I’m back from my Louisiana trip and now I have to figure what the hell happened. There’ve been so many things I’ve seen and so many people I’ve met I’m just overwhelmed. Hoowheee!
The trip from Orlando to my first stop, New Orleans was 650 miles one way.
The pics are not in any particular order. The last pic above, though, is showing wild yaupon holly (ilex vomitoria) on the roadside. The schillings dwarf variety is one of my favorite trees for bonsai. I think I’m going to have to make a collecting trip.
My constant companions on the trip were my spider and a little tiki figurine (the spider was welded by me, the tiki was carved by my friend Mark from SW Florida).
My daughter has named the spider Joe-Bob, I’m taking suggestions for a name for the tiki dude.
It was like traveling into another time or era when I rolled into New Orleans; the radio station I landed on (in my almost endless scrolling of stations) was playing blues….and not a hundred year old blues but modern music written by young artists. Here and here are two videos I shot going over the bridge.
Here’s the timeline.
– I left my house in orlando at 6am.
– traveled exactly 650 miles to the hotel in Kenner, La in 10 hours but I arrived in 9 hours (a cookie to the person who can figure out how I managed this minor bit of time travel)
– I checked in, a pic of my my room number so I didn’t forget when I stumbled in later in the night:
-I freshened up (650 miles in an old car with no a/c, I seriously needed it)
– dinner (everyone I spoke to in Louisiana about food and what I wanted asked me the same question, “Do you like seafood?”)
Now, I know what you’re thinking….you’re thinking that it looks like Cousin It from the Addams Family.
Imagine my reaction.
At this point, it’s been a fourteen hour ordeal to get to where I am, and now I am presented with this tree.
The worst part was that I had hand-picked the tree from Wigert’s nursery specifically for this demo and I had no memory of it at all!
The tree is a neea buxifolia (a native of Puerto Rico and one of my favorite bonsai subjects) that was collected about a year ago from the mountains. It’s a real Yamadori.
What did I do?
Well, I didn’t get too many pictures of the process, actually (it’s a little rude taking pics during a demo).
But I did get some.
I’ll try to fill in the blanks.
Oh, wait….Jim (my host) has a phone call…..hold on.
Ok, he’s done, now where was I?
I cut off about 99% of the foliage, did a bunch of carving (the correct terminology is: “I carved the shit out of it..”)
And the front:
I tell you what, it was a blur.
I wasn’t sure if it came out good but the photos seem to show that it did.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the demo too. Maybe they felt sorry for me?
I should draw a picture of it, right?
As I do that, this is Mitch, hamming it up for the camera:
He took this pic of me….I think you can see the confusion in my eyes.
Here’s the before pic of our poor neea:
And my sketch (I should work in ballpoint more often)
After that it was a roaring night of drink and debauchery on the town, blues clubs, dancing girls, to go drinks, Voodoo princesses and drag queens and….and……all for someone else.
I went back to the hotel and crashed.
Sorry to disappoint.
I had to work in the morning.
The next day was a ten tree workshop with some more neeas, most of which needed carving.
At 9am in the morning.
Who schedules a bonsai workshop on a Saturday morning at 9 am in a town like New Orleans?
These guys are hardcore bonsai.
Needless to say, the next post is on the workshop trees and a visit to the Cajun Rockstar himself, Guy Guidry.
Bedtime for me though, as you will soon read, I was gonna need it.