Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cards From the USA and Germany

Another week has passed , I hadn't realized that until yesterday. I never intend for a week to go by but then life gets in the way. There was Father's Day, my birthday and grand kids' soccer games, so I couldn't find postcard time - what can I say - I'm making time today before another soccer game.
Strangely all of today's cards are from either the U.S.A or Germany. That wasn't planned , it just fell that way.

Let's start with a card showing Reunion Tower in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.  The tower is a 171 m observation tower and one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dallas.  It is part of the Hyatt Regency Hotel and offers spectacular 360-degree views of the city. The tower is known locally as "The Ball "and was completed on February 2nd, 1978. It sits around  305 m from Dealey Plaza, the site of the assassination of John F Kennedy.

 

This is another card from Mike & Ashley of West Chester, PA. They used 2 more of the new Planets set of 8 issued recently by the USPS. It's Mars and our own Earth on this one.


Thanks to Mike and Ashley I have received all 8 of The Planets on their recent cards. Here they are all together.


A very impressive set indeed and one I'm glad to have in my collection. These stamps were issued on May 31st. While Pluto doesn't make the grade as a planet anymore and is not represented in this set, USPS did issue a Pluto Explored stamp and a New Horizons Spacecraft stamp the same day, May 31st.  And if I do say so myself , Pluto looks just as good as any of the other 8 real planets.

Now let's jump over to Germany. This next card is all about the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis, a German noble family that was a key player in the postal services of Europe in the 16th century. Dominique picked this card at St. Emmeran Palace , the royal residence of the Thurn and Taxis dynasty. The current head of the royal house is HSH Albert, 12th prince of Thurn and Taxis.



Dominique used a recent 2016 stamp here. It is a Polish-German joint issue commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Polish - German Youth Cooperation.



Here's another card from Germany, Offenbach this time. It's located in the middle-south of the country , about 3 km from Frankfurt. Elena's card shows a rather well dressed lady in a ferris-wheel, I do believe.



Elena used a Flower definitive ( we've all seen many of these over the years ) along with a 2016 stamp showing Grey Goose babies. It is from a set of 2 , the 2nd shows Baby Hares.



Now it's back to the U.S, with this Eastern Airlines Martin 4-0-4, shown in Philadelphia in 1962. The Martin 4-0-4 was built by the Glenn L Martin Company. This aircraft type's first flight was on October 21, 1950. One hundred and three were built between 1951 and 1953. Primary users were Eastern Airlines and Trans World Airlines. Eastern Air Lines , shown on the card, flew 4-0-4 aircraft from 1952 until 1962. The last airworthy 4-0-4 was ferried to the Planes of Fame Museum in Valle, Arizona , in February of 2008. Another fine addition to my Airlines / Aircraft Postcard Collection.

   Olga , who lives in New Jersey, but very close to New York City sent this card along. She used the current 2016 Global Forever stamp .




It's back over the pond again to Germany. It's an old  1928 Picture of Hohnstein. Front and center on this card is a local church, however the town is dominated by Hohnstein Castle, built around 1200 on a hard sandstone slab. It is now the major landmark of the town of just over 3,600 inhabitants.


A Postcrosser named Sophia sent this old card from Hamburg. The stamp was issued in 2013 to mark the 100 th anniversary on the Mohnetalsperre. The dam is 40.3 m high and 605 m long.





It's back to the U.S again, or is it ?  This next card did arrive from Reno, Nevada, but was bought in Germany , by Veronika who moved from Germany in 2011. Here we can see the English actress Kate Beckinsale as she appeared in the 2001 movie Pearl Harbour.  





Veronika used a couple of stamps on her card. On the left is a Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly , non-machinable surcharge stamp from 2015. This is the first stamp of this type I have seen, or at least have taken notice of. It pays the surcharge on irregularly sized envelopes such as square greeting cards. It also should be used on oddly-shaped or vertical envelopes, lumpy envelopes or any mail with clasps, ribbons or buttons. At this time the surcharge is 20 cents. On the right is a 2014 Purple Heart Forever stamp. Several Purple Heart stamps have been issued since 2008, with slightly different designs and with different year dates on them. In 2008 it was a 42 cent stamp as opposed to a Forever stamp. The Purple Heart is the medal for combat wounded.



Now for the last card for this time. This one is another great aviation card for my Aircraft Collection. It is an Airbus A300B - Registration F-WUAB. This Airbus was rolled out in Toulouse painted in the original orange and white Airbus house colours that adorned the prototype of the world's first widebody twinjet design on its maiden flight in October 1972.   Although the prototype A300B1 was long ago broken up, an apparently redundant A300B4 has now had the retro paint scheme applied , as well as the original registration F-WUAB. The aircraft is a 23 year old B4 that originally to be in Laker Airways fleet. However the airline ceased operations before the aircraft was completed. It was later delivered to Pan American Airways in 1985. Later it was acquired by Sempati Air in 1993 and by DHL in 1999. It is now withdrawn from use at Airbus's Toulouse Blagnac Airport Headquarters.


