Thursday, 21 September 2017

1992 Camellias

        It is little wonder that camellias are amongst the most popular plants to be found in New Zealand gardens. Superb, long-lasting flowers in a profusion of form and colour, from white through to red and every imaginable shade and combination between, are borne on an easily grown, shrub-like evergreen with thick glossy leaves. In addition, camellias bloom over a lengthy period in autumn and winter when other flowers are scarce. Some hybrids even flower into summer.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

1992 Navigators

        The Navigators issue recognised the voyages of Abel Tasman and Christopher Columbus, two of history's foremost explorers and navigators. The issue marked the 350th anniversary of the sighting of New Zealand by Tasman and the 500th anniversary of Columbus' sighting of the Americas. Although 150 years apart, the two landmark oceanic expeditions have much in common:

        Both explorers set out in small wooden boats, using unreliable methods of navigation in search of new lands and new trading partners. Overcrowded and unhygienic conditions, long monotonous months at sea, poor diets and harsh punishments made life a mental and physical ordeal for Tasman's and Columbus' crews alike. Most interestingly both men misconstrued their own discoveries. When Columbus first sighted the Bahamas in 1492, he thought he had reached China, while in 1642 Tasman wrongly identified the west coast of New Zealand as part of the unknown southern continent.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

2017 Ross Dependency - Historic Huts.

Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton have had their names and their achievements forever immortalised in history. The heroic feats of both of these men helped to pave the way for future exploration and study of the icy continent in the Geographic South Pole. The huts left behind from their various explorations have now been taken into the care of the Antarctic Heritage Trust. A plan was made to restore and conserve the individual huts, each one needed weatherproofing and repairs of some sort. Terra Nova, the largest of the three huts took seven years to be fully repaired, and all of its 11,000 artefacts conserved.

Friday, 8 September 2017

2010 Ross Dependency - Whales of the Southern Ocean.

I like whales, watching them on TV, seeing how beautiful, almost graceful as they move through the water. It is hard to imagine that creatures that large could move like that. Once, during one of our regular trips to visit family in the South Island, we did a whale watching boat trip. This was from Kaikoura, before the earthquakes when whale watching was a big tourist attraction. I was surprised how many we saw and how they allowed the tourist boat to venture so close. Watching these large animals as they slowly moved was the highlight of that trip.

         'Whales' is the name given to the group of carnivorous marine mammals that spend their entire lives in the sea (or sometimes rivers). There are two groups of modern whale: the filter-feeding baleen whales, and the echo-locating toothed whales.
         Three families of baleen whale are represented in the Southern Ocean (rorqual, right whale and pygmy right whale), and five families of toothed whale (sperm whale, diminutive sperm whale, beaked whale, dolphin and porpoise).  These fascinating mammals are the focus of the Ross Dependency 2010 stamp issue. Consisting of five large stamps (50mm x 30mm) and a range of collectable stamp products, it’s an issue that’s sure to impress.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

2007 50th Anniversary Scott Base.

       Officially opened on 20 January 1957, Scott Base is New Zealand’s permanent research support station in Antarctica. It was originally designed to last just a year or two, but its enormous value as a centre for scientific research has seen it grow and flourish.

The five stamps.

Monday, 4 September 2017

1990 New Zealand World Stamp Exhibition Native Orchids

        Orchids are usually associated with the steamy heat of the tropics or the rarefied atmosphere of the professional's greenhouse, but these flowers are different. These are some of New Zealand's own native orchids. Blooming mostly in the summer months, native orchids make themselves known to the watchful field or bush walker in any of New Zealand's islands.
       The miniature sheet was issued in April 1990 in support of the New Zealand 1990 World Stamp Exhibition held in Auckland.
       An imperforate version of approx 12,000 sheets was also produced only being able to be purchased with tickets to the Stamp Exhibition - the official day of issue of this version of the sheet was 23 July 1990.

Exhibition Miniature Sheet with four 40 cents and one 80 cent stamp (Surcharged to support exhibition) New Zealand 1990 World Stamp Exhibition Auckland.
The Miniature Sheet features: 40c - Thelymitra pulchella (sun orchid); 40c - Corybas macranthus (spider orchid); 
40c - Dendrobium cunninghamii (winika orchid); 40c - Pterostylis banksii (greenhood orchid); 
80c - Aporostylis bifolia (odd-leaved orchid).