Tuesday, 28 December 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM NETHERLANDS

The Netherlands is a small country with a long maritime tradition and home to a large number of historic lighthouses. 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.
Thank you, Bianca.

Monday, 27 December 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SOUTH AFRICA

The lighthouse in the Donkin Reserve was built in 1861 on a hill behind the harbor of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The original lighthouse had a height of 17 m (55 ft) but as the city grew, its lights decreased the effectiveness of the lighthouse, and so in 1932 the tower was substantially rebuilt. The octagonal tower raised to 26 m (86 feet tall) and four buttresses were added at that time, giving the tower an Art Deco design. The lighthouse was painted white with a red lantern dome and was attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Near the lighthouse is a sandstone pyramid built by the city’s founder, Sir Rufane Donkin, as a memorial to his wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city was named.
The light was decommissioned in 1973 and the keeper's house now houses the city's tourist information center. The tower, a popular tourist destination, has seven levels and is open for climbing. It is also the best place for an overall stunning view of the city and excellent photos.
South Africa Post Office issued on July 10th, 2009 a set of four stamps depicting the beauty of the country’s gemstones. The stamp shows the polished Rodochrosite gemstone, also known as the “Inca rose”. It ranges in color from pink to pale red to dark and brownish red due to the presence of manganese. It occurs as irregular sheets due to sedimentary deposits of a chemical origin in the manganese mines of N’Chwaning and Hotazel. The stones are sometimes faceted, but due to their softness, they are generally collected as crystal clusters. Thank you very much, Bruce.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

MAXIMUM CARDS FROM ISRAEL

Israel Post issued on November 26th, 2009 a series of stamps presenting three of the lighthouses built along Israel’s southern Mediterranean coastline. My friend Bruce sent me the maximum cards which is a splendid contribution to my collection.
 Jaffa (Arab. Yaffa, Heb. Yafo) is the oldest and perhaps most famous of the ports along the Israel’s coast. The Palestinian Arab city of Jaffa is military occupied by Israel since 1948, and is part of the unified city Tel Aviv-Yafo since 1950.
Jaffa Lighthouse was built by French engineers in 1865 on a hilltop located at the waterfront. It was built as part of operations carried out by the Ottoman authorities to improve the port facilities, mainly due to the increase in export of citrus fruit. The current round cylindrical concrete tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands, was built by the British in 1936. Israel relocated port operations to a modern port about 6 km (3.5 mi) north of Jaffa and the old harbor now serves only small craft. The historic lighthouse tower is being maintained as a daybeacon. The 4.60 NIS stamp depicts the tower and a small boat transporting passengers and cargo since the rocks along the Jaffa shore did not allow ships to enter the port.
 Tel Aviv Lighthouse, also known as Tel Kudadi Light, is an inactive lighthouse in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is located near the beach on the north side of the Yarkon River Estuary, on the foot of the Tel Aviv South Breakwater. The tower was built by British authorities in 1934-1935 to help ships approaching the shore pass local sandbars safely. The 17 m (56 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower was painted in a black and white checkerboard pattern. In 1965, when Tel Aviv port was officially closed due to the opening of the Ashdod Port in the south, the light was shut down.
Ashdod is a city located 32 kilometers (20 mi) south of Tel Aviv and its port is Israel's largest port. The modern port started to be designed in 1957 and its construction took eight years. The port began operations on November 21, 1965 and the Ashdod Lighthouse was lit in 1966. The 42 m (138 ft) cylindrical concrete tower carries an array of communications gear as well as a lantern. The upper half of the lighthouse is round and is painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern; the lower half is triangular and is unpainted gray concrete.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SCOTLAND

