Here are two hedgehog postcards sent from opposite sides of the earth:
This card comes from a Postcrosser in China.
And these hedgehogs come from a private swap with Paivi in Finland. I love their pointy, pointy noses!
A Postcrosser from China was so nice and sent me two cards! The first one is a cute family of penguins:
I love the fluffy baby penguin!
And the extra card is to celebrate the 2014 Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse:
The stamps are very interesting and special, too:
There is a special stamp for the New Year.
And on the penguin card there are these two stamps showing tables! I would never have thought to put tables on a stamp, but they are pretty neat. Happy Lunar New Year!
I’ve added two new cards to my flag card collection: the flag of South Carolina and the flag of China.
This card comes from a Chinese Postcrosser. This flag has been the national flag of the People’s Republic of China since 1949.
This card comes from a private swap with Michael in South Carolina. The South Carolina flag shows a palmetto tree, which is the state tree. The flag doesn’t actually say “South Carolina” across the bottom, though. This design has been the state’s flag since 1861.
Do you have a favorite flag? I like my state of Oregon’s flag, because it is the only US state flag to have a different design on each side.
Here are four cards showing animals that I have recently received through Postcrossing. As a bonus, there are animals on the stamps, too!
First, there is this card from Russia, which shows the seals at Lake Baikal:
These seals are only found around the lake and nowhere else in the world.
This card comes from China and shows a really cute cat. The sender also drew a little winking Moomin on the back:
The next two cards are from Taiwan.
These cute rabbit noses came with a newly released stamp that is not cute at all:
This is an anglerfish, part of a series of fish stamps.
This card showing sheep comes from user hairpinmeg, who has an online museum of her antique hairpins. Some of them are very beautiful and unusual.
The stamps show some flowers and a cute Labrador retriever:
I have three new UNESCO places from China today, and one place that I am not sure if it is a UNESCO or not. First is one of the Fujian Tulou:
This is the Eryi tulou, of the Dadi tulou cluster at Zhangzhou City. This building was built in 1770. The tulou are a type of rural dwelling of the Hakka people. They are built like castles, but are ring shaped. They are made out of compacted earth and are built for defense. On this card you can see the gun holes at the top of the building along the roof, as well as the structure’s only outer door. These buildings typically housed many generations of a single family clan. This card was sent by shiny3 from China. Thanks!
Next is this card from Jiangxi province, sent by Hanna. It shows Mount Lushan, in Lushan National Park:
Lushan National Park has been on the UNESCO list since 1996. The highest peak is 1,474 meters above sea level. This card shows the Dragon Head Cliff. As well as being a beautiful landscape, Mount Lushan is actually inscribed for cultural criteria. It is the founding site of Pure Land Buddhism and was the home and inspiration of many Chinese poets.
The second card from Hanna is also a mountain, this one is Mount Huangshan in Anhui province.
Both Mount Lushan and Mount Huangshan are covered in clouds for more than 200 days of the year. Mount Huangshan is a combined cultural and natural site. It is a beautiful landscape and home to many endangered and rare species. It is also the inspiration for many poets and artists and the growing region for some unique teas.
Nearby, also in Anhui, is the village of Guanlu. I am not sure if this is included in the site Ancient Villages of Southern Anhui, or if it is only the nearby and very similar villages of Hongcun and Xidi.
This card comes from Kolly. The village dates back to the Ming and Qing dynasties. I’m learning so much about Chinese history from my postcard collecting!
Today I have three snowy, wintery cards. First I have this card of Lapland from krookus in Finland:
This card shows a reindeer. Reindeer are herded exclusively by the Sami people who live in the far north regions of Finland, Norway, Sweden, and some parts of Russia. Winter in Finland is certainly more intense than in Portland. Krookus writes that it was -16 degrees Celsius and a little snow.
The stamp shows a lantern in the snow- a light in the long, dark winter:
At the other end of the earth, there is this penguin, which was sent by fish on the cloud in China:
It’s now summer where the penguins are, but penguins seem so wintery to me. I wrapped all my Christmas presents in penguin wrapping paper this year.
