Saturday, May 7, 2016

Nothing Says Spring Like Bonsai--or Reason No. 50-something: Why I love Bonsai

by Michael Rusnak

Fresh Japanese Maple leaf after a rain
For me bonsai makes spring a more exciting season. It begins with seeing the trees start to leaf out. I know this sounds crazy, but at other points in the year, I forget how amazing the spring break out can be. The bright young leaves and their color just makes me happy to look at it. I believe this euphoric response has something to do with the color, and maybe light in addition to seeing the trees pop out. It is sort of an instinctive reaction. Its kind of like the feelings I get when the weather first turns cold in the fall. I'll get an urge to make all sorts of comfort food-- pot roast, stews and baked macaroni and cheese.

Ginkgo Leaves coming out in a swirl
Anyway, one of the cool things about bonsai is how it brings these ordinary things to eye level. I wanted to preserve the moment, so I played a little bit with my camera, It had rained all night, making the leaves heavy and weeping. Plus their bright greens stood out in contrast against their dark trunks.

My particular favorites are fist the larches with their vibrant pale green foliage. Then there's the colorful small unfolding leaves of the Japanese maples with slight red highlights on the tips. They look better than the flowers of many plants. And there is nothing like the small rosette-like leaves of the grapevines starting to unfold. One other cool shot came from the ginkgo. They come out in a small round package of leaflets that were still holding a few drops of rain from the night before. Again the foliage has such a fresh shades. Something to remember on those winter days. 
Concord grape leaflets look like rosettes--spring colors
Bonsai does it again.

It was a great morning. I even made a little video tour of my backyard bonsai garden and growing area on ACBS's YouTube spot at 

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