The Cloch Lighthouse is located on Cloch Point, Inverclyde, 2½ miles (4 km) west southwest of Gourock, on the eastern shore of the Firth of Clyde, in Scotland. Designed by Thomas Smith and built in 1797, the 14 m (46 ft) round cylindrical stone tower warned boats away from “The Gantocks “ - a dangerous reef of drying rocks close to shore. The white tower features a single narrow black horizontal band and is attached to 1-1/2 story stone keeper's house.  The light has a range of 14 miles (23 km) and was originally illuminated by an acetylene flame, with the lenses floating on a bath of mercury and rotated by a clockwork mechanism, which had to be wound by the light-keepers every few hours. A foghorn was added in 1897. The name Cloch comes from the Gaelic for stone.   
The Royal Mail issued on September 16th, 2010 a wonderful series called "Medical Breakthroughs” celebrating six important medical discoveries made by British doctors and scientists. Two of these discoveries are part of my job as an anesthesiologist in operating rooms: total hip replacement surgery and artificial lens implant surgery treating cases of cataracts. The stamp shows a beautiful image of an implanted lens in the eye replacing the crystalline lens. Thank you, Alan.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SOUTH AFRICA

Cape Point is a promontory at the southeast corner of the Cape Peninsula, which is a mountainous and scenic landform at the extreme southwestern tip of the African continent in the Republic of South Africa. 'The Point' has not been called the 'Cape of Storms' for nothing, and has been treated with respect by sailors since it was first sighted by Bartholomeu Dias in 1488.
The first lighthouse at Cape Point was built in 1857 at the top of Cape Maclear. The 8 m (27 ft) round cylindrical cast iron tower was prefabricated in England and shone from 1860 until 1919. It is situated 248 meters (816 ft) above the high water mark which made it ineffective by fog and mist with its light often blocked by low clouds. On 18 April 1911, the Portuguese liner Lusitania was wrecked just south of Cape Point prompting the relocation of the lighthouse. The new tower was established lower at the cliff (at 87 meters – 286 ft).

Cape Point Lighthouse is located about 60 km (40 mi) south of Cape Town beyond the end of Cape Point Road and a funicular railway (The Flying Dutchman Funicular) provide access to this upper lighthouse.
On August 3rd, 2009 South African Post Office issued a set of five stamps presenting sea and coastal birds endemic in South Africa. On the postcard we see the Blackbacked seagull (Larus dominicanus), bird found all along the Southern African coast, from Namibia right through to Mozambique. The birds scavenge along coasts individually or in small groups, especially in harbours. They are rarely found inland. Thank you, Bruce.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

That is my friend Bernadette’s contribution to my lighthouse collection: one of the historical New Jersey light stations. The Barnegat Lighthouse, colloquially known as "Old Barney", is located on the northern tip of Long Beach Island, in Barnegat Light, New Jersey. Vessels bound to and from New York along the New Jersey coastline depended on Barnegat Lighthouse to avoid the shoals extending from the shoreline. The swift currents, shifting sandbars, and the offshore shoals challenged the skills of even the most experienced sailor. Lt. George G. Meade, an Army engineer began its construction in late 1856 and it was commissioned on January 1, 1859. The 172 ft (52.5 m) lighthouse is still the third tallest brick tower in the U.S: the lower half of the tower and the lantern roof are painted white, the upper half of the tower is bright red. The light was deactivated in January 1944, and given to the State of New Jersey and only in 2008, the Friends of Barnegat Lighthouse State Park, a local civic organization, raised funds to reactivate the lighthouse after many repairs. The “Old Barney” was relit on New Year's Day 2009, exactly 150 years to the day that it was originally lit in 1859. The top of the lighthouse is accessible via its 217 steps and continues to attract thousands of visitors all year.
 On the postcard, the 98–cent definitive stamp issued on June 28, 2009, in the Scenic American Landscapes series, featuring a view of the Snake River at dawn in the Grand Teton National Park.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FRANCE

 The Biarritz Lighthouse is nonetheless one of the most remarkable of French coastline. It is one of the lighthouses designed by Augustin Fresnel himself: the construction of the tower began in 1830 and not completed until 1834. The 47 m (154 ft) masonry tower rises from the center of a 2-story octagonal keeper's house. It is located at the end of the Avenue de l'Impératrice, on the promontory of Cap Hainsart, on the north side of the resort city of Biarritz,  in south-western France. After climbing a spiral staircase of 248 steps you reach the upper deck and have a breathtaking view of the Atlantic on one side and the Pyrénées mountains on the other.
The year 1960 saw independence sweep across much of Africa. Fourteen countries ceased to be French colonies: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad and Togo. French Post marks the fiftieth anniversary of the independence issuing a stamp on July 15, 2010. The 0, 87 € stamp highlights the Franco-African relations (diplomatic, military, economic and cultural) and enhance the role and place of Africans in France. Thank you, Brigitte.

