Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Meteorological phenomena

I have received last week this very impressive and colourful registered cover from Poland. Thank you very much Andrzej !

The cover is franked with the top of a sheet, as you can see from the margin attached. The set of four stamps has been issued on the 25th of April 2008 and is dedicated to meteorological phenomena, a very relevant subject these days, unfortunately, when we see what happened in some part of the world. Four meteorological phenomena are pictured on this set :
- Sand blizzard : the sand being carried up high above the ground level by the strong, hot wind. A phenomenon that can be very dangerous for population leaving in desert areas.
- Lightning : an electric arc that occurs because of the charge difference between the cloud and the earth or between two separate clouds.
- Rainbow : an arch of the diffracted sunlight. It emerges in the result of refraction, diffraction and the total internal reflection of solar rays in the small raindrops in the atmosphere. It is visible only if the Sun shines from behind of the observer and is sufficiently low (less than 40 degrees) above the horizon.
- Tornado : a great funnel shaped whirl of air and liquefied water vapour, reaching up to the clouds. It rotates with enormous speed and creates giant difference of pressure inside. If it touches the earth, it destroys everything on its way.
What is very striking in this set is the very vivid colours used on the stamps and the strong contrast between the picture of the stamps and the black border. Another thing to note is that on each stamp, above the main picture you can see three small pictures that are in fact picturing the three other stamps of the set ! This is a funny idea.
And I don’t resist to the pleasure to show you the FDC of this set (that I took from Polish post website). Look at the nice tornado shaped postmark !

The other stamp of the cover if part of a long time running series about Polish cities. This stamp was issued on the 29th of July 2005 and is dedicated to the city of Sieradz, located in the centre of Poland and considered as one of the oldest Polish cities. The oldest source that mentions the name of the city dates back to 1136 ! The stamp pictures the façade of the All Saints Collegiate Church, that is considered as one of the most historical monument of Sieradz. The wooden shrine is from the 11th century, but the church itself has been rebuilt in the 17th century after it was burnt by the Teutonic knights.

One last word to highlight the very clean postmark. This becomes so rare that it is worth mentioning !

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