“We are not alone.”

. . . And I’m not just talking about Frodo and Sam getting through Emyn Muil!
Snorkeling the Basin of Rottnest Island there were lots of fish. These sun fish would have any fisher drooling. The bigger ones, like the bugger in the lower right, were about 16 inches [40 cm]. The best news: It was nothing like the Dead Marshes.

Rocky Reef

Rocky Reef

Rottnest Island has rough rocky shores. The harbour [Aussie spelling] has so much submerged rock that pilots [captains] have special training to bring in boats in safely. If you want to dock in the harbour and don’t have the special license, you radio ahead and a qualified pilot will be motored out to pilot you in.

The beaches have the same rocky floors. I snorkeled in “The Basin,” a popular swimming spot for families, snorkelers, and divers. There was a class the morning I was there, and this is where I saw the mermaids! [see post on March 26, 2013.] The rock bed in this photo is in layers starting above water and dropping. You can see sandy floor, no doubt with more rock below the sand. The rock in this pic is about seven feet below the surface, and the sand another 4-5 feet deeper. Sometimes the rock has a hole in it. There were a couple places, swimming across the three-to-four foot deep rock, that I came across ten and fifteen foot diameter hole dropping another fifteen feet. It was a little dizzying. There was a draw to go down into them, like a song calling you to enter. It was a little like the seduction of fire. Everybody likes a nice camp fire or hearth fire, it’s so friendly and warming, you can roast your marshmallows or cook dinner. I say seduction because we all know what can happen if you get too close or it gets out of control. These holes spooked me like that. I really would love to explore in them. . . . For me, I’ll get a lot more hours under my, er, suit? before attempting stuff like that. I definately see the lure of scuba.

While We’re Down Under. . . .

While We're Down Under. . . .

My last stop in Australia was in Melbourne. It’s a beautiful city with lots of great art, great public transportation [with both trams and buses – that is, the motor coach], a harbor and ocean shore, a renowned . . . the list goes on.
Anyway, shortly after I got back to the States, I came across a bonsai blog “adamaskwhy@wordpress.com.” Adam is in Melbourne, all his blog photos of himself are in shorts, and there were a few comments about consuming alcohol while working on trees. Sounds Aussie to me! I made a comment on his weblog about the cow tree in his fair city and that I wished I’d known about his bonsai club while I’d been there. It would have been fun to meet some Aussie bonsai folk! Guess again. . . . Yup, Melbourne, Florida, USA.
So, Adam, here’s a pic of “your” fair city’s cow in a tree art.
Oh, and the photo is not mine. I picked it up off the internet. Photo credit goes to ichibansean.wordpress.com.

Revisiting Australia

Revisiting Australia

Well, I put it off long enough but am finally getting around to posting some more pics from Australia earlier this year. The series over the next few days are focusing [even though most of the photos are out of focus – or just plain grainy] on my snorkel adventure at Rottnest Island.

I hope you like them! Thanks for watching.

Artisans Cup postponed until September 2015-

Big news in the bonsai community. Mr Neil and Mr Hagedorn have put in a lot of work to pull this together and I’m sure it was a difficult decision for them. A lot of people from my area are (going to be) disappointed with this news. But just think how amazing the show will be in 2015! Many more trees will be ready, many more people will be able to attend. . . . It will be an awesome event!

Home Tokonoma

Home Tokonoma

The combination of a late night, winds, and high pollen-to-oxygen ratio led to my focus this afternoon on indoor bonsai. First was the arrangement of the hominid in the irregular horizontal line of a raft planting. This was followed by a brief but intense immersion in one of the key health requirements of hominids: sleep.

Upon waking, I noted that “Felis domesticus, var arrogantii” complimented the arrangement as the accent cat, creating a tokonoma in the living room. Note the accent cat’s graceful fe-lines creating a semi-catscade style just off center on the hand woven dai. It is hard to see in this photo, but the throw colors complement that of the accent cat – look carefully and you can see an orange band on the catscade leg where the white foot meets the knee.

I really like this tokonoma! Perhaps I’ll enter it in Portland’s Avant Garde show coming up in October 2013. Of course, the difficulty will be keeping the catscade in place and purring during the judging.

Surprise!

Surprise!

This pot has been around for a long time; long enough that I don’t recall how I got it, if it had anything planted in it, or why I acquired it. It has been with me at least since Wisconsin, so at a minimum has been around for twelve years. There is a small possibility I’ve had it as long as twenty-two years! The only thing I recall being planted in it are annuals, and in the last 18-24 months two small camellias (6 & 8 inches this year).

Since making the decision in January to go from having little trees in pots to having bonsai, I’ve planned to put the camellias into better soil. That happened today. Imagine my surprise, after dumping the ancient potting soil, discovering that the pot has a chop! For my friends and followers who are not up on bonsai lingo, a chop is the equivalent of a signature on a painting. It identifies the maker. Translated it means that the pot is actually worth something, certainly more than all the soil and plants I’ve had in it combined, and then some. As in, I could sell it and buy a very nice dinner for two, though probably not any alcohol.

I won’t. I’ve got a crape myrtle that will look very nice in it five or seven years from now.