Friday, 26 November 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM GERMANY

 The Kiel-Holtenau Lighthouse is located at the end of the Thiessenkai, the quay on the north side of the Kiel Canal (Nord-Ostsee-Kanal), the busiest artificial waterway in the world, in Holtenau, about 12 km (7.5 mi) north of Kiel. The 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with lantern and gallery rising from the front of a 2-story brick Imperial-style building was built in 1895. The building includes a memorial hall, the Drei-Kaiser-Gedächtnishalle, in remembrance of Kaisers Wilhelm I, who inaugurated construction of the canal in 1887; Friedrich III, who turned the first shovel of dirt here in 1888, and Wilhelm II, who laid the cornerstone of the lighthouse in 1895. It also houses a registrar's office where weddings are performed.
On November 13, 2008 German Post issued a 100 cent stamp celebrating the 150th birthday of the Swedish author Selma Lagerlof. She was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909 and most widely known for her children's book Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils). The book, first published in 1907, records the adventures of a mischievous 14-year-old, Nils Holgersson, who is changed into a tiny being, transported across the Swedish countryside on the back of a goose, and learns about nature, geography, and folklore. Thank you, Andreas.

Friday, 12 November 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SOUTH AFRICA

 Cape Agulhas Lighthouse is South Africa's third oldest light station and second oldest surviving lighthouse (after Green Point). First lit on March 1st, 1849, its design is modeled on the original Egyptian Pharos of Alexandria. It is a 27 m (89 ft) sandstone tower painted white with two red horizontal bands, rising through the center of a 1-story keeper's house.

The lighthouse marks the geographic southernmost point of Africa and the junction of the Atlantic Ocean (cold Benguela Current) and Indian Ocean (warm Agullhas Current). When seafaring Portuguese vessels rounded this cape tip in the 15th century their compass needles would swing unable to determine True North from Magnetic North. As a result, in 1488 the Portuguese navigator, Bartolomeu Dias, name this ocean site “Cabo das Agulhas” (Cape of Needles).
This historic lighthouse was deactivated in 1968 when deterioration of the sandstone walls made the tower appear unsafe. Twenty years of public effort led by the Bredasdorp Shipwreck Museum secured a complete restoration and reactivation in 1988. Today the keeper's house includes the only lighthouse museum in South Africa and a restaurant.
  Since the discovery of the first nearly-complete dinosaur skeleton in 1858, dinosaurs have captured the imagination of scientists, writers, film-makers and the general public world wide. South Africa Post Office issued on November 2nd, 2009 a set of ten self-adhesive dinosaur stamps called “Dinosaurs stamps: Where pre-history meets modern technology”.  These are the first stamps with a 3D effect to be issued by South Africa and the first time that a pair of viewing glasses will be supplied with each stamp sheet and commemorative cover. The method used to create this effect, is known as an anaglyph. The stamp depicts a skeleton of Jobaria, a primitive, long-necked, long-tailed dinosaur from the early Cretaceous Period. Its remains were discovered in the Sahara desert in 1997. Named after Jobar, a creature of local legends, this dinosaur is estimated to have been about 18 meters long. 

