Sunday, April 25, 2010

A quizz

I'm today starting a one week buisness trip and I have decided to publish a quizz. Can you guess where I'm flying to if I show you this stamp ? The answer in few days ;-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Frog stamp from North Cyprus

(Whaou two updates of my blog in one week… it seems that things are slowly improving and coming back to normal. More seriously I do hope I will be able to come back to an almost daily update and to recover the delay I have accumulated in managing my stamp collections).

Today I have chosen to write about my last acquisition for my frog stamps collection. This is a stamp issued by the North Cyprus Postal Administration (Turkish Cyprus) on the 14th of September 2009 in a set of two stamps related to animals.

The first thing to notice is the shape of the stamp, rather unusual. This is a first: this is the first triangular stamp picturing a frog. Well more precisely picturing a toad here, since the animal pictured on the stamp is a European Green Toad (Bufo viridis).
The European Green Toad is a pretty common toad that can be found in Europe, Asia and Northern Africa. Its back is scattered with spots that may vary from green to dark brown. It has sometimes some red spots too as shown on these stamps issued by East Germany and Poland, both in 1963.

As all toad species, it has glands behind its neck that secrete a toxin when it is threatened.

The set contains a second stamp picturing a Agama sellio, a lizard.

Here is a picture of the First Day Cover (sorry the scan is not very good) with a nice frog postmark!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A trip to New Zealand

At the beginning of March, I planned a business trip to USA to visit my team located in Chicago. When I arrived at Chicago airport I discovered (thak you Blakberry!) that I was asked to go straight away to New Zealand in order to help dealing with an urgent technical issue. I immediately organized my trip and the day after I was flying to Auckland and then Wellington, through Los Angeles! What an adventure you will say. This was my first time in New Zealand where I spent almost two weeks. I was very busy there, but as you can imagine I anyway took some time to visit a post office and to buy some stamps. More than stamps, I actually bought a very luxurious presentation pack of the most recent issue, a set of stamps issued on the 3rd of March 2010 and picturing ancient reptiles of New Zealand. As you will see both the presentation pack and its content are impressive (note that the price was impressive too…).

Let’s start by the cover (recto and verso) of the presentation pack.

The pack contains a souvenir sheet of the stamps in a self adhesive version.

As you can see the set contains five stamps. Each of them pictures a different ancient reptile.
From top to bottom and left to right, the species pictured are:
- Allosaurus, a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived 155 to 145 million years ago. Its name means “different lizard”. He was 8.5 meters in length, and sometimes 12 meters !
- Anhanguera, a genus of pterodactyloid pterosaur. Its name comes after a Brazilian town. He lived 125 to 100 million years ago
- Titanosaurus a genus of sauropod dinosaur measuring 9-12m in length
- Moanasaurus, that lived 65 million years ago
- Mauisaurus, aenus of plesiosaur that lived 65 million years ago . It is the only one in the series that is endemic to New Zealand. It was already pictured on stamps in 1993 with other dinosaurs

The pack also contains a standard version of the stamps and the FDC.

Among other goodies, the pack contains a sheet of sticker picturing the animals.

Of course I took this opportunity to send a mail to myself using this very nice set of stamps, here it is.
Note the interesting postmark “Priority mail” which is quite different from a standard postmark.

At the end I have a very nice postal souvenir of this unexpected business trip. And a very nice set of stamps that would please all collectors of dinosaurs on stamps!