Jens sent this card to me under cover. It has a 1973 stamp on it with a 13-5-1973 date stamp. It also refers to Hamburg 95 , so I'm lost. Perhaps there is someone out there that has some idea how all this works, because I don't. Leave a comment if you know something, anything about the cancel.


There you have it. Thanks for cards going out to Mike & Ashley, Dominique, Elena, Olga, Sophia, Veronika and Jens. thanks for reading and here's hoping you can come back again. Take care.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New Country or Entity # 262 and More Great Cards

Hello again, thanks for dropping by. Well, it's been over a year , last March in fact, since I added a card from a new country or stamp issuing entity. At that time it was Guinea, # 261. Today, it is (drum roll please) Penrhyn Island, of the Northern Cook Islands. So Penrhyn is # 262.
Penrhyn Island is the most remote and largest atoll of the cook Islands.in the south Pacific Ocean. The land area is 9.84 sq km  , with a maximum elevation less than 5 m . The population in 2001 was 351 but by 2011 it had decreased to only 213 inhabitants. ( Make no wonder it was so difficult to get a card from there these past number of years ) .
Penrhyn has two villages , Omoka  - the main one and Te tautua - with a population of just 50 or so. Early Polynesian settlers called Penrhyn " Tongareva - a name still in use today- meaning " South of the empty space ".   The modern name of Penrhyn comes from the ship , Lady Penrhyn which passed by the island on 8 August 1788.  So here's the bird's eye view of Penrhyn .



David used 2 stamps from a 2013 Definitive set of 12 Fish.



Now I can knock another one of my list of places from which I still need a posted card sent to me. The list is slowly getting smaller. With Penryhn out of the way, I have just 12 countries or entities left , so just in case you're jetting off soon  to any of these obscure places , here they are : Australian Antarctic Territory, Central African Republic, Congo ( Democratic Republic ) , Djibouti, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, NiuafoĆ³u,  Sierre Leone, South Sudan,  Tokelau Islands, and of course South Ossetia and Transniestra. So come on all you intrepid travellers and Travelers' Century Club members and 1.3 million Virtual Tourists out  there who seem to be going everywhere, drop me a postcard from wherever and hopefully it'll be one of the twelve listed above. I know there are collectors out there that use a somewhat different list than me and have received cards from some really obscure places and those are the ones for a rainy day after I have the aforementioned missing twelve. 

A card from The Island of Jersey is next. Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, between England and France. An independent, English-speaking territory with a mix of British and French cultures, it’s known for its beaches, walking trails along cliffs and inland valleys, as well as its defensive castles. On Jean Pierre's card we can see Elizabeth Castle from the air. Below the castle are Grosnez castle, Tesson Mill and a WW2 German Tower. Jersey was occupied by the Germans for 5 years during World War !!. Strangly, Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom but the U.K. is responsible for the defence of Jersey, should it ever become necessary again.  


Jean Pierre used a couple of quite recent stamps here. On the left is a Europa Think Green stamp . It is from a set of 4 issued this year. On the right is a 2015 Shield Definitive from a set of 11. 






Next are 3 cards sent by Mike and Ashley of West Chester , PA, USA.First is an overhead view of Citizens Bank Park, home of Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies. This 43,500 seat ballpark opened its gates for its first official game on April 12, 2004. The ballpark was built to replace the now demolished Veterans Stadium. More than baseball can take place here - on Jan 2 , 2012 the park hosted the fifth annual NHL Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers before a SRO crown of 46,967. 



Mike & Ashley used stamps from the same set on each of their 3 cards. The new U.S. Planets set of this year. They are a really great set of 8 showing the planets. On this card it's Neptune and Uranus. Also you can see the 2015 Additional Ounce Penguin stamp. 



My second card from Mike & Ashley gives us a view of a number of New Jersey Lighthouses which have guarded mariners sailing the Atlantic Ocean and intercoastal waterways for more than a century. The lights shown are Barnegat, Cape May, Navesink, Sandy Hook and Absecon. I'm sure all you lighthouse postcard collectors out there will enjoy this card. 


Planets Saturn and Jupiter arrived on this card. 



Here's their 3rd card. It's one they picked up on their recent trip to Spain and Italy. It a view of the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, Majorca, Spain. Construction on the cathedral was started in 1229 but wasn't finished until 1601. 