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SPAIN

 Maspalomas Lighthouse is located in the Punta de Maspalomas, at the southern tip of the Isla de Gran Canaria, Spain and is one of the island's best known tourist attractions. It is the third highest lighthouse in Spain: a 56 m (184 ft) round stone tower attached to one corner of a 2-story keeper's house. The decision to build a lighthouse on the southern coast of the island was taken in 1861. Construction lasted 28 years and the lighthouse lamp was lit on February 1st, 1890. The lighthouse, at the end of the beach of Maspalomas, is surrounded by an area of sand dunes interspersed with wetlands in a protected nature reserve.
 Correos de España issued in 2010 in four different dates a beautiful series presenting different protected nature reserves in Spain with a high ecological and scenic value. On September 15th, 2010 a 0, 45 € stamp of this series was released and shows the National Park of Ordesa and Monteperdido in the Pyrenees of Huesca province. The park was awarded by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve and constitutes a geographic unit dominated a series of mountainous crests and glacial valleys. The stamp presents the Pyrenean Chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica), an endemic Goat antelope that lives in the Pyrenees.

The Spanish television broadcaster “Televisión Española (TVE)” began broadcasting in January 1982 the documentary series “Al filo de lo Imposible” (On the Edge of the Impossible) presenting adventurous expeditions. This series of over two hundred documentary and risk adventure sports, with beautiful images filmed in some of the most remote places on the planet, is one of the "classics" of TVE over 25 years on the air. On October 24th, 2005 Spain issued a six-stamp miniature sheet depicting some of the scenes shown on the programmes: real scenes experienced by the film makers such as the crossing of the magnetic North Pole in Canada.

Monday, 8 November 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM ESTONIA

This is presently the world's best known leaning lighthouse: the Kiipsaare Lighthouse located on the Harilaid peninsula, on the northwestern coast of Saaremaa Island, Estonia. The 25 m (82 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands was built in 1933. Originally it was placed 25 meters from the coastline but endangered by beach erosion, the lighthouse stands now at the water's edge. The lighthouse is located at the Vilsandi National Park, a nature reserve on the Estonian island and it is possible to park the car at the entrance of the park and walk the remaining 5 km to the tower. Visit it soon, because it seems very likely the tower will collapse within a few years at most. 
In Estonian, a lighthouse is a tuletorn (fire tower). My postcard arrived with two beautiful lighthouse stamps: Vaindloo Tuletorn and Juminda Tuletorn.  The 2.50 stamp issued on September 25th, 1996 presents the Vaindloo Lighthouse, built in 1871 and located at the northernmost point of Vaindloo Island, in the Gulf of Finland. The other stamp brings the Juminda Lighthouse located at the tip of Juminda peninsula on Estonia’s northern shore. It was issued on March 8th, 2007 with a double face value 6.00 krooni / 0.38 €.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM ENGLAND


This postcard sent by Carolyn brings lighthouses of the southwestern peninsula of England in the county of Cornwall. The northern coast of the peninsula faces the Atlantic Ocean while the south coast faces the English Channel. This region includes many of the most famous English lighthouses. Land's End is the extreme south-westerly point of the British mainland, and the extreme westerly point of the mainland of England.
 Longships Lighthouse is the round granite tower with a helipad on the top, swept by waves. It is located on Carn Bras, the largest of the Longships Rocks, about 1.5 km (1 mi) west of Land's End.
The next tower in the counterclockwise is Pendeen Lighthouse, a white concrete-clad rubblestone tower located on the promontory called Pendeen Watch, about 2 km (1.2 mi) north of Pendeen.
Trevose Head Lighthouse is the 26.5 m (87 ft) white brick tower attached to two 1-story keeper's houses located about 8 km (5 mi) northwest of Padstow. Trevose Head is a peninsula at the northwestern tip of Cornwall.
Godrevy Island is situated at the northeastern entrance to St. Ives's Bay where rugged cliffs rise from the sea. The white octagonal tower in the center of the island inspired the author Virginia Wolff to write her famous novel The Lighthouse (1927).
The Royal Mail issued on September 16th, 2010 a wonderful series called "Medical Breakthroughs” celebrating six important medical discoveries made by British doctors and scientists. Two of these discoveries are part of my job as an anesthesiologist in operating rooms: total hip replacement surgery and artificial lens implant surgery treating cases of cataracts. The stamp shows a beautiful image of an implanted lens in the eye replacing the crystalline lens.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM CURAÇAO

