Sunday, 9 November 2014

Berry Nice

2005: Cloudberries
If I hear the words Lingonberries or Cloudberries it conjurers up an image in my mind of Scandinavians sitting down together outdoors to eat the spoils of the wild, I suppose there would have to be roll mops on the menu and of course potatoes with dill, or perhaps I have watched too many Scandi dramas.  The stamps, or more accurately frama labels, were from a series on berries but I only have the cloudberry, a plant that grows in bogs and marshes and can tolerate extreme cold and despite its demand in Scandinavia is still primarily a wild plant.  The artist is Emilie Hage who also produced the theme that followed the berries, that of garden flowers.
2014: "Amongst Berries and Leaves"

     Staying in Scandinavia is a pretty set issued this year by Sweden which in fact only plopped through my door on Friday, oh happy day.  The artist, Jesús Verona (originally from Madrid but living in Stockholm) picked berries, flowers and leaves in gardens and forests and built a composite picture.  He has included some elements to surprise the viewer, a few porcelain mushrooms on a branch and small balloon berries plus a little balloon bird. The text is deliberately positioned at different angles so the user can rotate the stamp and place it anyway they like. I imagine the Swedish Mail Art fraternity will have fun with these.
Humans are not the only lovers of berries and they appear on some on the long running Birds definitive stamps of Belgium.  The nuthatch is from one of the first series of 1985, all illustrated by André Buzin.  They are so loved that there is even a special website dedicated to them - De Vogels van Buzin.
Fieldfare (from the 3rd series)
The fieldfare journeys from Scandinavia in search of warmer winter weather and the flocks start arriving in October, hawthorn hedges with berries are a particular favourite with them.
1995: Christmas Robins
The bird that always has a place in our hearts and stays all year long and who will brighten up any winter day is here portrayed by the wildlife artist Kenneth Lilly (1929-1996).  I am slightly amused by the fact that the only word of the cancel I can read is 'cheap', perhaps it should say cheep.  Ken Lilly specialised in portraying birds but he was a prolific illustrator and is famous for his contribution to the children's Look and Learn magazine which was published from 1962 to 1982 and  I remember mostly for its use of vivid colours.  Holly berries shine red amongst the glistening green leaves on a winters day when I wonder how it is possible that fragile birds survive the cold so don't forget to feed them,  for who knows an angel may come to your table.  
1985: Christmas Angels
An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme - Fruits of the Forest, nuts and berries here


Postcardy said...

I had never heard of cloudberries until I saw them on a Swedish stamp. I looked them up and found that they also grow in other places including the northern U.S.

Bob Scotney said...

I can vouch for the delicious tast of cloudberries from my time in Norway. Your Belgian bird is a Bullfinch not a Nuthatch.

viridian said...

I don't think I've had cloud berries. Maybe in the future! thank you for joining in.

VioletSky said...

A friend of mine from Newfoundland brought back some cloudberry jam for me a few years back - loved it. I think Ikea carried it for awhile, too.

The Swedish berries and leaves set would be so much fun to have on postcards.

Heleen said...

Cloudberries are new to me, too.
A wonderful collection!
Thank you for explaining about the stamps!
And great to see the combination of birds and berries. I love birds a lot. And didn't know Buzin (although I have some Belgian stamps, of which I now learned who the illustrator is :-) Thank you also for the link to the website 'The Birds of Buzin', it's a joy to see the variety of Buzin stamps collected!

Mail Adventures said...

I didn't know the name of "cloudberries"; it's so wonderful! I also like the stamps with the birds.