Sunday, November 12, 2017

Protected Animal Species, Serbia

O is for today's Sunday Stamps, and I have these four cute Owls to share for the occasion. Don't know about you, but I find owls totally adorable... a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!
Unfortunately the have been really endangered here, and even though we have a few Owl Trusts and such, seems that the general public is still not aware about the actual existence of these birds (not to mention their importance) in the town... probably because they are simply nocturnal animals and one rarely gets so see them, so you know how it goes, if you don't see it, it doesn't exist... 

Anyways, I have these two lovely FDCs for today, issued by the Serbian Post on 16th March this year, featuring in total 4 lovely owls:

First we have the Little Owl (Athene noctua) on the left stamp and the Barn Owl (Tyto Alba) on the right one. 
The Little owl is a small owl (logically) that prefers to live near people. It chooses open and mosaic habitats with scattered trees, pastures, rockeries,, abandoned buildings, orchards, parks, farms, human settlements. It hunts large insects and small mammals, rarely amphibians and earth-worms. Little owl does not build a nest but uses natural cavities in trees, walls, cliffs and attics. It accepts specially designed nesting boxes. It nests from April to June. In Serbia there are 14,300 to 21, 000 nesting pairs, and the population is stable.

The Barn owl is a medium size owl with a prominent heart-shaped face. It nests mainly in the lowlands of Serbia. Estimated population in Serbia is 3,400 - 5,100 pairs and slightly decreasing. The Barn owl chooses open habitats with plenty of grasslands where rich food sources are found. Often, it resides in human settlements. The main prey of this owl are voles, mice, rats and shrews. It nests in attics, holes in the walls, hollows of trees, or stacks of straw. It accepts specially designed nesting boxes. Barn owls nest usually once a year, but when food is plentiful, there can be two clutches. 

*lesson learned - we use 'clutch' when it comes to owls (the complicated English language) 

On the second FDC we have the Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) on the left, and the Scops Owl (Otus scops) on the right. 

The Long-eared owl is a medium sized owl that lives throughout Serbia, from lowlands to high mountains, It feeds mainly on small rodents such as voles and mice. They do not build nests, but use or take over old nests of magpies, crows and other birds. It nests from mid-March until the end of June. The estimated population in Serbia is 19,000 to 28,000 pairs and moderately increasing. During winter, Long-eared owls gather in large roosts, that can count hundreds of individuals, mostly staying in human settlements. 

The Scoops owl is the only true migratory bird among the owls that live in Serbia, from the lowlands to the hilly and mountainous areas. Habitats are open and semi-open with single trees or small groves, parks, gardens, rockeries. The main prey of the Scops owl are large insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and moths. It mostly chooses tree cavities for the nest, rarely man-made objects or nests of other birds. It gladly accepts bird-boxes. Nesting is from April to June. The estimated population in Serbia is 27,500 to 43, 500 pairs and stable.

Thanks a million to my Serbian partner in crime for these ❤❤❤❤

And for more O-related posts, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotives, Croatia

On October 3rd, the Croatian post issued these two locomotives' stamps - seems that each year, the do dedicate an issue to trains and railways, which I absolutely support :)

The history of railway systems is marked by huge and complicated development of hauling locomotives, starting from steam locomotives to the electrically, diesel and diesel-electrically driven locomotives. At the same time the sequence of development from steam locomotives to today's technically and technologically sophisticated hauling locomotives was enormous and can be traced in many segments. This is the reason why the review of the original series of steam locomotives - especially those which were used in industry or in freight and passenger traffic on narrow gauge railway tracks is almost inconsistent when compared with the possibilities and exploitation features of today’s locomotives.

Steam locomotive model  207 (top stamp) - locomotives of this kind were built for hauling in industrial plants and mines for the 600 millimetre gauge. The locomotive model no 207 is a tender locomotive functioning on the saturated steam system. It was built in 1949 at the Đuro Đaković Factory in Slavonski Brod. From 1951 it was used in the mine Rudovci and then in the Tile and Brick Factory Ilovac in Karlovac. It was withdrawn from traffic on 1 December 1966. In 1993 the locomotive was donated to the Croatian Railway Museum by the Technical Museum of Zagreb. The power of the locomotive was 26 kW (35 KSi), its length was 5.312 mm, its weight 8.87 t, and the highest allowed speed 20 km/h.