 Curaçao is an island off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean Sea. It is the central and largest of the so-called ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao). The island is about 65 km (40 mi) long but only 5-13 km (3-8 mi) in width; it has a permanent population of about 140,000. Klein Curaçao is a 1.7 km2 uninhabited island south-east of Curaçao and the light station buildings are the only structures on the barren island. Built in 1850, the 20 m (66 ft) round masonry tower is connected to two ruined 2-story keepers’ houses. Previously abandoned and still endangered, this historic lighthouse was nonetheless reactivated with a solar-powered LED beacon in the restoration of Curaçao's aids to navigation.
The postcard brings a dark blue stamp depicting Curaçao old buildings and the effigy of Queen Juliana issued in 1958. The other stamp is a 2010 flower issue with red azaleas. Thank you, Jean Pierre!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SPAIN

This postcard arrived from the Balearic Island of Mallorca sent by Jose and shows two lighthouses: the old and inactive and the new and active Sa Creu Lighthouses.
Located on a promontory on the east side of the harbor entrance at Port de Sóller, the 9 m (30 ft) round unpainted stone tower was built in 1864. It did not take much to see that occasional hurricane winds and huge waves would cause intense tremors in the building and the lighthouse would be completely enveloped in the spray caused by the columns of waves which could reach altitudes of over 15 meters above its cupola.  Plans were made in 1923 for a new tower on a nearby point and it was completed in 1932. But the new lighthouse did not start operating until 6 June, 1945.The new 13 m (43 ft) round masonry tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands, has a 2-story modern keeper's house nearby.

Correos de España issued on September 3th, 2010 a set of three 0,78 € stamps devoted to the important environmental topic of renewable energies. Biomass is organic matter used as a fuel, especially in the generation of electricity. There are various types of biomass depending on where it comes from: Natural biomass, produced by nature with no human interference; residual biomass generated by agriculture, stockbreeding, the agro alimentary and wood industries and purpose-grown biomass for fuel. The stamp features a crop transformed into fuel.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FRANCE

 Le Four Lighthouse (Phare Le Four) is located on a wave swept rock about 4 km (2.5 mi) west of Argenton, in Bretagne in north-western France. Built between 1869 and 1874, it was lit on March 15th, 1874 marking the northern entrance to the Chenal du Four, the shipping route between the Île d'Ouessant and the mainland. The 28 m (92 ft) round stone tower was hit by a Portuguese ship, the “Esprosende” on November 14th, 1917 and needed extensive repair. Rebuilt between 1920 and 1922 the lighthouse is still active and accessible only by boat.
French Post issued on September 13, 2010 a self-adhesive stamp – validity world 20g presenting the famous Eiffel Tower. Thank you, Louise.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM PORTUGAL

 Aveiro Lighthouse, also known as Barra Light, is a 62 m (203 ft) round stone tower that rises from the center of a 2-story keeper's house and is the tallest Portuguese lighthouse. The lighthouse was built between 1885 and 1893 and is located on the south side of the entrance to the Aveiro River, in Barra, the seaside neighborhood of Aveiro. The tower is unusual in having an elevator, installed in 1958, that rises through the middle of a 291-steps spiral stairway. Automated in 1990 the tower is open to the public by arrangement.
Portugal issued on July 1st, 2010 a fauna series called “Marine Invertebrates from the Azores” consisting of four stamps and two souvenir sheet. The € 0, 80 stamp presents the echinoderm red starfish (Ophidiaster ophidianus). Thank you, Sofia.

