacular views of the rocky coastline and colonies of New Zealand fur seals (36°03.5′S 136°41.9′E). 
The 25 m (83 ft.) round unpainted sandstone tower was constructed between 1906 and 1909 and was first lit on June 27, 1909. The tower exhibited a light illuminated by a second-order Fresnel lens to visible range of 17 nautical miles. The tower and the three keeper’s houses were built using local natural sand-colored limestone. In 1957, the Lighthouse was demanned and automated and the keeper’s houses were transferred to the South Australian Government. In 1991, the three keeper’s houses were restored and opened for overnight accommodations. The Cape du Couedic Lighthouse is one of the most historically preserved light stations in Australia; all its buildings maintain a high degree of integrity. 
Australia Post issued on July 17, 2012 three stamps dedicated to the most important international event of the summer 2012 - XXX Olympic Games (July 27 - August 12)   in London. The three subjects chosen are indicative of the strength of Australian athletes at past Olympic Games: historically most medals won by Australian athletes have been in Swimming, Athletics, Cycling and Rowing. The $1.60 stamp depicts an athlete in action in the pole vault competition and also carries the symbol of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Australian athletes in London 2012 won a total of 35 medals, comprising 7 gold, 16 silver and 12 bronze medals, individually or collectively as teams.   

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

The Darßer Ort Lighthouse is located at the northwestern tip of the peninsula Fischland-Darß-Zingst on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in the German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (54° 28′ 22″ N, 12° 30′ 8″ O). Darßer Ort is a sandy promontory with large dunes sheltering an unusual maritime forest. 
The 35 m (115 ft.) round red brick tower was first lit on November 16, 1848 and is the oldest lighthouse still in operation at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern coast.  Electrified in 1936 and automated in 1978, the lighthouse was closed to the public access in August 1961, when the East German (GDR) closed its inner German border. Only since March 1995, the lighthouse was reopened to the public and visitors could climb the 134-steps cast steel staircase to the gallery deck. In 1991, the German Maritime Museum at Stralsund opened at Darßer Ort an aquarium and nature museum called Natureum. The natural history museum occupies the light station buildings which were extensive restored in 2009.
Germany released on February 3, 2011 a joint issue celebrating 150 years of German - Japan friendship depicting UNESCO World Heritage sites in both countries. Germany issued two stamps and Japan a souvenir sheet with ten stamps. The 0, 75€ German stamp presents the landmark of Regensburg, the Cathedral of St. Peter, the main and the greatest Gothic cathedral in Bavaria. Although the building works started as early as 1260, it was only finished in the 19th century.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

The Point Arena Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on the West coast of the United States. It is located on a sharp promontory in a narrow peninsula, on the northern California coast, close to the small city of Point Arenas (38°57′17″N 123°44′26″W). 
The first lighthouse here was built in 1870, but it was severely damaged by the devastating earthquake that struck much of San Francisco and surroundings on April 18, 1906. The lighthouse lies along the tectonic San Andreas Fault, and a new lighthouse was built here to withstand any future earthquakes.  The new design featured steel reinforcement rods encased in concrete, and was the first lighthouse to be built in this manner. The new lighthouse began operation on September 15, 1908, nearly 18 months after the quake.
 The 115 ft (35 m) cylindrical white concrete tower had a first-order Fresnel lens until 1977, when the lighthouse was automated and a modern rotating light system replaced the original one. In 2008, major renovation work was done at the station and the tower was reopened to visitors in February of 2009. The lighthouse features a small museum, a gift shop and the historic keeper's houses are available as vacation lodging.
The United States Post Office issued its first Christmas stamp in 1962 and since then, the postal service has issued two stamps for the holiday: a religious stamp (typically featuring a Madonna and Child, as portrayed by a medieval artist), and a secular stamp (featuring items such as tree ornaments, evergreens, or nutcrackers).
The 41¢ Christmas stamp issued on October 25, 2007 features an oil-on-panel entitled The Madonna of the Carnation by Milanese painter Bernardino Luini. Dating to around 1515, the painting is now part of the Samuel H. Kress Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.
In 2006, the chosen painting is attributed to Peruvian artist Ignacio Chacón - an oil-on-canvas painting entitled Madonna and Child with Bird (dating to around 1765). The 39¢ stamp was issued on October 17, 2006 and the original painting is currently on view at the Denver Art Museum.
The 2009 Christmas stamp features Madonna and Sleeping Child, a painting by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Salvi, more commonly known as Sassoferrato. The painting is currently in the collection of Hearst Castle in California.  The 44¢ stamp was released on October 20, 2009. 

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM TAIWAN

Eluanbi Light is a lighthouse located on the Cape Eluanbi, which is also the southernmost point of Taiwan, to the south of Hengchun in Pingtung County. The 21 m (69 ft.) round cast iron tower has a splendid panorama and is called "The Light of East Asia", because its intensity is the most powerful among Taiwan lighthouses. Built by the Chinese Imperial government in 1882, it suffered severe damages during the First Sino-Japanese War (1895) and during World War II damaged by Allies' bombing. Re-built, the lighthouse is now held as a historical monument admired by many tourists in the Kenting National Park. A visitor center is open to the public all year around at the 1-story keeper's house.

