Sunday 22 February 2015

Lunar New Year - Sheep; Sunday Stamps II

Canada has issued two stamps to mark the Lunar New Year.

Canada - Year of the Ram 2015
The domestic stamp shows three rams welcoming spring. Hopefully someone else will be able to show us that.

The Merino is a famous breed of sheep and it appears on stamps from - 

South Africa - 1972

Australia - Poll Dorset and the Merino 1989
These were two of a set of four issued to commemorate the World Sheep and Wool Congress held in Tasmania that year.

I have had some close encounters with sheep - well their fleeces at least. In school summer holidays I had the pleasure of baling fleeces at a Central Wool Growers plant where fleeces were graded according to the quality of their wool. My hand have never ever been as soft since then - thanks to all the lanolin they contained.

I'll draw a line under the effect of baling dags - the clippings from sheep's behinds.

There have been some articles in the UK newspapers this week on whether this should be the year of the sheep, or as they are too meek, the year of the goat instead. I don't think I would argue with a Merino ram.

But just in case here's a - 

Goat from Norway - 1981
There's no need to be sheepish when you can see more at Sunday-stamps-ii-10. and where I've just discovered both the Canadian stamps and more about goats.

Thursday 19 February 2015

True Lovers' Walk - Good Fences 48

The River Tees runs through the town of Yarm in North East England. It's about a three mile walk from where I live.

River Tees at Yarm
The Teesside Princess uses this quay for boat trips up and down the river between Yarm and Stockton-on-Tees.

The red fence extends part of the way along the river bank.

The footpath continues alongside the wall on the left leading to True Lover's Walk and Yarm Bridge (in the background above).

Yarm Bridge (in front) - Yarm Viaduct (behind)
There is a fence in that photo but you need exceptional eyesight to see it.

Hard to miss this one on the raised path.
If we take a closer look the fence on the viaduct is easy to see.

Yarm Bridge and Viaduct
The original stone bridge was built c1400 by Bishop Skirlaw of Durham and for 400 years was the only bridge across the Tees connecting Yorkshire and Durham. Parts of the original can still be seen in the wider modern day bridge which carries road traffic over the Tees

Yarm, the Viaduct and the Bridge
The viaduct was built in 1849; it has 43 arches, contains 7 million bricks and carries the railway over the town and the Tees. Our fence must skirt its entire length.

True Lovers' Walk continues upstream under the viaduct with the flood defence gates to properties on the left.

I shall have to continue along the path on another day to see what other 

I can find.

In the meantime I'm off to check out other fence posts at Teresa's Good-Fences-48.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

White for winter - Thematic Photography

We have had two (on separate days) big (all of half an inch) snowfalls this winter. Just deep enough for me to use a snow shovel but not scenic enough for a photograph.

I'll just have to settle for shots from the last two years.

Scout wonders what to do in the Michigan snow.
Where's that ball?
Lily thinks it's whiter on the other side of the fence
You go that way, I'll go this
But what they really want is for the snow to go away.

But the white in our garden at this time of year is a different kind of snow....

These have been in flower since the middle of January - what's an half-inch of snow to them!

For other white winter wonderlands wander across to Carmi's thematic-photographic-326.

Sunday 15 February 2015

Roses for Valentines - Sunday Stamps II

I just had to pick roses for the Valentine theme this week as these where the only 'related' items I had in my collection.

On 30 June 1976  a set was issued to commemorate the centenary of the Royal National Rose Society.

Great Britain - Elizabeth of Glamis
Named in honour of the late Queen Mother it was the first rose to be granted copyright protection in Britain.

Great Britain - Rosa Mundi
Rosa Mundi was first described in 1583. Sir Thomas Hanmer's Garden Book (1659) says it was originally found in Norfolk.

An earlier legend says that it was named after Rosamund Clifford, the mistress of Henry II (1154 - 1189)

In the last two weeks I have been given an envelope that originated in New Zealand. I'll show this later but for now the roses it contained will suffice.

New Zealand - Roses
These are Super Star, Cresset and Michelle Meilland. I believe Michelle Meilland must be related to the French grower Francis Meilland who bred the rose in 1945.

