Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Whistlers in the Garden

 Great excitement in our house! Three days ago I chanced to see a Golden Whistler in out Viburnum opulus. Now we haven't seen a Golden Whistler here for a number of years, but there was this beautiful little fellow, whistling his head off and showing off, flying from the Viburnum, around the granny flat, under the veranda and landing in the Buddleia. Then reversing the process.

Naturally I ran for the camera and he continued his exhibition while I madly tried to capture him on camera. After 10 minutes he left and I waited in vain.

Next morning he was there again, same time, same place, repeating his display  of the previous day and whistling his little head off. This time he actually perched on the arm of a steamer chair on the veranda. I thought I could detect a softer answering call, but there was no sign of another Whistler. Again, after 10 minutes he disappeared.

I didn't see him at his appointed time this morning, so I got on with my task of cleaning windows. Then, an hour later, I heard his song and this time there was a definite answer. I snuck up on the Viburnum and was lucky enough to catch sight of his plain brown little girlfriend hiding in the leafy canopy - too well hidden to get a photo of course.

Three days in a row! What will tomorrow bring. It is mid-Autumn here and as we have had a mild season, the trees are very slow to colour up and lose their leaves. So what is going on? Surely it is too late to start nesting, though the Little Ravens nearby are collecting twigs for a nest and we have young Red-browed finches being fed on the lawn. I guess we will just have to wait and see what our beautiful visitors are up to.

A bit of background information. Golden Whistlers are fairly common but usually live in forested areas with thick understorey and closed canopies. They are conspicuous and noisy at the beginning of the breeding season which is from August to January. We live in an area surrounded by grape vines and grazing paddocks, although we do have an extensive garden of shrubs and trees hence our surprise at the visit which hasn't happened for years.

Liz Needle  -  linking with   -  Wild Bird Wednesday and Our World Tuesday

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Sepia Saturday 566 - The artifices of photography.


Well you have me this week. No photos of the rooms in any of the houses in my collection. What a shame. I would love to have seen inside the houses of my ancestors. On my father's side they would have been quite grand, I think. On my mother's side less so.

However as I was browsing through my old photos, something did catch my eye and that was the backgrounds and props that the photographers of the time used. Most old photos - at least in my family archives - were taken by professional photographers as privately owned cameras were very rare in the old days. I am amazed at how many professional photographers there seem to have been just in my home city of Adelaide. Anyway that is my theme this week - Backgrounds and props used by the photographers of old. 

Let's look at some of the furniture - there always seem to be chairs of some sort, even if they were only to lean on.  Here we have several cane chairs - and a fur rug - also commonly used. These children are some of my mother's cousins, taken around 1896

Speaking of furs. This little chap is cuddling up to a shaggy fur. Like many of the photos in my old album, these children are un-named. not family, but friends, I suspect. Who knows?

This velvet buttoned chair appears in a number of family shots. One of these young ladies is Olga Ernst, who became a well known children's author in Australia. A  second cousin twice removed??? Very obscure, but I am claiming her!!

My maternal Great Great Grandparents - I would die for a cane chair like that one. Interesting that the chair only has one arm as does the other chair. 

And then there were the other types of furniture like this toy horse and carriage.

Or this three-wheeled wheel chair

Then there was often something ornate to lean on - probably needed because they had to stand still for so long. Either an elegant one like this one 

Or something more rustic and (dare I say it in these days of political correctness?) more masculine.

Which brings me to the backdrops, like this rustic archway  in a garden setting

Or this one which really makes me giggle - My great great grandmother with her daughter and grand children (Olga Ernst again). A fake drawing room background.

I do have one more photo - a very very old one taken in Germany some time before anyone ever thought of coming to Australia. I'm not sure if it is even a photo? I am sure someone can enlighten me. This is of my great great grandparents Dr. Carl August Heyne and his wife Marianne. This image was possibly taken well before 1840, the year in which he died. There is a baby here and I know they had three children, my great grandfather being born in 1825, so this photo could be even older than 1840.

This photo does show the interior of a house.

That's it for me. If you want to see how the rest of the gang interpreted the theme head over to 

Liz Needle

Saturday, April 10, 2021

SEPIA SATURDAY 565 -- What a Sport!


Love this shot of the ladies curling team, so decided to go with a sports theme this week.

These photos may not be all that ancient, but as my family loves sports and has played in many teams, I thought this a good chance to celebrate the fun, friendship and achievement we have shared over the years.

In my youth I was never considered to be an athlete, being very short and chubby, but I suddenly blossomed in my teen years and became sports mad. here I am as runner up in the YWCA Athletics Championships - that's me in the middle.

Meanwhile, unbeknown to me in another part of the state my future husband was starring as the Senior Boys Champion (and a bit of a heart throb, I think). That's Don second right in the back row.

And during winter he was captain of the school football team - centre front "holding the ball", which by the way is a rule in our football game - you can't do it!

And a fearsome - and very skinny fast bowler in the school cricket team. He did go on to play very good cricket in Adelaide and Darwin, where his speed and skill earned him such headlines in the local newspapers as "Teacher Needle Canes the Opposition" and "Nightcliff without Needle is like a Ship Without a Rudder".

Though perhaps he is best known in family circles for his fishing prowess - or lack thereof.

Not  to be outdone, I became known for  playing Hockey and Softball, although I haven't many photos of myself. Here I am with the girls I taught and coached. We were premiers that year.

And my Darwin Softball team that I captained and coached.

                                               Modern times -    here is Liz the lady Lawn Bowler.

And together we organised and ran many school sports days.

And just to finish off with an old one. Here is my mother with a netball team she coached back in the thirties. That's her on the extreme right with "The Hairstyle!"

