Saturday, April 24, 2021

Sepia Saturday 567 - Those Horses

The prompt this week shows a steeplechase horse - no steeplechasers here, but a few old family pets and a few old nags from the farms in the family.

Don's family came from a farming background, his great-grand parents ran a cattle and sheep station in the north of the state, so there were always horses around. My dad's family were from England and the children all had ponies. We have lived on a small acreage for the last 50 years and as my eldest daughter was/still is horse mad, there have always been ponies here - plus every other animal you can imagine - but that's another story.

So on with the Needle horse parade. Here we have one of the great aunts riding a stock horse on the old farm "Dingly Dell", which was north of Peterborough  at a place called Nackera on the road to Broken Hill.

 This lovely lady is my mother-in-law, Mavis, riding Molly

And here we have my father-in-law, Ron, on Trilly, - Molly and Mavis in the background with Mungrel, the dog.

Molly and Trilly were also used to pull the buggy.

Different horses here pulling the hay cart. Ron driving.

A total change of scene - and continent. My English cousins with their pony

And more English cousins, this time with pony and caravan. What a delightful way to have a holiday.

And here we have the same cousins but this time with a donkey and cart. They look like travelling minstrels - maybe dressed up for a fair or festival.

Finally, one of our own ponies, Pipsy and some of the family. Our daughter holding the head, my son on the back of the horse.

If you would like to see how the rest of the group interpreted the prompt, please visit

Liz Needle

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.