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.

Friday, 1 February 2013

LIGHTHOUSE POSTCARD FROM BERMUDA

Bermuda consists of about 138 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean north of the Caribbean. Bermuda has two lighthouses, Gibb’s Hill Lighthouse on the south-west and St. David’s Lighthouse on the north-east.  
St David’s Lighthouse stands on the highest point of the St. David’s island, at a total height of 63m (208 ft.) above the sea level (32° 22.0'N 064° 39.0'W). The 22 m (72 ft.) octagonal tower was built of white limestone banded in the middle with a broad red stripe and was first lit on November 3, 1879. The original 2th order Fresnel lens is still in use and its light has a range of 20 nautical miles. Open to the public from May to September, the tower offers panoramic views of land and sea. 
Bermuda with its reefs and beaches washed by the Atlantic Gulf Stream is the habitat of thousands of marine invertebrates. On March 20, 2003 Bermuda Post issued a set of six stamps featuring seashells of the archipelago. The 25¢ stamp depicts the Frog shell (Tutufa rubeta) a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Bursidae.
The year 2012 marked the bicentenary of postal service in Bermuda and six stamps were issued to celebrate the date. On March 6, 1812 an official postal system established a twice-weekly service to various points on the island via horseback. By May 20, the St. George’s and Hamilton post offices had opened. The 70¢ stamp shows a mail carriage established by the 1920s and the 95¢ stamp remembers the flying boat Cavalier which established a regular airmail service to New York in 1937.