Liz Needle  -  linking with   SEPIA  SATURDAY.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Sepia Saturday 564 - PICNICS AND PARTIES


The prompt this week shows a works dinner. While I don't ave many shots of dinners, I do have some of parties and picnics that I can share with you.

I remember the days when my Dad's bosses would put on Christmas parties and picnics for all the workers. Not sure which firm put this one on, but there are my brother and I standing one each side of Father Christmas. I think this would have been taken in 1948. All the little girls got baby dolls and the boys toy cars or buses. Wouldn't do in this day of extreme non-sexism.

One year when my Dad was working at an aircraft factory during the war years, we all got model aeroplanes that our fathers had been able to make at work. That was pretty special, but I have no photos from that time.

This one was a works picnic held at Belair national Park in the Adelaide Hills. I am sitting in the front row about a third of the way along on the right with blonde plaits. I blew this up to see where everyone was and found my dad more or less in the middle of the back sitting row - bald head in front of a lady in black. To my amazement I found my granny on the right of that same lady in black. We travelled to the picnics in the covered trucks behind the crowd.

This shot shows a somewhat less happy group. The bus had broken down and the men all offered their expertise on how to fix the problem, while the ladies looked on in amusement or exasperation.

To bring us up to modern times. Not a staff luncheon, but some very good quilting friends  who are this year celebrating well over 20 years of friendship and fun.

Finally, Just one more in keeping with the theme. My mother and her brother at lunch. . Must have been taken in the '70s when they were both in their seventies.

Liz Needle   -    linking with SEPIA SATURDAY.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Sepia Saturday 563 - Large families


Back to my family photos again because I seem to have quite a few large family groups - big families. Several I have shown before in previous posts, but they bear repeating because I like them.

First we have one you may remember. My husband's maternal grandmother and her siblings. She - Rosa Boord - was one of a large family, mainly girls. Her father was referred to as "the pilot with many daughters". Here we have the good Captain Alexander Frederick Boord with his 11 surviving children,  one having died at birth. Captain Boord's wife died in 1894 two months after the birth of her 12th child. Captain Boord died in 1925, aged 81.

This photo is of the 9 eldest children and their family dog.

Here we have the whole family.

This photo shows the family gathering at the wedding of Nellie Boord, the youngest of the Boord family. Nellie is front row 3rd from the right. Rosa, Don's grandmother ids centre back row wearing a white hat with dark rim.

To continue the family theme, we have Rosa (centre) with her some of her children and grandchildren.
Can you spot those twins in the front row. My Don is top row on the right.

And then the next generation, Rosa's great grandchildren   -  well, a few of them - the Needle ones..

I cannot leave my family out of this. We too had large families. This one  shows my maternal great grandmother, Laura Heyne (nee Hanckel) with her 4 children and their offspring. My mother, also Laura Heyne, is the baby and standing directly behind her and her mother is yet another Laura Heyne - my great aunt.

Skipping a couple of generations and here we have a couple of large families of my cousins. I only had one brother and i was always so envious of these cousins. They were such fun to visit and seemed so close and loving.

Another Heyne family and believe it or not, yet another Laura heyne amongst them.

 My uncle fought in WW2 and was a prisoner of war in Changi prison for a number of years. My aunt was left to raise eight children on her own.

And yet more cousins, but no Laura here. The boys were all servicemen - Airforce, Navy and Army.

I had 34 cousins from my mother's side of the family and like many families we have the occasional family get togethers - sadly these days it is often for funerals. The first photo below goes back to 1941 and it is very poor quality as in those days the cameras were pretty basic.
This is the earliest photo I have seen of me. I am the blonde baby being held on the right.

And a later get together with the children of the young adults from above plus a few others.

Enough of my family. I can't promise you won't see more of them - it really depends on what numbers are thrown at us over the next weeks and months.

Liz Needle  -  linking with  "SEPIA SATURDAY".

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Sepia Saturday 562 - Football


The Sepia Saturday this week shows a crowd at some sort of event - maybe a football game, a band competition (I know someone who is sure to jump on this one.)

I have decided to go with the football theme a and where it all started.It is the major football code in Australia, followed by Soccer, Rugby League and Rugby Union. AFL is in fact the oldest official football code in the world, having its origins in the 1850's.

Football in some form or other was played in Australia from the very early days, but it was very informal and not documented. It is said that some of the local indigenous tribes played a form of football well before the white settlers. It is on record that the first documented game was played in June 1858 between Melbourne Grammar and St Kilda Grammar. There were no written rules, no definite team numbers and the game followed the tradition of the football games played at the English Public Schools. In August of that year, Melbourne Grammar played against Scotch College in a game of 40 a-side which lasted 3 Saturdays.

About that time Tom Wills who was then a keen cricketer and had played a form of football at Rugby returned to Australia and mooted the idea of setting up a football game that would keep the cricketers fit during the winter. He and a small group of like minded sportsman met at Bryants Hotel in Melbourne and hammered out t set of 10 rules that became the basis for Australian Rules Football. 

The Melbourne and Geelong Football Clubs were formed in 1858 and 1859 and are among the oldest sporting clubs in the world. The game took off and was played in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and New South Wales. This etching shows a game played in 1866.

Below is an inter-colonial game from 1879

A visiting team from England

Here we see a gasme in Yarra Park, Melbourne. Kicking, high marking and fierce tackling are among the chief elements of the game.

An early game under lights.
Melbourne Football Club in the 1920's

Of course like all games, football has evolved over the years and has developed into a fast, skilful and exciting game, played in all Australian states and overseas as well. In Australia at the highest level it attracts crowds each week of up to 50 000 and up to 100 000 for the Grand Final, but it is played at all levels, throughout the country by men, women and children each saturday in winter. It is arguably our national game, though I would probably get a fight from Soccer and Rugby fans.

Liz Needle  -  linking with Sepia Saturday