Saturday, 2 February 2013

Nature gives the early signs that things are on the move.

It is amazing how nature gives the early signs that things are on the move. Spring is getting nearer and there are little tell tale signs that Mother Nature provides.

Could it be the pair of Buzzards displaying over the house this morning in the sun. Their roller coaster plummeting out of the sky as if on a fairground big dipper, to alight in the wood behind the house, a sure sign they are displaying and have chosen a place to nest this year.

Or is it the incessant chattering and chasing of a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers with their noisy territorial courtship displays that heralds they are setting up their breeding territory close to the house that tells me Spring is on the way.

Or is it  something less obvious like the change in feeding habits of the resident Bullfinches who the last two mornings have been in the hedge outside my bedroom window, daintily nipping off the swollen buds of the Prunus which they are drawn to at this time of year. As the buds start to move, their swelling is a sign to Bullfinches to dine. Because at this time the buds are at their most nutritious, and these nutritious buds in tern set the Bullfinches up ready for their breeding season as feeding on the buds loads them them with valuable nutrients which brings the males in to breeding condition and helps build up the hen for laying and of course days of inactivity when incubating.
So of these three wonders of nature, it is the Bullfinches being drawn to the swollen buds of the Prunus that signals to me that trees are beginning to move, which as a nature lover and bonsai grower is a great indicator, and a hint for me to have a closer look at my own trees. Isn't nature great!

It was nice for me to see my Sensei, Hotsumi Terakawa in Bonsai Focus styling a nice piece of collected Japanese Yew Taxus cuspidata. It was a detailed article and a nice result as I would expect.
It prompted me to look at the diary that I kept while I was at Hotsumi's nursery. It was amazing to read my daily writings from 1998. I wonder if I will look back over my blog in the years ahead.

Here are a few snippets from my diary of 1998.
31st. August .1998.
Styled a little White Pine today. Got Terakawa San to check my work. Conversation went like this.
Hotsumi. Is it finished.
Me. Yes.
Hotsumi. Are you sure.
Me. Yes I am sure.
Hotsumi. Are you really sure.
Me. Yes I am positive.
Hotsumi. Really.
Me. Yes really.
Hotsumi. OK do it again.

5th. September 1998.
7.30 am. Tweezers in one hand and plastic bucket in the other, I am ready set about my morning ritual and cleaning up under the display area outside. It's pissing down so I am going to get a good soaking over the next two hours! 

6th. September. 1998.
4.30 am. Well I have just finished the Mugo Pine. I think I deserve a cup of tea and then off to bed. Milk looks a bit cheesy so it looks like it will have to be a hot chocolate.
1.00pm. Terakawa San inspected the Mugo Pine this morning after I had done my rounds with the tweezers. He asked "Is it finished?". "Yes" I say. "Are you sure?", "Yes I am sure".
After scrutinising my work and the tree itself I at last get praise!   "OK".
Yes praise is a two letter word! OK.

This was an interesting entry.
12th. September. 1998.
After 4 days I have finally finished the big juniper after hours and hours of detailed wiring. On this tree I have gone from loving wiring, to hating wiring to re discovering a love for wiring. I have learnt that you have to switch off any thoughts of wanting to get the tree finished. You have to enjoy the wiring and take the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the tree putting all thoughts of finishing aside. You have to enjoy it for what it is, a necessary part of bonsai. NO, it is bonsai! This tree has taught me a valuable lesson. There is no rush, there is no tomorrow, enjoy today enjoy the now.

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