Bitter Grounds Magazine

stamps, espresso & conversation

Wherein the author of this blog drinks too much espresso & rambles on a bit about stamps.

Catpaw Contemplating the stamp world
Of cats & oxen & postage stamps

Of cats & oxen & postage stamps

So just what do cats & oxen & postage stamps have in common?  Why the Lunar New Year, of course. Year of the Ox stamps just keep on giving. Each time I do a sweep of  2021, it seems like I find a few more late releases. Right on cue, I found 5 more.  Late...

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Canada’s 2021 fall stamps

Canada’s 2021 fall stamps

Canada's 2021 fall stamps are going to keep some of us hopping. Four sets will be released in September alone. The first issues will  include a rarely seen semi-postal. A stamp a week will arrive, starting on the 8th with a mystery - it's simply listed as "A Novel...

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Random articles from the archives

French Antartica Giant Octopus stamps

So, you like cephalopods – an octopus stamp

In honour of octopuses around the world – I give you the best octopus stamp … ever. With a bonus squid thrown in.  I've been saving this beauty for a special occasion. It's a work of art, plus it's about octopus. GIANT octopus. What a topic. The special occasion...
Chapas fdc with souvenir sheet2

Macau’s Chapas Sínicas stamps WIN!

Macau's Chapas Sínicas stamps received high honours this year from the German Design Council. Each year the GDC issue awards in a number of categories ranging from architecture to documents. It's an fascinating competition to watch because of the diverse topics...
Auction May 20th 2018

Newest Talman auction May 20th

I have a soft spot for John Talman auctions. Any time I've visited his offices in the past, John Talman has been a fountain of amazing information. He loves to share his encyclopedic knowledge of stamps and is fun to listen to. An auction is slated for May 20th and...

Belgium stamps 2021 – exceptional designs

Belgium stamps 2021 - time to look at them. The upcoming year is filled with some of the best designs I've seen to date. I'm wowed by both the artwork and interesting features tucked into some of the issues.  Topics for the 2021-year cover: Art and artists, including...
North Borneo Map 1888 The Map House, London Public Domain

1894 North Borneo state stamps – where I torture a bit of history & show a few stamps

Ready for a history lesson about North Borneo state stamps? Buckle up, this one gets confusing at times. Some of the world’s beautiful stamps came from the State of North Borneo. The little parcel of land (abt 31,106 sq.m) was given as a gift, leased, abandoned,...
Manta Rays

Cocos (Keeling) Islands 2021 stamps

Cocos (Keeling) Islands is a small archipelago in Australian territory. Australia Post issues stamps for the island so the designs should look familiar.  Cocos Islands issues one to two stamps per year, so we might see another one by fall.     Cocos (Keeling)...
Front page from Alcock and Brown's Atlantic crossing

Alcock and Brown’s flight – 1919’s amazing feat

This is a reworked article about Alcock and Brown's flight across the Atlantic, originally published in 2008. I've updated and improved the information, added links and posted some new images. Alcock and Brown fly into history One of my great passions is early...
Golden Age - Danish history of innovation and work 1800-1850 old train engine

Danish stamps for 2021 – now I’m hungry

There is so much to unpack when looking at Danish stamps for 2021. This year, well, they just make me hungry. Very, very hungry.  January started the collecting year off with a delicious 5 stamp set of cakes. If you are a food on stamps collector, don't miss the...
Tokyo Olympic Stamps 2020

Tokyo Olympics stamps for 2020/21

Tokyo Olympics stamps were scattered over a 2 year period, thanks to the pandemic postponement. The Olympics are alternately labeled 2020 and 2021. For clarity, I tried to use 2020 throughout this article. In about 40 years, I'll bet there will be mild confusion among...
Qatar 2021 stamps

Qatar’s 2021 stamps – footie, & more footie

If you're a football fan, Qatar's 2021 stamps are made to order. They will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the Qatar Post's offerings reflect this. As of July, 3 stamp sets have been released with 2 dedicated to football. I expect next year will be all about the...
Photo of new Canadian cannabis tax stamp

Collecting Canada’s new cannabis revenue stamp

Revenue collectors have a new stamp to look for with the Canadian cannabis revenue stamp. The moment the Canadian government legalised marijuana, I knew there would be a stamp to collect. Keep your eyes open for the cannabis revenue stamp that is affixed to all...
Scan of 2 Japanese postal cancels showing Moomins

