Ah! To Be A Bird!

I have received some great cards in the past 30 days.  Let’s start with this one:


Miniature from The Life of Anthony Siysky, 1648: Grand Duke Vasily III receiving envoys from Anthony Siysky

This card arrived on the very wet day before our recent typhoon and it took a battering. The damage adds to the charm of the card, though, and does make it look like an antique. The only downside was that part of the interesting message from M. from Yaroslavl, Russia got washed away. She explained that Yaroslavl is well-known for its art and has a long history.

Here are the stamps:


The one on the left is new to me and it shows the 19th century headdress of Yaroslavl. I love the color and design.


I am a big fan of the flora and fauna cards from Belarus and these storks brought back great memories the Natural History fieldwork I did in my teenage years.  I used to spend hours observing and photographing wildlife with my little point and shoot film camera.


This stamp is from the” Zoos in Belarus” series and features an animal I had never heard of.  It’s a European mouflon (a kind of wild sheep) and Wikipedia tells me that the mouflon is an ancestor of all modern breeds of domestic sheep.

And here is another fauna card, received on the same day:


Oh, the majesty of a bird in flight! It’s a black-tailed godwit, and it was chosen for me by U., who is from a little town called Beryoza.


All these bird cards make me really happy.  This photo is cleverly entitled Pecking Order.  Isn’t it great? It was sent by S. from Finland. She wrote that autumn has arrived there, bringing wind and rain and new autumn stamps.

2013_10_17_07_35_23This scene looks so tranquil.


This beautiful card was sent by J. from Colorado and it makes me want to visit that park.


J. from the Netherlands sent this card of plates from a traditional board used to teach children to read.  She writes that although they are probably no longer in use, they were part of her elementary education in the 1980s. Very interesting.


I collect recipe cards, but rarely receive them as official cards. Thanks to the very thoughtful S., a dance teacher who is also from Yaroslavl, I have a new one. I loved that S. wrote her message in French.


C. from Canada sent me this funny, but true card from Vancouver in an envelope along with a lovely magnet she made with a Jazz stamp.  I was really surprised and touched by her generosity and thoughtfulness. This card was reproduced from a stamp designed by Michael Woolf and issued by the Royal Mail in 1996. Her daughter happens to live in Japan too. Small world.


On the same day, I got this great map card also from Canada. The sender, J. from Ontario, used excellent stamps:


Uncannily, when I received this card, I was reading a book (The Deptford Trilogy) by Robertson Davies, the author pictured on the stamp on the left. I don’t know why, but the coincidence made me very content.


K. from the Netherlands sent this novel card with the words of the Dutch national anthem. I listened to it on YouTube while reading a translation. I was confused by the pledge of loyalty to the King of Spain so that got me reading about Dutch history and before I knew it, an hour had passed and I still hadn’t registered the card!

U. from Germany sent this pretty card of vineyards in southern Germany:


And L. from Brazil sent this amazing cashew tree from Pirangi:


Research tells me this tree is 177 years old and it covers nearly two acres!! Unlike other cashew trees, when the branches of this one touch the ground, they put down roots and the tree keeps spreading.

The stamps:


The stamps on the left are from the Brazilian Ethnography: “Albert Eckhout returns to Brazil 1644-2002″ series.   The stamp on the left is part of the “Power of the Portuguese Language” series, issued jointly by Brazil and Portugal.  An extract from the poem, Ser pássaro, (To Be A Bird) by João da Cruz e Sousa is printed on the stamp.

I have to admit, I didn’t really appreciate this card when I received it.  The sender didn’t write much or explain anything. But by doing a little hunting and writing about it, I’ve come to see just how special it is.

Here is another nice card from A. in St Petersburg, Russia:


It is my second card by this illustrator, Maria Galybina, and it is entitled Elements of Russia. I can see babushka, balalaika (the instrument), matryoshka, varezhki (mittens), valenki (booties), samovars, teapots and teacups.  What can you see?

I’d been wanting to get a Terho Peltoniemi card, and A. from Finland was kind enough to oblige.  I am not sure what I find so appealing about these cards. Maybe their homeliness,  hominess, and connection to another time?


Google translates this as “No sudden kiss towns!”.  I think I get the idea. The archipelago and mailbox stamps complement the card beautifully:


M. from Germany, who loves “to read outside, like in the garden or at the sea listening to the waves” offered this great card:


Sir William Orpen: Grace Reading at Howth Bay

Here are the cool stamps:

2013_10_17_07_35_40I like the flowers, of course, but I was particularly excited to get my second Janosch stamp.  Isn’t it cute?

Thanks to all the Postcrossers for teaching me so much and for making my days more pleasant.


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