Monday, 25 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM RUSSIA

Vasilievsky Island is the largest island in the Neva River delta near the Gulf of Finland, in St. Petersburg, Russia.  One of the distinctive features of St.Petersburg skyline, the imposing 32 meters high (104ft) Rostral Columns were designed in 1810 by the French architect Thomas de Thomon and inaugurated as lighthouses one year later. The two beautiful ornate red columns were built in front of the Old Stock Exchange building, as the symbol of the naval supremacy of the Russian Empire and in honor of the Russian fleet victories. The columns are decorated according to the Roman tradition with protruding six ships’ prows (“rostra” in Latin) and images of anchors. In the 19th century the oil lamps in these gigantic lighthouses were replaced by gas torches and still lit on ceremonic occasions, for instance for Navy days and other water festivals.
Russia Post issued on June 18th, 2010 a souvenir sheet with three stamps celebrating the 300th anniversary of foundation of Tsarskoe Selo, the former Russian residence of the imperial family near St. Petersburg. The 15.00RUB stamp presents the Egyptian Gates, structures erected in 1827-32 and covered with hieroglyphics that leads to the imperial palace. The 2009 Europa stamp issued on May 5th, 2009 depicts the space and a telescope. Russia and the Soviet Union (USSR) conducted pioneering events in space exploration (the dog Laika, Yuri Gagarin, first space station...) and the Soviet and Russian space stamps are among my favourites. Thanks, Kate for the nice postcard and stamps.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SPAIN

Portocolom is a small port on Majorca's southeast coast in Spain and the harbor is nearly enclosed by a rocky peninsula. Located at the tip of the peninsula the lighthouse in Portocolom is called Far de Sa Punta de Ses Crestes and was built in 1863 by Emili Pou. In 1918 the tower was raised 6.5m in order to reach a greater geographical range. In 1965 the signal was electrified and the height of the tower was increased again:  the current 25 m (82 ft) round cylindrical tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands and adjacent to a 2-story keeper's house. The lighthouse emits two white flashes every 10 seconds and the signal range extends to 10 nautical miles. 
Correos de España issued on February 20th, 2009 a set of four stamps called “Renewable energies” and the postcard brings the 0, 78€ stamp devoted to geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is obtained by tapping the heat of the earth, usually from kilometers deep into the Earth's crust. This energy takes the form of hot steam or hot water mixed with chemicals that come out as hot springs or geysers. The hot water or heat can arise naturally or be artificially pumped. Iceland is the main producer in Europe of geothermal energy.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

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 visitors come to Lista Lighthouse all the year round, where the attractions include an information centre, a meteorological and an ornithological station, art exhibitions and small concerts. The tower is open daily over the Easter weekend and in June, July, and August.
Astronomy was the theme for 2009 Europa stamps, which also marked the International Year of Astronomy. This NOK 12.00 stamp issued on June 12, 2009 shows an image of the Moon. The average distance from the Moon to the Earth is 384,400 km. It is always the same side of the Moon that faces the Earth. Real meteorite dust has been sprinkled beside the country name on the stamp. Meteorites are about 4.6 million years old, much older than the oldest rocks that have been found on Earth.
The Kr 1.00 definitive stamp shows the posthorn, an important part of the postman’s equipment in the olden days. The mail carrier blew his posthorn to warn people to get out of the way as the mail coach approached. The posthorn was also handy to have if the mail carrier needed help, was waylaid or was involved in an accident. On approaching the farm where he planned to rest, the mail carrier would blow his horn to tell the farmer to prepare food and a bed for him. The posthorn was at that time and it was a familiar symbol representing status. Architect Andreas Friedrich Wilhelm von Hanno was responsible for the design of Norway’s first posthorn stamps, which saw the light of day in 1872. Norway’s posthorn stamps are therefore the world’s longest-running definitive series.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM USA

The Ludington Lighthouse is a 57 ft (17.5 m) square pyramidal steel tower located at the end of the breakwater in Ludington, Michigan. The building was mounted on a prow-shaped concrete base designed to break the force of storm waves. The first wood tower was established in 1871 at the end of the south breakwater, but the present light was first lit in 1924 at the north breakwater and it is presently operational. The white tower with a black lantern was automated in 1972 and the Fresnel lens was removed from the lantern in October 1995.  It was replaced by a Tidelands Signal 300 mm acrylic optic. In 2006, the Ludington Breakwater Lighthouse was opened to the public for the first time in its history. The lighthouse is open to the public a few days each summer in calm weather for climbing tours.
On May 16, 2008, the Postal Service issued a 94–cent, definitive stamp, St. John, US Virgin Islands. This stamp is part of the Scenic American Landscapes series. It features a photograph of Trunk Bay in the Virgin Islands National Park on the northern coast of St. John. Thank you, Patrick.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM POLAND