Calling all Moomins! 2021 will be a great Moomin New Year

Calling all Moomins and their fans. Japan Post will issue 2 souvenir sheets and 2 separate cancels in 2021 featuring the much-loved Moomin family. That's a total of 20 Moomin stamps to look for. The cancels alone will make this set worthy of hunting. If you are...
Athabasca Sand Dunes Provincial Park, SK

Breathtaking beauty – Canadian post cards 2020

Did you know Canada Post releases pre-stamped Canadian post cards every year? The 3rd in the From Far and Wide series that started in 2018 offered up quintessentially Canadian vistas from across the country. 2020 saw postcards, single stamps, souvenir sheets,...
What's in the tin? UK stamps

Scotland’s Experimental Postage Packet

I’ve been sorting through random boxes, clearing stuff I’ve been hanging onto for no particular reason. You know the boxes, they go from move to move, apartment to apartment because you can’t bring yourself to make a decision. Nested deep in one of the boxes was a...
Estonian stamps 2021 100th anniversary of the Estonian Ornithological society i stamps

Lighthouse leads Estonian stamps 2021 Eesti margid

Eesti Post has released subjects and dates for the Estonian stamps 2021. No advanced images are available, which is shame because a few look interesting. Photos and designer information will be posted as the info is released. Estonian stamp collectors can look forward...
Cork issue

The magnificent 2007 cork stamp Portugal

Have you seen the 2007 cork stamp? Cork can be made into everything from bottle stoppers to shoes and stamps. Here's the short tale of cork.  Quercus suber - the amazing cork tree Cork comes from the Quercus suber, also called cork oaks by we mere mortals. Cool...
Neagoe Basarab single stamp

Romania 2021 stamp issues

Time to look at Romania 2021 stamp issues. And if there's one thing Romania does well, it's art stamps. They have a long history of issuing great works of art on stamps and it's so exciting to see Romanian artists showcased. That's one thing I love about stamps, it's...
Scan of Canada 2021 Lunar New Year Stamps showing 12 years worth of stamps

It’s a wrap! Canada’s 2021 Lunar New Year Stamps

Canada's 2021 Lunar New Year stamps will wrap up the New Year's series that started in 2009. This last issue in the cycle goes on sale January 15, 2021 and is available for pre-sale orders now at Canada Post's online store Latest stamps | New in store | Canada Post....
Official Canada Post Logo

Canada’s 2021 fall stamps

Canada's 2021 fall stamps are going to keep some of us hopping. Four sets will be released in September alone. The first issues will  include a rarely seen semi-postal. A stamp a week will arrive, starting on the 8th with a mystery - it's simply listed as "A Novel...
A second stamp cancel from the village of Love, Sask.

Valentine’s Day cancels – 53°29′9.44″N 104°10′2.94″W

Nothing says romance and love like Valentine’s Day, right? Unless you’re a stamp collector. Then Love can be found in Saskatchewan, Canada. That's about 260 km north east of Saskatoon.  The village of Love, all 12 or so streets of it, is a former railway stop named...
Eatons Booklet Insert of delivery truck

Before drones – delightful oat driven parcel post mail

Parcel post mail is still here, despite constant chatter about replacing it with drones. Forecasters see the skies filled with drones dropping off orders.  Back in the heyday of the big super malls, people crowed home delivery was dead, there's no need for it. Just...
Europa 2021 stamp Cypriot bee stamp

Republic of Cyprus stamps 2021

Republic of Cyprus stamps 2021 offer a few interesting items.  There are a couple of nice aviation related stamps, a bit of Greek history and of course, this year's Europa issues. Cyprus is a maddening country to work with. While the stamps are interesting, details...
200 Yrs of Press Freedom Portuguese stamps 2021 FDC

2021 Portuguese stamps & some coins

2021 Portuguese stamps presented a bit of a struggle, designer-wise. I'm still searching for details on the stamp designers listed below and at best, I've found a few basic links, but nothing worth posting. For some reason, most of the links I found were dead or out...
Craven Arms Postmark showing Enterprise

Cancel hounds Thurs, to boldly go!

Cancel hounds rejoice! You have a wonderful year ahead of you. I'll be exploring new cancels throughout the year with this new series - Cancel Hounds Alert. Oh dear, not a very original title, but I'm tired. If you have a better idea, drop it in the comments. The last...
Greenland Europa 2020

Fantastic EUROPA 2020 – Old Postal Routes

The EUROPA 2020 - Old Postal Routes competition produced a spectacular thematic year. The only thing that could have made it more exciting would be changing it to "Early Airmail Routes".  Although Europa stamps date to 1952, the competition didn't start until 2002....

 

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