for the last couple of days, I have been searching for old pictures of my old Mugo Pine “BIG RON” to go along with the story of its history I am writing for my website. I had to look trough, 3 big boxes, full of old pictures and wile doing this I came across some old pictures of me with 2 inspiring trees that I would like to share with you. They proved that nothing is impossible for mother nature and that when it comes to styling, we can only bow our head!
This picture was shot in early 2000 during a weekend trip I made to the Belgium Ardennes. This old “European Beech” Fagus sylvatica had grown here for many centuries, while around it the scenery completely changed. Now it was surrounded by thousand of fur trees, that were planted there for their timber. The only open spaces that were left among this high trees, were the roads that the forestry commission and the lumberjacks used for there working. And just were 4 off these open roads met, this old lonely tree was allowed to grow. But just a few weeks, before this picture was made, this part of Europe was hit by a big storm. And these open roads, surrounded by those high fur trees, must have channelled all the force of this storm, right onto this defenceless old tree! After all these years of surviving a changing environment, this big lonely tree collapsed! On the left, you can see some of the remaining of the once so tall and proud tree. But mother nature must have felt sorry for this big guy and helped it to grow new branches on what was left off its hollowed out trunk. Creating this wonderful image of resilience and the will to live! I wonder if this tree still lives there, all alone on the crossroads of life? As soon as I am able to, I will make the trip to Belgium to check it out!
This picture was shot in ’98 during my vacation on the beautiful island Ibiza. This wonderful place is not only famous for the many, many nightclubs and all night partying! The nature on this island is also unbelievable! Especially the small “Junipers” that grow there are amazing. On my trip along the coastline, I discovered a spot where incredibly old and contorted “Junipers” lived! Among them, this old and wind battered Pine kept watch! The temperatures are scorching here during Summertime and it hardly ever rains, so besides that this Pine is very beautiful, it is also very special, to be able to grow here for such a long time! I also noticed: that I was in a much better shape back then! 🙂
today was a lovely Sunny day, so I decided to make a picture of the “XL”, so I could show you how it looks at this moment with its bright green coloured new foliage. It needs a lot more branch ramification, but the basic shape is there already.
today very close to where I live, I shoot with my cell phone these lovely and rare images of the sea freezing over. I am living here now for more than 17 years, but I never saw this happen before! These two young swans looked amazing against the setting sun! A lucky moment for me to be able to catch these enchanting winter images.
I hope you like these shots that I made with my cell phone of these semi-wild pony’s, that roam the protected wet dune forest that runs along a big part of the coastline close to my home? After you walked through this beautiful and rare landscape you walk straight onto the beach, where I spent most of my summer free time!
I shoot this picture with my mobile phone 2 days ago, during a winter storm. I drove up to the sea, to a place where I often spent time to do some soul surging. This place is where the sea meets the lighthouse, at the entrance of the old historical harbour in the small town where I live. Especially the sunsets in winter time are wonderful viewed from this magical place! And although I was half frozen, I still manage to shoot over a hundred Photographs, so the battery of my cell must have been really low to cause this extreme colours, how else would you explain it? But they sure turned out pretty nice, without any photoshopping by me!
So I used it to make this X-mas cart for all my Bonsai friends who visit my Bonsai blog, It is highly appreciated by me, believe me! My new website will be opened pretty soon as well, so that is exciting stuff as well for me!
Merry X-mas and a very happy and healthy New Year to everybody!
My back is a little bit better today, but I am still not able to work on any tree for a while. So I decided to take some close up pictures of the beautiful deadwood on my Pinus uncinata.
I can look at it over and over again and get totally lost in the beautiful random patterns and the 50 shades of grey on this wooden history book of this very old tree! This is just the thing I like to see in a yamadori, the wonderful beauty of nature! This wonderful main focal point of this tree should only be enhanced by the artist, to bring out the best of both into one Bonsai. 🙂
Hans this I dedicate to your tree.
This is from my heart what I saw in your tree.
It is yours now forever and ever.
” The Whisper of the Wee Tree”
Come closer my friend and hear me speak
My old and gnarled bark is just the outside of me
Many tales can be told of how old I really am
But the life of me runs strong and deep
The battle from seed to what you see
tells the world the story of me.*
Hope you like them?
Hans van Meer.
*copyright is freely given to Hans Van Meer November 15th, 2008 by Irene I Britton
today I spend most of, probably one of the last real sunny days, shooting pictures of my Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) Literati. The tree is in early full Fall colours this year and the leafs seem to reflect the sun in bright yellow light.
I used a standard Kodak easy share camera on a tripod, on ISO 200, between f 3.6 and f 5.0, and between 1/125 and 1/250 to get this intense yellow reflection from the foliage. Direct sunlight, that hits the tree from the right, was filtered and 2 reflecting white hard boards were use to reflect light on the Bonsai. One from the left side and the other one from below/front of the tree. An umbrella above the camera to avoid direct sunlight hitting my lens and then I shoot more than a hundred pictures! The intensity of the bright yellow reflection seemed to increase every minute, as the sun moved through the sky. I love making pictures like this, that show the contrast between the rough old bark and the soft lines of the yellow leaves. I hope you like them too?!
Here is a close up of the natural deadwood on my Dutch Yamadori Hawthorn that I shot on 20 Juli. Dutch Hawthorn Yamadori Bonsai are rare and even rarer are Dutch Hawthorn Bonsai with natural deadwood! Our circumstances are just not suitable for creating deadwood! This is probably one of the few ones with deadwood that is collected below sea level…making it even more unique! 😉