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

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mid-America Bonsai Show 2013, Part IV. Some fine display trees.

A change of computer became a necessity over the last few months. My newer and more capable machine came with Windows 7 Pro. I said a regretful farewell to Windows XP Pro, and have been learning to find my way around a new operating system, which has necessarily taken some time. (I think I'm going to like 7 as well as I did XP.) Now it's time to resume some bonsai blogging.  <wink> Didja miss me?

   As always, there were many excellent trees in the display at the 2013 Mid-America Bonsai Show. (I've decided I'm going to start calling it simply "Mid-Am 2013," or something like that.) Here are pictures of some that particularly caught my attention. (If I don't give the artist's name, it's because I don't know it.)

I think this three-point display gets my personal vote for "Best After the Official Bests." One of the reasons the composition is so eye-pleasing is its internal coherence: the similarities and contrasts among the main tree, the mame, and the accent plant all harmonize very well. I believe the artist is Bill Valavanis.

Three-point display: an elm (presumed Chinese,) a mame JBP, and an accent. Artistically done!
Certainly one of the most attention-catching trees on display was this collected ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) that belongs to Jim Doyle. I understand it took four men to lift it into place! (I asked Andy Smith to guesstimate its age, but he said there were too many unknowns; all he could say was "150 years or more.")

Yamadori ponderosa pine. The lower trunk is thicker than a man's thigh!
Bjorn Bjorholm, in the Exhibit Critique, suggested a minor change of front for this tree, to accomplish two things: make the jin and shari on the "knee" (viewer's right above) more prominent; and make the surface roots, in front, look less symmetrical and therefore more interesting.

Bjorn Bjorholm's suggestion for a new front. He also suggested the left surface root be reduced.
I'm a great fan of ponderosa pines, so I wasn't at all upset that there seemed to be more of them than usual in this year's Display! Including a couple of unusual ones.

This is the first mame ponderosa I've ever seen. The scoop pot, the stone for a stand, and the small suiseki as accent all bring to mind the ponderosa pine's arid, mountainous home range.

Mame ponderosa. Nice little compact display.

And this is the first broom-style ponderosa I've seen -- first broom-style pine of any kind. But this was this tree's form when it was collected, the form that nature gave it over however-many years. It's not a "typical" pine look, but the artist decided to accept it and work with it. I have to applaud his or her willingness to step outside the box!

Natural forces gave this tree its shape. Not traditional for a pine, but the artist has gone with it.

One more pine to finish this post. What's most arresting about this tree is that it's not a Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii,) as you would expect from the needle size. It's an Austrian pine (Pinus nigra!) Developing needles this small on an Austrian took some skill, and some time.

Shohin-sized Austrian pine.

Next post: some more display trees from the 2013 Mid-Am.

                                                                             :-)  :-)  :-)

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