Monday, May 23, 2016

The 35th Anniversary of the First Space Shuttle Launch, Spain

You probably know that one of the topics I lose my mind for, is space and here comes a whole sheet of this year's Correos commemorative issue for the 35th Anniversary of the launching of Columbia.

On 12 April 1981 the first space shuttle, Columbia, was launched. It orbited the Earth 36 times and returned home two days later. There were two crew members, the astronauts John W. Young as ship commander and Robert L. Crippen as pilot.

This launch marked various milestones in the history of space exploration. Apart from being the first shuttle launch, it was the first flight of its kind to be launched without any prior test flights.

The mission's main objectives were to check that the shuttle was working properly, to climb to the orbital altitude with no problems, to return to Earth and land without having any setbacks. All of these objectives were successfully achieved.

But Columbia's story ended in tragedy on 1 February 2003. After 15 days in orbit, the shuttle was coming back to Earth. During take off, it had been hit by a heavy object that caused serious damage, although this was not apparent at the time. When the ship was re-entering the Earth's atmosphere, the port wing broke off, causing the ship to lose control and break up in the air. The ship's seven crew members lost their lives and all future space missions were immediately cancelled in order to investigate the causes of the accident.

The stamp issued to commemorate the 35th anniversary of its maiden flight is in the shape of the shuttle. It shows the ship against the background of the Earth seen from space, together with the moon. The text reads "35th anniversary of Columbia, the first space shuttle's launch" alongside the NASA logo. It has the appearance of a space orbit and can be read both horizontally and vertically.

Thanks to Herbert for this gift!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Butterflies, Spain

My initial thought of 'i have so many butterflies' stamps' in the end proved terribly wrong but luckily I did find a few things for today's edition of Sunday's Post and eventually the choice fell on this Spanish FDC issued on 1st of April 2010.

I love butterflies! They are just so delicate and beautiful and sometimes with such vibrant and amazing colours....and it when I was a child it was such a challenge to be able to catch one for a few seconds and let it crawl over your hands while you admire its beauty

On this Spanish FDC you can see two different kinds of butterflies, namely the Euphydryas aurinia /The marsh fritillary which is widespread in the Palaearctic region from Ireland in the West to Yakutia in the East, and to North-west China and Mongolia in the South.(the top one on the big image on the FDC and the one on the right stamp), and the Zerynthia rumina / the Spanish Festoon which is a widespread species in Spain and frequents most habitats. (the one at the bottom on the big image and the one on the left stamp).

Btw, I love the Spanish word 'mariposa' compared to the German one for example, 'Schmetterling' - there is just nothing gentle about it :D.

Wanna see more beauties like this? Well just check out today's episode of Sunday Stamps :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The 125th Anniversary of Atatürk's Birthday, Turkey

Well today it would be the 135th anniversary actually, but this are the only stamps I have related to this is like the first ever Turkish related post here, so inaugurating a new country on the blog too :)

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a Turkish army officer, revolutionary, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey. His surname, Atatürk (meaning "Father of the Turks"), was granted to him in 1934 and forbidden to any other person by the Turkish parliament.

He is like one of the most, if not the most, glorified person in Turkey, and probably with a right and with his death Turkey lost something like Yugoslavia probably lost with the death of Tito.
He died young unfortunately at the age of 57 due to illness, but even after his death, he continued doing good things since in his will Atatürk donated all of his possessions to the Republican People's Party, providing that the yearly interest of his funds would be used to look after his sister Makbule and his adopted children, and fund the higher education of the children of İsmet İnönü. The remainder of this yearly interest was willed to the Turkish Language Association and the Turkish Historical Society.