Steam Locomotive of the series JDŽ/HDŽ/JŽ 83-106(SHS/BH Stb IV a5 1138) (bottom stamp) -  locomotives of this series were built for hauling of light freight and passenger trains on narrow gauge tail tracks of 760 mm in Bosnia and Hercegovina. They were constructed by Austrian engineers by reinforcing one kind of steam locomotive which was already hauling trains on local lines in Austrian Alps. In the period between 1903 and 1929 the locomotives from this series were built in Austrian factories Krauss in Linz and Jungenthal in Sieg and in the period between 1948 and 1949 ten locomotives from the series were produced also in the Đuro Đaković Factory in Slavonski Brod for the needs of Yugoslav Railways. At first the locomotives were built using compound system on saturated steam and later the system of superheated steam. Their special features were round steam distributors, Heusinger steering, handbrake and vacuum brake Hardy, water filter and chimney Kobel. The locomotives of this series were known in public under the name „Ćiro“ and they hauled trains on the narrow gauge railway network in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After Second World War on the narrow-gauge railway Split-Sinj (the so called rera of Sinj) several of these locomotives were used as replacement for the locomotives of the series JDŽ/HDŽ 186. In Croatia one locomotive remained preserved from the mentioned series and is featured on this stamp). The locomotive was built in 1916 in the Krauss Factory in Linz, Austria; from 1918 it was used in Bosnia and Herzegovina and later also in Croatia. It was withdrawn from traffic on 18. February 1975. The locomotive is exhibited at the train station Ploče, and makes part of the fundus of the Croatian Railway Museum. The power of the locomotives from this series was 254 kW (345 KSi), the length with tender 13,700 mm, the weight of the empty locomotive 32.5 t, the weight of the locomotive in function 36 t and the highest allowed speed 35 km/h.

I have to thank myself for these two :D

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Automobiles, Nevis

Good Day to all Sunday Stampers, Followers, Random by-passers... and everyone else :)

It's been a sunny Sunday here, but one of the kind where you rather stay indoors all day long in your pajamas instead of enjoying the sunshine outdoors...though this can be held as true for most of the time anyways.

However, been working hard lately (after a long hiatus) on recovering what Photobucket managed to so beautifully ruin, so hopefully by the end of this month, I will manage to get back in life all the posts here.

In the meantime, I may also surprise you with some new stuff, like this one for today for example :) 

I have missed most of the alphabet letters at Sunday Stamps (both justified and not so justified reasons), it has reached letter N already... and here is my contribution to it... a lovely set of Nevis' stamps! 

This set was issued on August 15, 1986, and features 6 different car models as follows (as usual, whenever I'm scanning stamps in a set, I always manage to mix up the face-value order...and then I am just too lazy to do all the rescanning)

- 15 c - The Riley Nine was one of the most successful light sporting cars produced by the British motor industry in the inter war period. It was made by the Riley company of Coventry, England with a wide range of body styles between 1926 and 1938.
The car was largely designed by two of the Riley brothers, Percy and Stanley. Stanley was responsible for the chassis, suspension and body and the older Percy designed the engine.  The stamp shows the Riley "Brooklands" Nine, from the year of 1930.

- 45 c - The Alfa Romeo GTA is a coupé automobile manufactured by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1965 to 1971. The stamp shows a 1960 model.

- 60 c - Pierce-Arrow was an early American automobile manufacturer in Buffalo, New York, in business from 1901 to 1938. Like many of the earliest American automobile manufactures the Pierce Arrow company originally built bicycles before building automobiles.
The Pierce-Arrow Model 66 (featured on the stamp)  was one of the pinnacles of American design and craftsmanship of the early Twentieth century.

- $1 - The Willys-Knight was the most popular - and enduring - of all sleeve-valve engine-powered cars built in the United States. The Willys-Overland Company introduced its Knight engine-powered car in 1915 and production continued through 1933. The most expensive Willys-Knight was the 66 series, introduced in 1925. By 1929, when this attractive Varsity Roadster was built, it had become the 66-A series (featured on the stamp).

- $1.75 - In 1953, Studebaker was redesigned by Robert Bourke, from Raymond Loewy's design studio. ("the Loewy Coupe" or "Low Boy"). The 2-door coupe with a central pillar was called the Starlight while the more expensive hardtop coupe was called the Starliner. (on the stamp).

- $3 - The Cunningham automobile was a pioneering American production automobile, one of the earliest vehicles in the advent of the automotive-age produced from 1896 to 1936 in Rochester, New York. A V8 engine was developed in 1916 and introduced in the series V-1 Cunningham. (featured on the stamp is a 1919 model from this series).

While googling for information about these stamps, I came across an article, accusing e-bay dealers to have distributed hundreds and hundreds of fake Nevis stamps. Can't tell for sure if these now are real or forged... but oh well :D

For more N-related stamps, click on the link - > Sunday Stamps

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Postcrossing Stamp, Indonesia

So, even though my initial concept was to be back here regularly... as you already know, it never works this way. And this time I think that whole Photobucket screw up had a much wider influence on me than I thought it had. At first I was really bitter and pissed off, but the common sense prevailed of course, so as the saying goes, It is no use crying over spilled milk... so I just got down to work, trying to restore the images to all posts. Being that I have far fewer posts here compared to the Postcards' blog, I naturally started working on this blog. But what seemed as an easy task at first, turned out to be a really grueling and annoying one, going quite slow. So even after all this time, I am not even halfway done here... which makes me wonder how many years it's gonna take before I am completely done with both blogs... if ever. And then I kinda didn't really have the desire to post anything, knowing that the rest of the blog is pretty useless and in terrible condition.

But anyways, few days ago I received something that inspired me get back to this, and that is this super fantastic FDC that I won in a lottery recently at the PC forum :D

The Indonesia post released 3 Postcrossing-related stamps on 14th July this year, commemorating that way Postcrossings's 12th birthday! Yes, 12th birthday indeed... and out of those 12 years, I've been part of it for over 9 now. Looks unbelievable! Even though I am not active as I used to be, esp. not when it comes to the unofficial part of the Postcrossing, I still enjoy it equally, and reflecting on the time passed, I realize how much it has changed my life, for which I will always be thankful to that day when I accidentally stumbled upon Rafal's blog, which eventually led me to the magic world of Postcrossing :)

More and more postcrossing stamps are being issued... with that being said, I highly doubt the Macedonian Post will ever make it to that list... but oh well :D

Have a nice Saturday evening all!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Nautical History, Kiribati

Hello everyone! It has literally been long time no see... more precisely, almost a year :) As some of you know, I lived in China for 9 months... those of you who didn't know, now you do :) Actually I thought I would be able to continue with my updates there, but I was proved wrong cos I simply didn't have time for that... and the free time I had, I just didn't feel like using it for blogposts and stuff... 

and then today I finally was like, hey, it is Sunday, let's see if Sunday Stamps is still up.... *yes it is*... subject of the day "Tall Ships" .. now this kinda confused me.. I have never really referred to a ship as a tall ship,  but turns out there is a distinction indeed and even though those cruising ships are as tall as your eyes could see, they do not actually fall into the 'tall ships' category... go figure :D But I guess I did come up with something appropriate...

However, there was one not a very pleasant surprise for me, and that is to realize that Photobucket (where I've been hosting all my blog images), has for one reason or another decided to s**** its thousands of customers by deciding to prohibit third-party hosting and therefore making all those millions of uploaded images all of a sudden - forever gone (the images are still there on photobucket, but of course not visible outside of it). And if you want them back you should pay not more, not less but $400 a year... someone here has gone insane, and that is not me.

No way Im paying that much of money...after all, this is supposed to be for fun, not some kind of business I'm running here....but my unwillingness to pay, comes at a price of course...a totally useless and ridiculously looking blog... they could have simply put R.I.P on those images.
I don't know when and IF I will ever be able to put all those images back... kinda killed the desire in me, having ditched down the drain years and years of dedicated work...but oh well, who cares about us, the mortal people? Photobucket certainly doesnt..

anyways, sorry for the totally off-topic paragraphs, just had to do my rant... esp. since I realize that out of all those postcard blogs out there, I seem to be one of the rare ones who has actually used photobucket for the posts... yeah, stupid me

so, back to today's actual subjects - this is my contribution for the 'Tall Ships" - this nice FDC from Kiribati, showing "Charlotte" - This convict transportation called at the islands in 1789 to replenish stocks of fresh water while on return passage from Botany Bay to England.

The ship was commanded by Captain Thos. Gilbert whose name was given to the islands.

For more tall ships, click here

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Horses, Bulgaria

Good morning on this terribly hot summer morning! Back to another edition of Sunday Stamps, this time on the subject of horses.

This lovely set comes from Bulgaria, issued back in 1991, showing 8 different breeds of horses. I must note down that I am really ignorant when it comes to horse breeds, even though I really love these animals and my heart hurts when I see people using them for all that heavy work....not to mention how they treat them =/

The horses shown here are as follows:

- 0.05 lev - the Przewalski's horse - a rare and endangered subspecies of wild horse (Equus ferus) native to the steppes of central Asia. It was named after the Russian geographer and explorer Nikolay Przhevalsky, who was the first known European to describe the only extant species of wild horse.

- 0.10 lev - Tarpan - also known as Eurasian wild horse, is an extinct subspecies of wild horse. The last individual believed to be of this subspecies died in captivity in Russia in 1909, although some sources claim that it was not a genuine wild horse due to its resemblance to domesticated horses.

- 0.25 lev - Arabian horse - a breed that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses in the Middle East that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses have spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.

- 0.35 lev - White Arabian horse - many Arabians appear to have a "white" hair coat, but they are not genetically "white". This color is usually created by the natural action of the gray gene, and virtually all white-looking Arabians are actually grays. A specialized colorization seen in some older gray Arabians is the so-called "bloody-shoulder", which is a particular type of "flea-bitten" gray with localized aggregations of pigment on the shoulder.

- 0. 42 lev - Scottish Pony (probably the most adorable looking one) - known as the Highland Pony - one of the largest of the mountain and moorland pony breeds of the British Isles. Its pedigree dates back to the 1880s. It was once a workhorse in the Scottish mainland and islands, but today is used for driving, trekking and general riding. They are very hardy and tough, they rarely require shoeing, and are very economical to keep. They usually don't need rugs, and are generally free from many equine diseases.

- 0.60 lev - a (heavy) draft horse - a large horse bred to be a working animal doing hard tasks such as plowing and other farm labor. There are a number of breeds, with varying characteristics, but all share common traits of strength, patience, and a docile temperament which made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers.

For more beautiful horses on stamps, visit today's edition of Sunday Stamps!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Indonesian Traditional Food, Indonesia

Hello Sunday Stampers, food-lovers, regular and random visitors :)

As you can see, today's Sunday theme is food - yum yum yummie! I personally love food (I think it is a bit obvious if you know me personally :D) and in general I love trying out new foodstuffs, new tastes and long as it is not meat...I am not a real vegetarian, some kind of quasi-vegetarian, but I am really not into meat (which was clearly shown during my last blood test).
Except for the occasional chicken/turkey, or something made of minced meat....meat is a big no-no for me...mainly cos I just dislike its texture...from the bite itself I get this "I'm gonna feel sick" feeling...I have had these situations when I was little, and my parents would try to trick me into eating lamb by telling me it was chicken, but c'mon, you can smell lamb from miles afar :D

Ok, anyways, as for today, I have this set of 8 stamps from 2010 showing traditional Indonesian food.

I haven't tried Indonesian food before. Not so long ago, there was this event organized here, something like an evening of Indonesian Food, and I was really keen on going, until I realized that you had to pay something like 15 euros for it...which for some may not sound much, but for our standards here it is a bit overboard. I can go to a Thai restaurant for example and eat really well for half the in the end I skipped the Indonesian thing.

This here is the seventh issue of "Indonesian Traditional Food" stamp series, that started in 2004. The 2010 series 7 designs. that are:

- 1/7 Sup Lobster Kelapa Muda from West Sulawesi - a West Sulawesi traditional soup which is rich with marine ingredients which gives the soup its rich flavours  (fresh lobster, squid and shrimp enriched with fresh pumpkin and tasty broth soup and fresh young coconut, where you can taste not only the coconut water, but also the pieces of coconut meat.

- 2/7 Gulai Iga Kemba'ang from Bengkulu - Bengkulu is not only famous for its traditional cakes, but also its specific and strong traditional food. Gulai Iga Kemba'ang is one of them. It is a well known traditional cuisine of Bengkulu -beef ribs smeared with thick coconut milk and special seasoning increase the good and strong taste of this food. The roasted coconut increases the taste of the ribs curry.

- 3/7 Ayam Cincane from East Kalimantan - Ayam Cinace is one of the menus often recommended at big events, such as weddings or welcoming guests of honor. Chicken meat is wrapped by a thick chili seasoning and soy sauce and the delicious flavor of Cincane seasonings (onion, garlic, hazelnut, ginger and galangal). The splash of coconut milk increases the taste of Ayam Cincane.

-  4/7 Sate Udang Pentuk Asam Manis (Jambi) -  Known by its curry dishes, jambi comes with a traditional seafood of sweet sour shrimp satay. It is made of shrimp mixed with flour and starch, similar to shrimp meatballs. The good taste of tender shrimp texture and the rich flavors of sour and sweet sauces made of peanuts sauce, broth, and young mango taste increase the freshness of  the satay sauce.

-  5/7 Lempah Kuning (Bangka Belitung) - Refreshing is the perfect word to describe the taste of Lempah Kuning that is similar to fish soup or tekwan that are popular in the Sumatera region. The soup is made of mackerel fish with turmeric, chili. The texture of mackerel fish soup makes the food more delicious without making its taste fishy. Young pineapple or mango are added to this fish soup to make it more refreshing.

- 6/7 Asam Padeh Baung (Riau) - this dish has the image of a both spicy and sour taste. It is a side dish usually served with white rice while it is still warm.

- 7/7 Lapis Palaro (North Maluku) - this is a specialty dish from Maluku Islands: LAPIS PALARO or A FRIED BEEF IN RICH SAUCE, is made from Maluku's distinctive spices like clove & nutmeg and it represents the real character of the only region on earth which was once called "The Spice Island".

don't know about you but this post made me hungry :D The pasta-leftovers from yesterday should do the job :)

For more delicacies, check out today's edition of Sunday Stamps!