Lastly I have this winter poem from New England, sent by Leslie E:
The Cape Cod style house shown here was designed specifically to withstand the extreme winters of New England. The low ceilings inside kept the rooms warm while the steep roof kept the plentiful snow from piling on top of the house. I used to live in a Cape Cod style house and they are in fact quite cozy. I hope all my readers are withstanding winter well!
Sometimes I get behind in posting cards. It’s not because I don’t appreciate them and enjoy having them in my collection, but I do sometimes think it hard to find something to write about them. So perhaps I just won’t say much about these cards. They’re both from Postcrossing users.
This first one came all the way back in April:
It comes from Jimmy in China and shows a stylized view of Pinjiang Road in Suzhou.
Then in August I received this Jetoy cat card from Ling in Taiwan:
Ling used her card to tell me about the fruits in Taiwan. Apparently guava is a popular fruit when dieting. I do not think I have ever had a guava. Here in the United States, grapefruit is a typical diet fruit, although if Americans ate more fruit in general, we might not need to diet so much.
Ling used some stamps that are new to me; one shows a dog and the other a beetle:
As you probably know if you’ve been reading a while, I really like animals and I love to get animal postcards. Here is a collection of animal cards that I’ve received lately.
Most recently, this frog-shaped card came from a Postcrosser in China. It’s obviously not a very accurate depiction of frogs, but it’s cute, isn’t it? The sender used some beautiful bird stamps and included a special stamp for the London Olympics:
Next are two dogs, the first from a Postcrosser in the Netherlands and the second from my mom:
Chantal sent this card, and she writes that she like French fries and macaroni. So do I!
The dog reading his (or her) calendar looks pretty stressed. That’s how I feel sometimes when I look at my calendar.
My mom used the printable postage from a kiosk for this card, and they are usually pretty boring, but this time it has a cute Mr. ZIP on it!
In case you don’t know, Mr. ZIP was the mascot of the ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) code system implemented in the 1960s. Mr ZIP was a friendly reminder to include the ZIP code on all mail to speed its processing and save the USPS some money.
Finally, there is a card from Juste in Lithuania showing the Western Capercaillie, or Tetrao urogallus.
This bird lives in Dzukija National Park and is known for its elaborate mating dances and rituals. Juste kept up the bird theme with a stamp showing the corn crake, Crex crex.
That is all for animals for today, although looking through my cards I see that I have so many more! Do you have a favorite animal, or at least one that you like to collect postcards of? I have quite the collection of penguins and foxes, but I also love dogs and cows!
I’ve received a lot of official Postcrossing cards from China (and Taiwan) recently.
Here’s the card from Taiwan, showing Sun Moon Lake. The sender says that this is a popular place for tourists and that there is very nice scenery there. I’ve never been to Taiwan, but this does look like a nice place to visit there if I ever go.
And the most recent card shows the Red Flag Watercourse, also in China. I don’t have a lot of information on this one, but it is a very interesting scene. When I try to search for more information about the place, all the results show this card!
The stamps on some of the cards appear to be from the same series. I really wish I could read other languages to find out what these stamps are all about! It looks like they may be from a series of elemental stamps, with these two representing Earth and Water. If you know anything about these cards or stamps, please let us know in the comments!
I love animals, so of course I love animals on postcards. Here are a handful of animal-centric cards I’ve received recently. First there was this wonderful card from a Postcrosser in France. It shows some beautiful horses in Brittany! I used to ride horses when I was a child. I should get in better shape so that I can take it up again, because I love riding and I love being around gorgeous horses! But riding can be really hard on the hips, and I’m not as flexible as I used to be (which is sad, it’s not as though I’m ancient!)
Here’s a real parade of animals, from Carolien in the Netherlands. This is probably one of my favorite Nouvelles cards (but how can I choose, they’re all so pretty!) It could only be beat by a multiples card that had all elephants.
Finally there is this panda trekking through the snow from nibazuodejia in China. As nibazuodejia notes on the card, pandas eat almost exclusively bamboo, even though they are a member of the order Carnivora, like all bears. I’m glad to have a panda card that doesn’t emphasize how cute and cuddly they are, since they are real animals and not teddy bears. Also, the stamps on this card are amazing: