|1961: 2nd Manned Space Flight|
Gherman Titov was the first person to take a photograph of Earth from space but I can't find any quotes from him about his experience of seeing this fragile blue planet floating in space but then he was suffering from space sickness for a great deal of his day in space. He did write on his photograph
so maybe that is just as good. Famously he did say or, I imagine, shout with the excitement of someone just one month short of his 25th birthday "I am eagle, I am eagle"
|Crested Serpent Eagle (1996: Birds of Prey)|
But lets gently swoop lower down upon Earth and
another Russian stamp which was issued for the UNESCO "Man and Biosphere Programme"
in 1986. This is an intergovernmental program aiming to "set a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environment globally"
which was launched early in the 1970s. How to create sustainable developmental solutions for biodiversity loss in the world is a great conundrum and UNESCO has introduced programmes to address this for the various types of eco-systems across the world. One initiative is the concept of a world network of biosphere reserves with international protection, one of which is the German
|2004: Wattenmeer National Park|
Wattenmeer or as we know it in English, the Wadden Sea. This is an intertidal zone and wetland of the southern North Sea, parts of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage list. I live by an intertidal bay, it is an endlessly fascinating environment which changes from day to day yet remains the same mysterious and beautiful expanse.
|1989: Nature Conservation|
Next journey north to the Arctic, I always like stamps with an attached label and even better this one has a map. The theme is the preservation of the Arctic which since this stamp was issued has been put under more threat both to its pristine nature and its inhabitants
who find the ice melting beneath them. This atmospheric stamp shows polar bears making their way across the ice floes. The polar bear is the largest land carnivore
|1987: Polar Bears|
so I suppose its preferred snack, the seal, may not take the same view of ice melting as it escapes into the water
1978: Antarctic Fauna
Although this one is laughing because it lives at the other pole. I'm sure I've got a stamp with one of the many varieties of beautiful seal species living in the Arctic but it is appearing as elusive as one hiding from a polar bear. The stamp shown is the Southern Elephant Seal, the larger, bigger nosed cousin of the Northern Elephant Seal. They nearly became extinct in the 19th Century through hunting and after a recovery numbers are declining again, it is thought because of reduced levels of food in the sea. Most of their breeding areas are protected by international treaty and are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.