The Stilo Lighthouse is located atop a hill (45 m above sea level) about 800 m (1/2 mi) from the seashore, not far from the hamlet of Stilo, and 7 km (4.5 mi) east of Łeba, on the Baltic coast of Poland. The 33.5 m (110 ft) 16-sided cast iron tower was built in 1904 by German engineers and put into operation in 1906. The tricolored lighthouse is attached to a 3-story brick keeper's house and 1-story brick generator and equipment house. The ten storeys of the tower are reached by means of a right-hand spiral staircase (122 steps) and three mobile phone antennae were installed in the lower gallery in April 2000. This beautiful cast iron lighthouse survived both world wars almost intact and looks today, after some repairs and conservation work, much as it did when it was built.
Polish Post issued on May 29th, 2006 four lighthouse stamps and the postcard brings two of them: the lighthouse in Stilo, and the lighthouse in Krynica Morska.

Friday, 8 October 2010

COVER AND FDCs FROM POLAND

Two nice stamps issued in 2009 illustrate the cover sent by Paul, a new friend from Poland. The 1,95 zł stamp features the cherry (Cerasus avium), a popular and worldwide appreciated sweet fruit, cultivated mainly in Europe and in the United States. The stamp is part of the series “Flowers and Fruits” issued on August 5th. The 1,55 zł Christmas stamp issued on November 27th brings the image of angels singing Christmas carols in the background of the Christmas tree. 
In 2006 the Polish Post has issued the first part of the stamp series with lighthouses of the Polish seacoast. These two wonderful FDC present the four stamps of this collection issued in the Hel Post Office, on June 15th, 2007. Both envelopes show a typical lighthouse 1000 watts electric bulb. In Polish, a lighthouse is a "sea lantern," latarnia morska, plural latarnie morskie.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM SPAIN

Cap de Formentor is a spectacular bluff, located on the northernmost point of the Spanish Island Majorca and forms the eastern end of Formentor peninsula. A rather dramatic but extremely panoramic road climbs steeply uphill affording sensational views of the countryside below, bay and beaches. The imposing  22 m (72 ft) round masonry tower, attached to a 1-story keeper's house stands at the end of the road: Cap Formentor Lighthouse. The construction of this lighthouse was the most complicated one in all of the islands. The main problem was to transport materials by sea and after that by mule on a crooked trail. The lighthouse was first lit in 1863, converted to electric power in 1962 and today it operates on solar power.
Correos de España issued on February 16th, 2007 two self adhesive stamps of the series “Sciences of the Earth and the Universe”. The 0,30 € stamp is devoted to Basic Cartography and the 0,78 € issue presents the Radio Telescope of the Astronomic Centre of Yebes (Guadalajara). Thank you, José.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM DENMARK

My Portuguese friend João Miguel, who lived and studied in Denmark, sent me this Danish lighthouse to my collection. Obrigado, thanks! The Limfjord in Denmark is a network of broad sounds and narrow channels that extends all the way across the northern end of Jylland (Jutland), connecting the North Sea at Thyborøn to the Kattegat at Hals. It is approximately 180 kilometers long and of an irregular shape with several bays, narrowings, and islands.
The Grisetåodde Lighthouse is located on a spit of land marking the east entrance to the Oddesund strait in Oddesund Syd. Built in 1909, the 8 m (26 ft) round cast iron tower painted with red and white horizontal bands is still active nowadays.
The postcard brings a postal label issued for the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. EY2010 is an European Union's initiative to raise public awareness about these issues and renew the political commitment of EU State Members to combat poverty and social exclusion.