Taiwan Postal Administration issued on October 2, 1991 a set of thirteen definitive lighthouse stamps with the same design as the first light series released in 1989. The NT$ 12 stamp depicts Tungchu Tao Lighthouse located on the northeastern tip of the Dongyin Island, about 50 km (30 mi) from the Chinese mainland.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM ALAND

Åland is an archipelago lying off the southwestern corner of Finland and occupies a position of strategic importance, as they command one of the entrances to the port of Stockholm, as well as the approaches to the Gulf of Bothnia, in addition to being situated near the Gulf of Finland. Åland's economy is heavily dominated by shipping, representing about 40% of the economy, with several international carriers owned and operated off Åland. One can imagine the importance of lighthouses to the island’s history - here are some details of the two tallest towers on the card.
The tall and slim Sälskär Lighthouse is considered to be one of the Baltic Sea’s most beautiful lighthouses.  The 31 m (102 ft.) round white brick tower is situated in Hammarland in the northern part of Åland (60° 24,7’ N 19° 35,8’ E).
The Lågskär Lighthouse is a 23 m (75 ft.) square red concrete tower located in a small island about 15 km (9 mi) south of Mariehamn (59° 50,5’ N 19° 55,0’ E). The island has for a long time been a site for bird observations, and nowadays the old keeper's houses are used by visiting ornithologists.
Aland Post issued beautiful WWF bird stamps featuring Eagle Owls in 1996 and repeated the theme on January, 2 2001 with this four sea duck stamps. The depicted bird species is nowadays very rare in Westerns Europe. The Steller's Eider (Polysticta stelleri) normally breeds along the Siberian coast of the Arctic Ocean, in Northern Alaska and partly even in north-eastern Norway.  At the same time small flocks of the Steller's Eider are regular winter guests in the Baltic Sea and particularly on land. Since the mid 1979s a flock of around one-hundred birds pass the winter at Lagsker, approximately 30 km south of Mariehamn. The bird is named after the German naturalist Georg Steller, considered a pioneer of Alaskan natural history.

Friday, 8 February 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NETHERLANDS

Westkapelle is a small city on the westernmost tip of the island Walcheren, in the province Zeeland of the Netherlands. Westkapelle is known for its largest lighthouse: “Westkapelle High” or “the South Head” (51°31.752’N 3°26.832'E). The light is atop a 40 m (131 ft.) square brick tower built between 1458 and 1470 as a Gothic church, St. Willibrord Church.  On March 3rd, 1818 a beacon was first lit on the old church tower to serve as a lighthouse.  In the night of March 14, 1831 there was a big fire in the tower, which burned down the whole church, but the lighthouse survived.
The current 12 m (39 ft.) round red cast iron tower dates from 1906 and its light is visible from 28 nautical miles (52 km; 32 mi). The lighthouse was electrified in 1907, automated in 1981 and was completely restored in 2004. The tower has six floors and is open to the public for climbing.
Since 2008, The Dutch Post Office issue an annual set dedicated to the relationship between the Netherlands and different countries. On August 13, 2012 they issued “The Netherlands and Beyond” series depicting on six stamps, six characters who have played a major role in the relationship between the Netherlands and Indonesia.
The stamp on the postcard honors the architect Charles P. Wolff Schoemaker, who designed several distinguished modernist buildings in Bandung, Indonesia. On the stamp, a thumb can be seen lifting and turning over the Schoemaker’s portrait to reveal the image of the art-deco building Villa Isola in Bandung. The stamp has the inscription Wereld 1, which means that it is for items of mail weighing up to 20 grams destined for addresses outside Europe.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

The Admiralty Head Lighthouse is located in Fort Casey State Park near Coupeville on Whidbey Island, in the Pacific Northwest state of Washington (48°09′38.75″ N 122°40′52.2″ W). The first light station was built on the headland during the second half of 1860 and became operational on January 21, 1861. The lighthouse was a square wooden tower built on the roof of a two-story house, and was also known as Red Bluff Lighthouse.
During the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Army decided to build Fort Casey, a coastal artillery installation at Admiralty Head. The wooden Red Bluff Light was demolished. In 1903, the Army Corps of Engineers built a new lighthouse on Admiralty Head and it was first lit on June 25, 1903.  The 30 ft (9 m) brick tower was attached to 2-story Spanish style keeper's house and its lantern room had a fourth-order Fresnel lens.
 By the 1920s, the centuries-long age of the sailing had ended - steam was replacind wind, and vessels no longer needed to cross Admiralty Inlet to enter Puget Sound. In 1922, Admiralty Head Lighthouse was decommissioned, after just nineteen years of service. In 1927, the lantern room was removed and placed atop the newly reconstructed tower of the New Dungeness Lighthouse.
After major restoration and repairs, including the replacement of a replica of the original lantern room, the Admiralty Head Lighthouse is home to a gift shop and a museum. It is open to the public year-round with guided tours to the tower and all the light station.
Four extraordinary film directors - Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston and Billy Wilder – were honored with the issuance of the Great Film Directors Forever stamps. The stamps released on May 23, 2012 show a portrait of each director with a scene from one of his most iconic works. The background art for the stamp honoring Frank Capra shows a scene from It Happened One Night, a comedy in which a runaway heiress (played by Claudette Colbert) and a reporter (Clark Gable) compare their hitchhiking skills.
The U.S. Postal Service issued on June 7, 2012 a set of four Forever stamps celebrating one of American’s favorite hobbies, cycling. The stamps feature four difference stages of bicyclists, from a young child learning how to ride with training wheels to an airborne BMX rider.