Archive for January, 2013

rich soil after snow / 雪が肥やす森

January 26, 2013


7 August 1990, Canada
Acadian Forest
Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Forest
design: Malcolm Waddell
leaves illustration: Jan Waddell
photograph: Sherman Hines

We have some sunshine finally!!  Patchy snow is seen on the ground and it will deliver rich minerals to the tree roots little by little.  I am amazed how little birds keep their feet warm during that snow – the birds’ chirping let us know that they have survived.

Two stamps are showing Canadian forests in winter and early spring, together with Beech and Eastern White Pine details.



covered with snow / 雪景色

January 20, 2013

15 January 1998, Finland
from Moomin
‘Too-ticky playing barrel organ and Littly My dancing’
illustration: Tove Jansson
design: Pirkko Vahtero

In the last post I featured self-adhesive stamps from 2011, because Nyoro Nyoro was on one of them – but I like conventional gum with perforated edges far better and this is my best favourite set from the Moomin stories.  They live in severe Northern weather and the Moomin Troll family is hibernating during the winter.

It has snowed all day today here and we are surrounded by a White world.  We went for a walk, enjoyed to leave foot steps in powdery 4 inches of snow, but at the same time I am bored by this dull colour of sky and badly dreaming that the warm sunshine arrives soon, and Moomins are coming out from their house.

‘Moomintroll dancing with the Snork Maiden’
‘Moominmamma making jam’
‘Moominpappa writing Play’



Nyoro Nyoro in Moominvalley / ムーミン谷のニョロニョロ

January 13, 2013


6 May 2011, Finland
illustration: Tove Jansson
design:  Satu Lusa

Nyoro Nyoro in Japan is the name of a creature in Tove Jansson‘s Moomin series – they are pictured on the third stamp, called Hattifattener in English translations.  They walk swayingly together and gather in mass numbers when a storm is arriving… then get electrified in a ceremonial manner!

These three stamps from ‘Hur gick det sen? (1952)’ are showing beverage/tea time in Moominvalley.  Oh no, not a drop left in a flask…



nyoro nyoro / にょろにょろ

January 7, 2013


11 March 2008, United Kingdom
St. Patrick‘ in a sheet of Celebrating Northern Ireland
illustration: Clare Melinsky / design: Silk Pearce

Kune kune is mostly for a single object swaying or winding.  When more than one object are together going kune kune – that is nyoro nyoro!!

The third stamp of this year is from the UK, showing St. Patrick – with three snakes nyoro-nyoro-ing behind columns!  In the legend, St. Patrick was attacked by snakes when he was doing his ’40 Day Fast’ and he chased them into the sea and banished all snakes from Ireland…  Well, modern research tells us different reasons why no snakes are found on the island.

「くねくね」している生き物が集まって一緒に動いている様子が「にょろにょろ」ー という定義をしてみました。そんな感じがしませんか?


kune kune / くねくね

January 6, 2013

5 February 1971, Germany
‘Children’s Drawings’

In the Japanese language there are a lot of onomatopoeia terms to express movement, condition and feel of a material or its surface.  Kune kune is one of them – it means a road is winding or something sways, as in this stamp depicting a snake!


year of the Snake / 祝・巳年

January 3, 2013

13 June 1964, Finland
General Assembly of World Medical Association
designer: O. Vepsäläinen
engraver: B. Ekholm

Happy New Year to everyone!

2013 is the year of the Snake.  As shown on this stamp, the snake ( or the serpent ) is the symbol of wisdom or medical care – the energy of life in ancient Inca and Indian worship, and the Greek and Roman herald’s wand of Caduceus.  Long, spiral and ‘kune-kune’ as we say in Japanese.  We have to learn from this animal, for endurance of life, avoiding obstacles in a smooth and quiet manner.