Saturday, 17 September 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM FINLAND

Rönnskär Lighthouse is the second oldest light in Finland and is located on a small island at Kirkkonummi, 30 km (19 mi) from Helsinki. The original tower was built in 1800 by Sweden and destroyed during the war between Sweden and Russia in 1808-09. The second light, built on the same plans under Russian rule in 1814, was significantly heightened in 1828. The current lighthouse is a 27 m (89 ft) two-stage tower: the lower half is square cylindrical unpainted rubblestone, and the upper half is round cylindrical cut stone, painted white (59°56’23”N 24°23’10”E). In 1928, Rönnskär was replaced by the Porkkala lighthouse located 7.5 km (4.5 mi) north. The lantern was removed and radar and communications equipment was mounted atop the tower. Despite being decommissioned, the tower is in good condition.
Finland issued on January 24, 2011 a set of five second class self-adhesive stamps presenting different self-made mailboxes.
Two self adhesive stamps in the form of a shamrock were issued on January 24, 2008. The 0,05€ stamp shows an image of rings on water and the 0,10€ depicts a beautiful view of the archipelago of Gulf of Finland.

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM ISRAEL

Eilat Lighthouse is located on a bluff on the west side of the Gulf of Aqaba, about 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) southwest of the port of Eilat, Israel and 1.2 kilometers (0.75 mi) northeast of the Egyptian border (29° 30' 00" N 34° 55' 00" E). It is a 9 m (30 ft) round 5-legged skeletal tower painted white with black trim and a black band around each of the legs.
 Israeli Postal Administration issued on June 30, 2009 a 2.30 ILS stamp presenting the Dead Sea, a national and global natural treasure which attracts around 1.2 million foreign tourists a year. The Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel to the west. It is the lowest place on the face of the Earth, currently situated 422.22 meters below sea level. With 33.7% salinity, it is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. Its salinity allows for a unique floating experience and the minerals found in the water and in the mud along the shore provide added health benefits while bathing.
The Dead Sea is shrinking dramatically due to human decisions to siphon off its waters. One of the main reasons for the sea's shrinkage is the diversion of water. Ninety percent of the waters that flow from the Jordan River, which traditionally supplies the Dead Sea, are diverted for drinking and agriculture in Israel and Jordan.

The stamp shows an ibex along a rocky cliff in the Judean Desert, a section of the Dead Sea with salt “sculptures”, a floating tourist, the Dead Sea against the background of the Dragot Cliffs and the Edom Mountains in Jordan.

2011 - STAMPS OF BRAZIL - 17

Brazil issued on July 23th a miniature sheet with four stamps presenting myths of Brazilian folklore that were and are still present in the collective imagination of grandmothers, parents, children and grandchildren. They are popular values and beliefs kept alive from one generation to another and very often, orally transmitted.
In the top left, the image of Curupira, a hairy, red-haired monster with inverted feet mounted on a boar, scaring a possible agent of deforestation, represented by a man and a chainsaw that down the tree. In the upper right, the Mãe-do-ouro (Mother-of-gold) emerges from the water with a fireball in her hands, protecting gold mines and guiding courageous gold prospectors.

At the bottom left, the figures of Boto (Dolphin) and a young pregnant woman alludes to the legend of seduction of women by an unknown man. In the lower right corner, the Mula-sem-cabeça (Headless Mule), a story about a woman who loves a priest and is cursed into an equine, that breathes fire out of its head. We can also see in the upper right the logo of the National Philatelic Exhibition - BRAPEX 2011.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM AUSTRALIA

Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian Continent, in the state of Western Australia. The first known ship to have visited this area is the Leeuwin ("Lioness"), a Dutch vessel that charted some of the nearby coastline in 1622. The 39 m (128 ft.) round limestone tower was first lit on December 1, 1896 and is one of Australia's best known lighthouses. It stands at the end of a narrow peninsula with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean to the north and the Southern Ocean to the south.
The light was totally manually operated until 1982 when it was converted to electricity replacing the clockwork mechanism & kerosene burner, one of the last in the world. Automated in September 1992, it also serves as an important automatic weather station. Originally unpainted, the tower had the natural stone color of Tamala limestone and in 2003, after being completely renovated, was painted white.  Guided tours are conducted daily at the lighthouse and visitors can climb the 186 steps and seven floors to achieve the gallery and a wonderful view of the cape.
Australia Post issued on March 6, 2006 a set of six fauna stamps called Australian Native Wildlife featuring animals from the three main subclasses of modern Australian mammals. The 5¢ stamp shows the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young.
Fishes of the Reef is a colorful definitive issue released in two parts: part 1 (five stamps) issued on June 21, 2010 and part 2 (eight stamps) issued on June 28, 2010. All eight fish species represented in this series occupy the waters of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. Several can also be found around reefs off northern and Western Australia. The 5¢ stamp presents the yellow Coral Rabbitfish (Siganus corallinus).