Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sepia Saturday

Had fun today and wasted a lot of time browsing through photos to find some that fit today's theme.

Along the way I had a huge stroke of luck. One of the old albums has a lot of small photos and those I have taken out have not been named. Neither do they look like family, so I haven't spent too much time on them. Today, quite by chance one of the photos slipped out and unbelievably on the back were names, written in my great aunt's handwriting. Even more unbelievably it was a photo of two little boys from the branch of the family that moved to Melbourne and we have been unable to trace. The very next photo in the album had a similar background and sure enough it was of the two girls in the family. A missing link because from it I was able to identify yet another photo that I didn't think was a family shot.  Very exciting.

But, back on task. My search for neckties yielded some results, though not for 'braces'. I don't think my family went in for casual shots of  people in anything less than formal attire. So, a fashion parade of necktie fashions  from the late 19th and early 20th century.

 Many of the young men sported thin ties tied in bows.  I loved the photographers spiel on the back of this photo - "This carte is adapted for enlarging (even to life size) and can be finished in either oil, water colour or sepia.

 Another bow tie, but much wider and quite casual looking.  This photo was taken in St Louis, so have no idea why it appears in the album unless it was a young man who went o America to study at one of the Lutheran Seminaries.
 More formal look with stached collar and a neat tucked in necktie.  He appears to be sporting a tie pin. Note the very small lapels on his jacket.

 A knotted tie this time in a rather casual style. Very narrow collar on this one. This fellow looks like a poet or a dreamer.

 A dapper older gentleman with a tie style that appeared on several other photos.

 This photo really fascinated me and not just for the flowing, voluminous tie. It was taken in Guatemala in 1901. My great grandfathers' brother was involved in a duel in Germany and fled to South America to evade the authorities - or so the family legend goes. This photo had nothing written on the back, but the companion photo, presumably of his wife had a greeting in German addressed to my great aunt and signed Therese. My GA has written on the back - "Tante Therese". So obviously it was her aunt, hence this must be her uncle.

And I doubt whether this old fellow even needed to bother with a tie.

I did actually find one photo in my husband's album which fit the theme. His father and grandfather in the 30s all dressed up in suits, ties and hats.

And even the kids wore ties and caps in the forties when they went to the zoo. Can you imagine that happening these days!!!

Liz Needle  - linking with Sepia Saturday

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fridays Fences and Skywatch Friday

Two for the price of one today.

I woke up this morning to a soft fog, so I grabbed the camera and went for a stroll around the garden, snapping whatever looked promising. I loved the results, so thought I would share them with you, even though they only vaguely relate to Fences and Sky.

 I have featured the dam on Weekend Reflections before, but I loved this shot of the mist in the background.

This old house is one of the original houses built here in the 19th century. The back wall of this old house was part of the original stone cottage. The first settlers came here in1861and this cottage was probably built in the 1880s as an extension of the original cottage.  The house we live in was built around 1900.

This old place always looks like it belongs in a horror movie and of course the mist and fog just add to the atmosphere.

Liz Needle - linking with 'Fridays Fences' and 'Skywatch Friday'. If you look carefully you can see a fence and of course mist is part of the sky!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Our World Tuesday

Following on from my zoo theme last week, I thought you might like to see some shots of the giant pandas at
 Adelaide Zoo. The only zoo in the southern hemisphere  to have giant pandas, Adelaide Zoo is hoping that this year Wang Wang and Suni will get the urge and breed. Everyone at the zoo is waiting with bated breath as Suni only comes into season for a very short time and last year her erstwhile sweetheart just couldn't get interested.
The pandas live in separate areas as they are naturally solitary animals and it is believed that if they live together they will never become sexually interested in each other. These photos were taken when the pandas first arrived and were kept indoors to acclimatise.Please excuse the reflections from the glass.  They now spend a part of their day outside in the good weather, but I have only one outside shot.

This is Funi, the female, and more active of the two.

Wang Wang likes to spend his time eating and sleeping.

Liz Needle - linking with Our World Tuesday 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sepia Saturday

 Sepia Saturday theme photo suggests groups of three - menage a trois? family? or maybe bonnets, stern faces , gimlet eyes? Or whatever takes your eye.

 A browse through my albums showed me that groups of 3 are the least numerous in my collection, but I was able to find a few - once more my ancestors have not let me down!

This photo was taken about 1847 in Germany and shows my maternal great grandmother, Laura Hanckel as a child. The family emigrated to Adelaide shortly after where Eduard Hanckel set up a bookbinding business and built himself a house at Norwood. Laura married my great grandfather E.B. Heyne a well known botanist and horticulturalist.

