Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sanctuary Asia : Nature Walk in Guindy Reserve : 30th Nov 2014

Thanks to the efforts of Sanctuary Asia, I had the opportunity to visit the Guindy Nature Park. We walked around 1.5 kms inside the reserve accompanied by guard and guides. We went as far as the ground where Black Bucks usually roam around. It is interesting to note that on Google Maps, the Black Bucks ground is marked as a "Polo Ground". Maybe it is used to play Polo occasionally?

Until early 1900s, this stretch of forest extended all the way till Tiruchirapalli. Hard to imagine that it is quite isolated now and the 8th largest National Park in India. Originally owned by a Britisher named Jeffries, it was used for game hunting and had almost 500 hectares of land. Post Jeffries death, it was sold to the Govt in 1910 to settle his debts. Subsequently, in 1947 it was established as a reserve. Currently 270.54 Hectares are demarcated as reserve and the rest is occupied by Raj Bhavan, IIT, Children's Park, Cancer Institute etc.

Today's walk was organized by Mr. Vinoj Matthew Philip with additional guidance from Mr. A.K.Sahay. Mr. Sahay has written a few books including : Glimpses from India's Natural World and
Green Tops of Goa. We were accompanied by Mr. Kanniappan, Mr. Parthasarathy - Park Staff and Ms. Kamala Devi (My School Teacher).

The native deer (Indian Black Buck) are not vastly outnumbered by the Spotted Deer. The only predator are the Jackals and they are also rapidly growing in number. Indian Black Buck is one of the fastest animals on land and prefers open pastures for grazing. While the Jackals are scavengers by nature, they do their own hunting in this park.

As with any nature reserve, there are snakes, though mostly non-venomous. The top 4 venomous snakes including the Cobra and Russells Viper are also found here.

You can see the Black Bucks romping around in the video below. The 'real black' ones are the male and the rest are females.

You can see Mr. Vinoj talking about misconceptions around snakes while standing near a termite hill.

Below, Mr. A K Sahay is explaining the reason for rapid climate change and how it is going to affect all of us. Towards the end, you can see some Black Bucks as well.

Since this is a blog on stamps (!), I am including an assorted set of stamps of India depicting animals and birds.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Project Tiger through Stamps

Last month, staff from Sanctuary Asia conducted a workshop in our school in order to spread awareness on saving tigers. To check whether we understood about their aim towards saving our wildlife they asked a few students to make a project on tigers. And the student with the best project will win a free 3 nights stay in a sanctuary in India!! As usual, I made my project through stamps. Let me see whether my hobby fetches me any luck.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Using Philately for School Projects..

I am happy to note that both my and my sister's teachers are encouraging use of stamps in our school projects.

You can see below, two recent projects that I have helped my sister with. Due to the large poster-sheets on which the projects need to be made, we cannot use 'real' stamps. Instead, only enlarged color printouts are used.

For "Agriculture through stamps", I have tried to show a few aspects of Agriculture using stamps from different countries.

For "Timeline", since I had already done a 14 sheet exhibit, we used some of those details to lay out the evolution of flight using stamps.

My sister and I would like to thank Mrs. Saraswati (Maths), Mrs. Jayashree (Social Studies) , Mrs. Savithri (Social Studies) and Mrs. A.N.Geeta (Science) for their encouragement.

SIPA Monthly Meeting Update: Nov-9th, 2014

Today's meeting kicked off with Mr. Hemachandra Rao highlighting a recent magazine issued by American Topical Association. He was pleasantly surprised to find that a write-up on Castles, it featured Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur in 2nd place right after Malbork Castle in Poland. While India has issued at-least two sets of stamps on Forts of India, the details presented in the magazine was impressive.

Another article in the magazine is written by a philatelist's wife, who observed a new theme of stamps featuring trains as a side-artifact (i.e. not as the main subject, but part of background and usually hard to locate). Some of stamps that Mr. Rao is interested in (ships) are shown with a steam train in the horizon!

Yours truly, Deepthi mentioned how use of stamps for doing school projects is increasing. Currently, I and my sister are working on "Agriculture through Stamps" and "Timeline".

Mr. Anil Kumar Reddy voiced his thoughts around scope for collecting definitives. Apart from being cheaper than commemoratives, the variety in re-issues (adhesive, paper, perforation, water-mark, color etc.) would be worthy of study.

Mr. Bhaskar, provided an update on upcoming exhibitions including Karnapex and other exhibitions at Tiruchi and Coimbatore.

Mr. Nelson, continuing on his alphabetical countries theme, covered Angola. Seems like there are 3 distinct periods: Portuguese, Independent (post 1975) and Republic (post 2002). In recent times, the stamps issued by Angola has increased significantly (relatively speaking).

He also talked about the recent issue on Anagarika Dharmapala by India Post (on 25th October 2014). There is not of concerns in vernacular magazines on suitability of issuing such a stamps, purportedly reciprocating a Swami Vivekananda stamp issued by Sri Lanka.

Mr. Venkatasubbu Ramakrishnan spoke on his efforts to consolidate all details of India issued stamps from 1947 on-wards and make it available as Excel files for easy search and cataloging personal collections.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

48th Independence Day: Singapore

Singapore, a former British Colony, is one of the four Asian Tigers or Asian Dragon (other tigers are Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong).  During World War II, the Japanese annexed Singapore from 1942 to 1945.  Once again in the year 1945 Singapore came under British control. In 1959 British Government granted Self-Government to Singapore.  In 1963 Singapore merged with Malaysian Federation. unfortunately this lasted only for 2 years. On 9th August 1965 Singapore become Independent country.

In 2013, Singapore celebrated its 48th Independence Day and Sing Post has issued the below special miniature sheet on this occasion.  

The paper on which it is printed is supposed to be 'phosphor coated' with hotstamping. Not sure what the shiny copper-like part is made of / how it makes this stamp unique. Anyone?
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