Venus and Mercury arrived on this card. That makes 6 of the 8 in this set. I am missing just Earth and Mars. This Planets set is really a great set, with quite striking views of all 8 planets. 

  

On my next card we can see a pasta restaurant in Port Grimaud. The village is located in southeastern France, on the French Riviera. 



This is another card from Meelis and here the stamps show Saosnoice cows and a Gallic Rooster.  The Gallic Rooster is an unofficial national symbol of France as a Nation, as opposed to Marianne representing France as a State and the Republic. You can even find a Gallic Rooster atop the garden gate of the Elysee Palace in Paris. 



To end of today, I have 2 more cards sent by David from 2 more of the South Pacific stops of his recent trip. First is a card from Funafuti, Tuvalu. Formally known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is located midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its total land area is just 26 sq km. Here's an aerial view of timeless Tuvalu.  



David used 2 stamps from a 2012 Fish Definitive set of 12.



Now here's the final card for today. It comes from Niue, located 2400 km northeast of New Zealand. Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand. Its population is around 1190. On David's card we see Matapa Chasm, a favorite swimming hole for the kings of Niue.



On this one David used a 2012 stamp featuring a shell. It is from a set of 4 , all featuring Sea Shells.



That's it for this time. A good bunch of cards and stamps. Thanks for them , go out to David, Jean Pierre, Meelis and Mike & Ashley. I just have to say again, it feels great to knock another country / stamp issuing entity of the list. Take care now and do come back again.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

More Choice Cards

Finally a new post without a week's break between. Oh yes, hello and thanks for dropping by. Hope you enjoy today's cards and stamps. Let's get right to them.

First 3 cards for this time are all from Dominique. On the first is a 16th century wooden frame house in the Alsace region. This area is where one finds the Rangen Grand Cru vineyard, the steepest vineyard in Alsace. The Rangen's slope gets to nearly 60 degrees, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris are grown here.



Dominique used a fine stamp from 2015. It commemorates the 70th Anniversary of the End of World War II.



Dominique's second card arrived from Austria. It shows a number of transportation methods in Tyrol - cars, boats and train.The lake on the card is Lake Achensee, also known as " Fjord of the Alps ". The emerald colored lake is the largest in the Tyrol region and is 133 m deep.



On this one Dominique used a stamp from 2012. It is 1 of 2 stamps in a souvenir sheet celebrating the 115th Anniversary of the meeting between Kaiser Franz Josef and King Rama V. The issue was a Joint Issue with Thailand. King Rama V is featured on the stamp on the card.



Just my opinion of course, but Joint Issues , would make a great collection, if anyone is looking for something to collect.

Here's Dominique's 3rd card, this one is again from France. It gives us a look at Haguenau as it looked about 25 years ago. The city has grown a lot since then and has completely renewed the city center.



Now for the stamp - issued in 2015 , in a souvenir sheet of 6 different stamps , celebrating The Sixties.







Now it's  a couple of cards from Beautiful Guernsey, compliments of Jean Pierre. On the first card , a multi-view , we The Little Chapel, Noon Day Gun, and Fort Grey. On the bottom it is the South Coast Cliffs, Saints Bay Harbour and Bordeaux Harbour.



Jean Pierre used a 2014 commemorative  highlighting the Guernsey Marine Life, in this case a Spider Crab.



One more from Guernsey. This one provides a look at Guernsey Airport and  aircraft from 4 different airlines. Top left is Flybe - the largest independent airline in Europe. Top right - Aurigny Air - the flag carrier of the Baliwick of Guernsey. Bottom left - Air Southwest, no longer operating and bottom right - Blueislands - a Channel Islands airline with its head office in Saint Peter Port , Guernsey.
This is a fine addition to my Airlines  / Aircraft / Airports card collection.


And the stamps  - on the left is a 2008 Wild Flora Definitive featuring a Red Campion flower. On the right is 1 of 6 in a 2016 set featuring The Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo. A really nice set actually.




Now it's the last card for today, and it arrived from Aitutaki, Cook Islands. Aitutaki is one of the Cook Islands north of Rarotonga. It has a population of just over 2100. In June of 2010 the island was nominated  "the worlds most beautiful island "by Tony Wheeler of Lonely Planet travel guide. David's card gives us a look at One Foot Island. This small island provides the visitor with the best views of the Aitutaki lagoon. One Foot Island was awarded  "Australasia's Leading Beach "at the World Travel Awards in Sydney in June 2008. With those kinds of awards and recommendations both Aitutaki and One Foot Island sound like places I could hang my hat for a week or so.


That was the last card , now here's the last stamp for today. David used a 2014 stamp , 1 of 4 in a set of WWF Crabs. Shown on the stamp is the Spotted Red Crab.



