As someone who can get a little down in the grey days of winter. The sight of the sun today has been a great lift to the spirits, and a welcome change to the incessant rain. At this time of year any sunny day is a gift.
It has been great in the nursery this morning checking on the trees. Over head a pair of Buzzards Buteo buteo, and two noisy youngsters have been revelling in the wind with the sun on their backs.
A family of Nuthatch's have been busy in the trees around the nursery, taking advantage of the insects that have been stirred into life by the warmth of the sun. It is amazing how we take this big glowing ball in the sky for granted. And yet it influences every living thing on our planet, including us and our trees.
Well, as I have been sat here in the kitchen waiting for my "meat feast" pizza to cook for lunch, yes we bonsai artists dine like Kings, Parcelforce have just delivered a box from Shanghai. This is a surprise as I cannot remember purchasing anything recently on the 'tinterweb' or ordering anything while on my travels.
However I am now the owner of a new stone from Mr Zhang Xi, and very nice it is too.
I guess I could blame this lapse of memory on being too busy and working too hard. Or just plain old senile dementia. I will leave that for you to decide.
Anyway, here is an image of my new stone (below).
Until now I have mainly collected stones that follow the Japanese aesthetic principles, and European stones that follow the Japanese aesthetic i.e. suseki as opposed to Gong Shi. I only have two Chinese stones. This is my third and I feel by far the best.
I have christened this stone "The Wave". If you look at the picture below taken from slightly off centre. You can imagine a wave crashing over a rock. This is wonderful to see in the flesh, but it is not so evident in the first image due to the image being 2 dimensional. It is a natural stone and not cut.
It is not just from Japan or China that we can get nice stones. In the USA there are some nice stones being collected and the Eel River has produced some wonderful stones.
There are some wonderful suiseki being collected and exhibited in
Spain and Italy. The Ligurian Alps in particular are producing some
wonderful stones, not too disimilar to Japanese Furuya stone. Although
in the real sense, they are thought of as 'new stones' because they do not yet have an aged
patina from years and years of being in mans company. Although the stone has actual age, a newly collected stone does not have that patina or 'skin' on it that only comes with time.
I do not subscribe
to the short cut tricks of oiling stones etc to give a false patina.
As with bonsai, suiseki is also about time. Something which
in the West, people are slow to understand.