These three children appear in the family album. A note on the back in my late mother's handwriting suggests they may be the first 3 children in the Dorsch family. My great aunt Agnes married a Rev. Caspar Dorsch who had 3 young children from his first marriage. They then proceeded to have another 8 children. I don't know a lot about these early children. I do love this photo, though I must do more research on this branch of the family. My feeling is that the youngest child here might be the first of the second part of the family - they were blonde and blue-eyed and there seems to be quite an age difference. The little pug dog is cute.

This is a mystery trio from the album. Who are they?  I suspect that the older gentleman in front may be a Lutheran minister - 'the pastor' played a significant role in the lives of early German families. Maybe the other two were members of the church management?

On a different tack. I have always loved this photo. It shows one of my English aunts - Kathleen, centre  -  in Santiago, Spain with two friends. This would have been taken in the late 30s as my aunt died shortly after WW2. She was such a beautiful, elegant woman and she always looked so glamorous to me. I featured her chidren in last week's post.

On a more modern note. This is me - centre- very proud of myself. I was runner-up in the YWCA Athletics meeting. This was the first time I realised I was actually a good athlete. Up until that time I was always short and dumpy and never got a chance to run in any races at my school because no one thought I could run. This year was my blossoming year, because not only did I come second in these championships, but I won the Open 100yds at my school sports day and I made the first team in hockey and softball.

I was particularly pleased with myself because the girl on the right was the athletics champion at another top girls school and always thought that she was a better runner and hockey player than me - and I beat her!!

Liz Needle  -  linking with Sepia Saturday

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fridays Fences

My husband was raised on a small farm in the Adelaide Hills. He was one of 6 boys and times were hard and money tight. His father was a returned serviceman who was trying to make a living off the land, with not a lot of success. Not much money for the necessities of life, let alone trying to feed, clothe and educate 6 boys.

 Making do was the way of life as is shown in this shot of farm buildings and fences. This photo was taken years after they left the farm, when some of the boys went back to scatter 'Ron's" ashes on the farm on which they had worked so hard to eke out a living. To this day we still describe a run down, falling down makeshift fence as a "Ron's fence".

Liz Needle

Skywatch Friday

This dramatic sunset was snapped a few years ago on my old Canon. In the days of digital photography it is easy to forget these older photos.

Liz Needle - linking with Skywatch Friday

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday - Living with Erkberg

Many years ago in the late 70s an old friend went out bush shooting and turned up at our place early one morning with an emu chick and a dingo pup. The dingo pup is another story and a sad one. The emu chick a happier one.

We reared the chick, named it Erkberg and it lived happily in our front paddock. Some years later we had a phone call from a neighbour we did not know asking us if we would like another emu as they were moving back to the city and had to find a home for it. We agreed - so we had two emus. At some stage one of them escaped which left us with one. We do not know which one it was - all emus look alike!!

Then in 1980 our daughter brought home two emu chicks that had been hatched at her Agricultural College - so we had 3 emus. One of them died early on - the other one survived to adulthood. For a number of years we had two emus - now adult, until one died one cold winter. So now we had only one emu which was called Erkberg because we really had no idea which emu it was of the ones we had along the way. We have estimated that the surviving emu is either 37, 34 or 31 - all good ages for an emu to live.

Erkberg is still alive, though he decided about 10 years ago that he didn't really like horses and dogs, so he hopped the fence and now lives in the property next door.

Some time ago I featured this photo on Friday Fences, but I thought I would include it in this post for Wild Bird Wednesday as I do like it. It was taken during a holiday on  Yorke Peninsula and i was lucky enough to catch sight of these emus as we were driving past.

Liz Needle - linking with Wild Bird Wednesday.

Our World Tuesday

The Monarto Zoo in South Australia is a free range zoo specialising in breeding and rearing endangered species mainly from Africa, Asia and North America. Several years ago it was the first zoo to breed Cheetahs and the breeding program was acclaimed and replicated around the world. The first litter of 5 cubs(from memory) had to be hand reared as their mother became ill and was unable to rear them herself. 

This was actually very good publicity for the zoo and its breeding programs as visitors were able - for a price - to get up close to the cheetahs. These are pictures of my husband and me getting in touch with a cheetah. The zoo keeper in the pictures is the girl who developed the breeding program and hand reared the babies.

Three of the cubs. They have all now been sent to other zoos around the world for similar breeding programs.

Don and I - probably one of the biggest thrill of my life.

The keeper who was responsible for the success of the breeding program.

 Earlier this year we were at the zoo when an announcement was made that the white rhino had just given birth to a baby. Here he is at approximately one hour old. Oh so cute! 

And one of my favourite shots from the zoo - a man at rest.

