Welcome to my bonsai blog!

Welcome to my bonsai blog!

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"And the LORD God made ... trees that were pleasing to the eye ..." Gen. 2:9, New International Version.

"Bonsai isn't just something I do; it's part of what I am." Remark to my wife and daughter.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mid-America Show 2012, Part 1. Three "Bests."

It's been a month since the 2012 Mid-America Bonsai Show; but it's taken me a little while to process my pictures and sort out my notes. I hope you find them worth the wait.

      My first visit to the Mid-America Show in Chicago was 21 years ago, and I've gone back most years since. It's become an annual event for my family: I enjoy the bonsai, and my wife and daughter enjoy the hotel amenities. (They usually come to admire the trees at least once.)

Some of the trees are "regulars:" they're on display every year, or every two or three. When I see such a tree annually, or every other year, the intervals are long enough for me to easily perceive changes and development that have taken place since my last visit; but the intervals are short enough that I have a sense of watching a continuous story. It's very worthwhile.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Splendid White Pine, a Survivor of Hiroshima

My thanks to the Voice of America for producing this video; to Jack Sustic and all his staff at the National Collection; to "Capital Bonsai" for putting it into the blogosphere;  and to Ian Young ("Bonsai Eejit") for bringing it to my attention on his blog.

I saw this magnificent bonsai for myself on a visit to the National Arboretum in the early 1980's. I'm not the type to literally stop in my tracks when I see something awe-inspiring. Nevertheless, at my first view of this tree my feet stuttered in mid-stride!

The Yamaki family of Hiroshima cared for this tree for six generations; a fortuitously-placed wall was between it and the atomic-bomb blast on the morning of August 6, 1945. The Yamakis donated this bonsai to the United States in 1976, when it had been in training for 350 years. It is now closing in on the four-century mark.

This video takes less than five minutes on YouTube; please click here.

:-)  :-)  :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Tropical-Bonsai Two-Step

     Tonite's low temperature is forecast to be 37° F. (a little below 3° C.) So, like many other "northern tropicals nuts" (to borrow Carl Rosner's term) in this part of the USA, I made sure to get my tropical trees under shelter for the nite. That sort of temperature wouldn't kill them, but it would shock them and slow their growth. Tomorrow morning I'll move them back out into the open air.

Most of my tropical trees fit under this polycarbonate cold frame on our deck.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Inappropriate Soil!

     We’ve all heard warnings about using the wrong sort of soil for a bonsai. Sitting on my benches right now are some examples of what can happen when that is done.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Riot in White!

     This post has nothing to do directly with bonsai. The sweet autumn clematis has come into bloom, and I thought people might enjoy a couple of pictures.

I hoped to get a bee in the picture; but it flew away, leaving only one insect in view.