This issue from the 19th May 2006 consists of 10 stamps, while here on the FDC you can see 5 of them, with Atatürk in different situations.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Flora, Macedonia

If there is something I don't lack when it comes to stamps, that is definitely flowers. But then another dilemma came up and that was, which ones to actually choose for today's Sunday Stamps edition.
In the end I decided to go with this set of Macedonian maxi-cards, mainly cos I knew I wouldn't be overlapping with someone else's post ;-)

Actually maxi-cards are not so commonly issued by the Macedonian post and I can consider myself lucky to even have these in the first place. (I don't think these are even available any longer)
This set of flora stamps was issued on 25 September 2003 and consists of four stamps, where you can see two of them above and two below.
The above stamps show the 'Cochicum macedonicum Kosanin' (on the left),  and the 'Viola allchariensis' (g. Beck) on the right

The other two stamps show 'Tulipa mariannae Lindther' (left), and Thymus oehmianus Ronniger & Soska (right).

I am terrible when it comes to plants and flowers and all, so the most I can do is just show the stamps, but I am far from being up to any discussions or analysis when it comes to them.

For more floral beauties, check out today's episode of Sunday Stamps.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Weather Wonders, Canada

Last week a fantastic cover landed in my mailbox, featuring the Canadian set of Weather Wonders stamps, issued in 2015.

Each of these stamps illustrates a unique weather phenomenon, where each the credits for each image go to a  different photographer.
As the Canadian Post website had put it, you can revel in the beauty of a double rainbow over Quebec, tremble at the power of a lightning storm in the skies above Manitoba, and gaze through a gorgeous pink-hued fog at Newfoundland's Cape Spear lighthouse, Canada's easternmost point. Shake off the chill of a wintry hoar frost on a snowy Alberta plain, and shiver at the sight of sun dogs shining over Iqaluit in the Canadian Arctic.

Really spectacular set of stamps that come with a 'special' feature, and that is the cancellation :D
Obviously the postal-clerk felt like travelling back in time, so instead of cancelling the cover with the 2016 date, (s)he did it with the 2015 one (hence I was a bit confused at the beginning, wondering if this has indeed travelled for a year or if it was the human factor...). It was the human factor indeed and funny thing is that at this particular date, these stamps weren't even issued until 18 June, that is almost two months later :D :D :D

The big-big-big thank you goes to Bryon for this one :)

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago, Russia

Ok Sunday Stampers, I may be cheating a bit on this one since the map ain't actually ON the stamp itself but on the envelope...but I just couldn't resist posting this one....

You know that in general I find Russian stamps exquisite, and these are no exception.
This set of stamps was issued in 2013, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Severnaya Zemlya Archipelago (or in English, the Northern Land Archipelago).
It is fascinating that in the 20th century there were still things on this planet of ours that hadn't been discovered. I cannot even imagine that out of nowhere some scientists come today with the announcement that they have found a new piece of land on our planet; with all the technology available and ISS making its rounds over and over again, that is simply - unimaginable!
But it is facinating to read about things like this, esp. when they relate to the Arctic Circle for example =)
Severnaya Zemlya was first noted in 1913 and first charted in 1930–32, making it the last archipelago on Earth to be discovered. It comprises four major islands – October Revolution, Bolshevik, Komsomolets, and Pioneer – and around 70 smaller islands, covering a total area of about 37,000 km2 in the Russian High Arctic. These are uninhabited by humans, with the exception of the Arctic Base.

Regarding the stamps here, the middle one shows Boris Andreyevich Vilkitsky who led the expedition on the ships "Taimyr" and "Vaigach" shown on the other two stamps respectively.

Well, for more maps that are REALLY on stamps, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The 120th Anniversary of the Birth of Goce Delchev

Another person whose death is commemorated today is the Macedonian revolutioner and national hero, Goce Delchev, portrayed on this FDC issued by the Yugoslavian post in 1992, commemorating the 120th Anniversary of his birth. (born on 4 Februry 1872).

He was one of the leaders of what is known today as Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), a paramilitary organization active in Ottoman territories on the Balkans, at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

He is often quoted with his most famous saying,
"I understand the world as a field for cultural competition between the nations."

Had he been alive today, I'm sure he would have felt abhorrent seeing what his country has turned into....

On May 4, 1903, he was killed in the village Banica  - he was only 31 years old.

May he rest in peace....