Now all I have to do is to wait for the roses in our garden to bloom again this year.

For other Valentine specials check out the links at Sunday-stamps-ii-9.

Thursday 12 February 2015

Twenty years of a garden fence - Good Fences 47

Our garden fence has appeared on many photos in the last 20 years or so.

Interwoven with wooden posts c.1992
Back then it even had an old greenhouse to keep it company.

But time and wind and weather put paid to both.

Concrete posts replaced the wood

When a new neighbour arrived he changed the fence. Out went the interwoven to be replaced by

Wooden planks with a curved top and a concrete slab bottom

Who owns the fence?

Robin - of course.
This has been a 

post linked to Teresa at Good-fences-47.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Rubbery - Thematic Photography

My legs went all rubbery at the thought of possibly having to explain the difference between a rubber and an eraser. However as I had neither to photograph I could not include them in Carmi's 'Rubbery' theme this week.

I managed to come up with a toy or two.

Or is it three?
There is a difference, apart from colour, between the three.

Yellow looks down on them; Red knows his place
A carpet isn't where you usually find them so perhaps this will give you a clue.

The Driver's point of view
Sometimes when you take shots like that you don't see what is before your eye(s).

Rubber viewfinder
If one isn't enough perhaps you need two to find that distant theme.

One for each eye
Before you set the zoom.

If you are not prepared to get your hands dirty then try - 

A pair of rubber gloves
Just grab a pair with both hands

Rubber balls
Set your mind at rest 

Just de-stress -

And get a grip.

Don't cheat
Have one in each hand and squeeze while you find more rubbery delights at Carmi's thematic-photographic-325.

Sunday 8 February 2015

British Ships - Sunday Stamps II

Violet's theme this week of '' enables me to show a favourite set including some ships that were/are world famous.

Great Britain - British Ships,  15 January 1969
Did you know that the Cutty Sark has a figurehead of a witch's hand holding the tail of a horse? 

This is derived from the Robert Burns poem Tam O'Shanter  where Tam is chased by a witch wearing a short shirt (a cutty sark). Witches cannot cross running water and as Tam rode over the Brig of Doon the witch pulled off the horse's tail and was left with it in her hand as Tam and his horse Meg escaped.

If you don't believe me you can always visit the restored Clipper Ship at Greenwich to see for yourself.

These 9d stamps were arranged in horizontal strips of three across the page.

The 1/- stamps below were in horizontal strips of two.

Great Britain - British Ships
You may visit Isambard Kingdom Brunel's famous steamship the SS Great Britain in Bristol's Great Western Dockyard; the place where it was built - and restored  for us to marvel at.

The SS Mauretania was a Cunard Line ocean liner, launched in 1906, which held the Blue Riband for the fastest Atlantic crossing for 20 years from 1909.

For other maritime stamps cross over to Sunday-stamps-ii-8.

Thursday 5 February 2015

Outside Looking In - Good Fences 46

"Stone walls do not a prison make,
nor iron bars a cage; ..."

(Richard Lovelace - To Althea, From Prison - 1649)

Earlier in Good Fences I showed a metal fence beside a road and said that it belonged to a prison. 

Here it is again.

Prison Service
Property Trespassers
Strictly Forbidden
Despite that warning notice there is a public footpath through the woods.

Jo commented earlier that the fence did not seem adequate to keep the prisoners in.

Further along however you can see how it's done.

Fences within the metal fence
From the outside looking in
You would need to be a pole vault champion to avoid being inside looking out.

This is a post linked with Good-fences-46.

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Edible - Thematic Photography

Although it's cold enough for a winter coat and there is a dusting of snow, thank goodness for something edible.

The grass not the horse!
"Nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass kept finely shorn."  - Francis Bacon (what an edible name!)

However I like to raid

The fruit bowl
even if somebody has beaten me to it.

It must have been someone needing the zest for life.

I'll just have to make do with bread and jam.

Lunch plate
I'm sure it's not a case of sour grapes.

For more edible favourites stroll over to Carmi at Thematic-photographic-324.