Monthly Archives: November 2012

Anchor Then and Now

Over the past few weeks I have been reading my way through E. B. White’s Writings from the New Yorker: 1925-1976. Tonight I ran across an interesting article.

On December 9, 1933 E. B. White wrote an article titled Then and Now.

The article starts:

We ran across a 1908 Schwartz catalogue in the course of the week, and it was a lot of fun to compare it with the 1933 catalogue. Fundamentally, toys don’t change as much as we imagine.

Midway through the article another sentence caught my eye:

Anchor blocks, those memorable little stone building blocks whose yellow arches, blue turrets, and red cubes formed the framework of our own childhood, are still going strong today; and to our notion nothing has come along which can touch them, in either beauty or practical possibilities.

You may have seen some of my previous posts about Ankerstein blocks. Here in the US they are also know as Anchor blocks. Ankerstein or Anchor Blocks have been around for more than 130 years and have withstood the test of time. You can repeat the same sentence today that E. B. White wrote back in 1933.

Ankerstein Convent with Garden

In this picture we have a Convent with Garden. Religious buildings are one of the recurring themes in Ankerstein.

Ankerstein Town Gate - Anchor Blocks

Town Gate

This structure is titled: Town-gate with Customs house or Stadttor mit Zollhaus. This structure was the focus of my post titled Town Gate.

Anker Church Building - Anchor Stones

Large Parish Church

Here is a church building that I built with my Anchor Blocks.

In all of these structures you can see the “yellow arches, blue turrets, and red cubes” that E. B. White wrote about in his article.

For more about this hobby of mine, visit my previous post titled Ankerstein.

If you enjoyed these buildings, you can visit George Hardy’s Ankerstein site to see pictures of even larger structures.

Have a great weekend!


More Birds

My post yesterday about Red Tailed Hawks had me thinking about birds today.

I am a little tired tonight after two days of team building exercises, so tonight I will simply share pictures of three more birds with just a little commentary.

Australian White Ibis - Sydney, Australia

Here we have an Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca) that is posing in the Royal Botanic Gardnes in Sydney, Australia. The Australian White Ibis is in the same super species complex as the Sacred Ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus). Currently it is considered a separate species, but that may change at any time, and change again even later :-).

Next up is a more familiar bird.

Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) in San Francisco

Here we have a Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) that is standing on a pier in San Francisco. For us that live in California, this is the seagull that is most common for us to see. I really like the way he is posing for me.

For the last picture we go to the southern hemisphere again.

Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) in Punta del Esta, Uruguay

Here we have a Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) wading through the shallows in Punta del Este, Uruguay. We had stopped for lunch during our day trip from our Antarctic cruise and had some time to wander around and take pictures. This beautiful bird caught my eye. I really like the contrast between the white, black and yellow colors of this beautiful bird. Also, notice the recurved plumes on the tail of the bird. They may look a bit unkempt, but they are essential in that they are one of the signs that it is the breeding season.

I hope you enjoyed this trio of birds. They are all beautiful in their own way.