Thursday, September 16, 2010

First cover from Ecuador and new frog stamps

I’m happy to share with my first cover received from Ecuador. I received it recently from a seller on Ebay where I bought some new stamps that I will also share with you.
But let’s start first by the cover.

This is a registered cover from the city of Guayaquil. The large stamp is part of a joint issue between Ecuador and Venezuela picturing a portrait of Manuela Saenz. The stamp from Ecuador has been issued on the 24th of May 2010.
Doña Manuela Saenz (1797-1856) was a revolutionary hero of South America, who became the mistress of the well know Simon Bolivar. Here role was generally overlooked until the twentieth century. On the 5th of July 2010 she was given a full state burial in Venezula. The joint issue between Ecuador and Venezuela has been issued to celebrate this event.
The stamp from Venezuela reuses the same design than the one from Ecuador, which is in fact a portrait of Manuela Saenz painted by Salome Lalama entitled Buena y bella Manuela.
Here is a sheet of the stamp from Venezuela.

What is not very visible on the scan of the cover is that the portrait is surrounded by a golden border.

The second stamp is part of a set of eight stamps issued on the 28th of April 2009 celebrating the diversity of Ecuadro. Each stamp pictures a different province of the country. The stamp on the cover is dedicated to the province of Esmeraldas where is located the city bearing the same name, Esmeraldas, the major seaport of northwestern Ecuador.

What is to be noticed on the cover is the postmark that I found very interesting as it is bicolor. Here is a picture of the full postmark that was also present on the other side of the cover. I guess that this postmark is one used in a philatelic office.

As I said in the beginning, the cover was sent by an Ebay seller who used it to send me stamps that I bought. Here is the se-tenant band of three stamps that I bought.

The set has been issued on the 1st of July 2010 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the province of Tungurahua. This province gets its name from a volcano located in the Cordillera Central of Ecuador. The volcanic activity of this volcano has restarted in 1999 and is on going so far, with major eruptions in August 2006, February 2008 and May 2010. The Tungurahua volcano is also known as the black giant.

The stamp on the left pictures a species of toad which is endemic to this region of the world, Athelopus ignescens. Yes, you understood that this is the reason why I bought this set!
The second stamp pictures the volcano and the surrounding national park named Parque de la Familia (the family park).
The last stamp pictures a museum located in this area, the Casa del portal.

Here is the FDC of this set that I also got from Ebay. A nice postmark picturing a volcano is used on it.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The metamorphosis of a frog

When I was a kid at school, I remember that the science teacher explained us the life cycle of a frog and how it evolves from an egg to an adult frog. At this time I did not have any special interest in frogs or toads.
When I started collecting stamps about frogs I wondered is the various steps of a frog metamorphosis would be somehow pictured on stamps. As you will see this is rarely the case. But I found recently a set of six cancellations from South Korea illustrating the complete life cycle. I could not find any detailed information about these cancellations and in which context they were used but I think they are really impressive. If you have any information about them I would be very happy to hear from you.

The life of frog starts with an egg. Females can lay several thousands of eggs, usually in the water. Frogs lay eggs in masses while toads usually lay eggs in long chains. The eggs are fertilized by the male.

After a short time life starts when the central yolk splits in two, then four, then eight… After a period between 6 and 20 days the eggs hatches and a tadpole is born. At this time a tadpole is made of gills, mouth and a tail.

After several weeks (6 to 9) legs start to sprout and grow.

By 12 weeks the tadpole has evolved into a froglet, a small version of the frog with a tail

By 16 weeks the frog leaves the water to start its new life of adult.

Frog eggs are very seldom on stamps. I know only two stamps picturing frog eggs.
The first one is a 1975 stamp from Spain picturing an Alytes obstecticans.

The particularity of this frog species is that the male sticks the eggs on its legs (as shown on the stamp) and keeps them form several days like that, putting them in water once a day.

The second stamp is one from Netherlands issued in 1976 that pictures a European green frog (formerly known as Rana esculenta and now known as Pelophylax kl. esculentus) surrounded by eggs.

As far as tadpoles are concerned I know only this stamp from China issued in 1980 and picturing the painting “Tadpoles in a stream” from the Chinese painter Qi Baishi.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

My new blog

Sorry to have been so silent these last days but I have been busy gathering stamps for my new collection about cows on stamps! I have also started a new blog to share this collection. You can see it at :
I will be very soon back on this blog to share with you other philatelic items. I have lots of items to scan and to prepare for publication... Stay tuned.