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).