We are so lucky to have this wonderful zoo just a few kilometres away.

Liz Needle - linking with Our World Tuesday

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Sepia Saturday this week shows a group of ladies sitting on the grass enjoying a picnic. Love the hats!!

Unfortunately I could only find one picnic shot in my collection, so decided instead to show you some group photos of the very English 'other' half of my family. My mother's family were German and emigrated to Australia in the late 1840s, early 1850s and I have used many of their photos in earlier posts.

My father on the other hand was English - very English. He was sent to Australia a few years after WW1 to make something of himself - a "ticket of leave" man. I think he had a hard time settling down to work after the war and liked the playboy life. His father was a very Victorian figure and believed that my father should work in the family business. It's all fairly vague and my father was a great story teller (read twister of the truth) so we never really found out what he did to upset his parents - his father refused to speak to or of him, although his sisters wrote and sent a few photos and various old aunts left him small bequests in their wills.

My mother kept up a correspondence with the sisters for some years, but after my father died in 1963, she lost touch. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to track down my remaining cousins a few years ago and now keep in touch. Interestingly none of them could tell me what my father had done to be cast off from the family and the next generation of English cousins were totally unaware that they had cousins in Australia.

So, I will share a few of my precious photos with you. As a child I loved them because they looked so English and grand.

My paternal grandfather and some of my cousins. Some day I hope to meet them.

Room for a pony.
Anyone for tennis?
This set look as if they were all taken about the same time.  Probably taken especially to send to an  uncle they had never met. My grandfather does not look all that pleased about it.

And here we have a picnic - in the snow

There was certainly plenty of room for a picnic

And even a park in which to have a picnic.
Does anyone else have long lost, never seen relatives?  I've always felt like a one sided person because half my family was missing. Now I need to get to England before they all pass on.

Liz Needle  -  linking with Sepia Saturday

Friday, August 16, 2013

Skywatch Friday

I was rather taken with the wind farms we saw on a trip to the mid north of South Australia - and the sky looked good as well. I guess purists wouldn't like the wires in the foreground, but it's really quite prophetic - wind farms generating electricity to be transported along the cables. Well, that's my excuse anyhoww.

Liz Needle  -  linking with Skywatch Friday

Fridays Fences

I haven't been out much lately and certainly no interesting fences caught my eye last week. But, on Saturday my daughter gave me my birthday present - a day's Italian cooking class.  Unfortunately it meant a very early rise (well, early for me) as it was in the Barossa Valley some 80kms away and we had to be here by 8.30am.  However the early morning meant that on the way I spied a great photo shot for Fridays Fences.

My camera decided to help me out a bit by clearing the fog!

Liz Needle  -  linking with Fridays Fences.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday

On an impulse yesterday I detoured from my trip to the supermarket and had a quick look at a wetlands area that has been established at nearby Mt Barker. I had passed this before, but never had the time to stop. I am so glad I did. The wetlands have been established on the outskirts of a rapidly growing regional town, making use of the recycled water from the nearby sewage treatment ponds.

Despite the proximity of a new housing development and a very busy road, I felt like I was in another world as I ventured into the area. Very natural looking scrub has been developed using local flora and there are extensive ponds housing a good variety of water birds. I would liked to have lost myself for a couple of hours, but alas, I did not have the time and after taking a few quick photos, I left reluctantly, but determined to return and explore thoroughly.

Pacific Black Duck - probably the most commonly seen duck.
Purple Swamphen

And further interest in the garden. Some of you may have seen the shots of the galah feeding a nestling that I posted earlier this year.  Well, the galahs are back building a nest in the old red gum. Hopefully there will be more young this year.

There are three of them there. I wonder if one of them is last year's baby?

Liz Needle   -   Linking with 'Wild Bird Wednesday' and 'Our World Tuesday'.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sepia Saturday

Running late this week. Yesterday I had a fun day at an Italian cooking class, then a birthday party for a three year old. Two very different activities, but both great fun. So on to Sepia Saturday for this week.

The theme this week is 'strange contraptions' as can be seen by this three wheeled car used in Ireland last century.

I like to use photos from my collection, so was very pleased when I found  this photo in one of the family albums. There was no name on the photo, but I think it must have been of a family friend. The woman standing next to the invalid in the wheelchair looks like she may have been a nurse or companion.


I'm guessing that the rather beautiful woman in the wheelchair was a widow, judging by her clothes and bonnet.

With time up my sleeve I went online and found a couple of other 'ladies' in their 'chariots'.

 What fun the two little misses would have had with their horse and cart on wheels. And I couldn't resist the little madam below with her doggie companion.

Liz Needle  -  Please visit "Sepia Saturday" for more fascinating 'contraptions'.