Well, that's it for this time. Big thanks go to Dominique, Jean Pierre and David. Great cards all around.
I hope you enjoyed this update and will come back again. See you soon.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Few Choice Cards

It's been another week again, I just can't seem to get back earlier. I hope, though,  I make up for my sporadic updates by showing some great cards and stamps. After all that's what this is all about. That's why you're here, right ? Let's get to it.
This first card came to me while I was still living in Parksville. It shows the sign for The Cottage garden on Gabriola Island. Gabriola is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia. It lies about 5 kilometres east of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The Cottage Garden is a delightful little plant stand located on Gabriola's Orlebar Point. The Garden is right across from a beautiful stretch of sandstone beach with a great view of the Entrance Island Lighthouse. Gabriola is a cyclist's delight with a narrow paved road that circles the island.



My Lovely Teena dropped this card in the mail to me after a day of exploring Gabriola and lunch at the Rona's Mad Cafe.
She used a 2014 stamp celebrating the opening of The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in September 2014, in Winnipeg. The museum is the first in the world solely dedicated to the evolution , celebration and future of Human Rights.




My next card is a Marilyn Monroe card. I know there are many card lovers out there who collect Marilyn cards. If you are one, I hope you enjoy this one.



This is a card I posted to myself. It was a test for the postmark / cancellation , to see what a card posted in the complex in which I live would receive. Needless to say , once again Canada Post failed the test. It actually did receive a cancellation of sorts, an automated computer date of 160517 for May 17, 2016. The stamp itself ( sorry Shania )  received a couple of lines of oblique slashes. Not very appetizing to a collector, so you can bet  I won't be using this service again any time soon.  I have since found a small corner postal outlet, where the lady working was quite agreeable to hand cancelling while I was there.





My next card arrived from Alicante, Spain. This port city on Spain's southeastern Costa Blanca is in an area that has been inhabited for over 7000 years. Ana's card gives a fine look at the city and Castle of Santa Barbara on Mount Benacantil. The castle dates to the 9th century.



Ana used 3 of 4 stamps from a 2015 set of City Gates. Kind of reminds me of a set of 8 Chinatown Gates from Canadian cities released by Canada Post back in 2013.





Now it's a series of cards sent by David from his recent South Pacific trip. The cards are from Kiribati, Norfolk Island , Cook Islands and Aitutaki. First up is a card showing the beach and some Japanese defences left from World war II. Tarawa is the capital of the Republic of Kiribati. David's  card was postmarked in Bairiki, a small city of just over 3500. Bairiki may not be the capital but it houses the State House, a number of High Commissions and the embassy of Taiwan. One interesting and important thing about both cities is the elevation, or lack of  - just 3 m.



David used 2 of the 16 stamps from a 2013 Water Transport set. The set of 16 is rather an attractive set.


David's next card is from Burnt Pine, Norfolk Island. Burnt Pine is the largest town on the island  and had a population of 180 in 2007. Norfolk Island is a tiny Australian island in the South Pacific Ocean, defined by Pine trees and jagged cliffs. Its capital is Kingston even though Burnt Pine is the commercial hub of the island. On David's card we see one of the Norfolk Pines that Norfolk is famous for.


This card might indeed be the last card I receive from Norfolk Island with a true Norfolk Island stamp.Norfolk Island is set , at the end of June, to lose its status as a self dependent governing territory of Australia. On July 1st , Australia stamps will be the norm on the island. As a collector, that's a sad fact indeed. We always like to see new countries emerge, but we always hate to lose one.

David used 2 stamps, they look like they are from the same set, but they are from 2 different sets.  The stamp on the left was issued in 2014, 1 of 6 in a Coastlines set. This one shows Duncombe Bay on Norfolk Island. The right stamp is from 2013, again from a set of 6 Coastlines, showing Ball Bay on norfolk.




This next card from David gives us a look at Avatiu Harbour, on Rarotonga Island, the largest of the Cook Islands. It is located close to the capital of Avati. Avatiu is a  great place for tying up yachts.



The 3 stamps used on this card are celebrating 50 Years of Self Government. 4 Mini/sheets were issued containing 50 stamps to mark the occasion. The 3 stamps shown are Stamps on Stamps, a great topical collectable for many.




We see the island of Rarotonga on David's next card. The card is from a series called Postcards From Paradise and I think from looking at it, they didn't lie. It looks like Paradise to me.



The stamps on this one are from a 2011 set of 15 in a Tourism - Rarotonga Landscapes issue.



I think that's it for today. I know, I was supposed to show Aitutaki, Guernsey , France and Austria. They will be first up next time, for sure. Thanks for today's cards  go out to My Lovely Teena, Ana, and David.
Take care and I'll be back soon.