This is the group that puts on the Winter Silhouettes show. We must be in the right place.
Cold and dark outside, but inside, the hall is filled with good cheer and bonsai enthusiasts. After a long bus ride from San Diego and stops at two nurseries along the way, it is time to join in the festivities.
Of course there are trees...
With no foliage to hide mistakes or imperfections, there is nothing but naked branches to admire. Look at these tapered trunks! Viewed from the side you can sometimes see how the illusion is accomplished.
Not all the trees are styled as perfect upright specimens. Some are more jumbled and twisted. This elm had huge chunks of bark spastically growing off of certain parts of its branches. The branches at first glance seem so jumbled and haphazard, but look more carefully at the very careful attention to lines and spaces. It could be a musical score, no lullaby, Beethoven perhaps?
And of course, always some show-offs in the crowd. a flowering tree, a fruiting tree, and this gnarly old forest
Finally, the little guys, the Shohins. Ounce per ounce more color than the rest of the show put together, even without their leaves. And ending with a personal favorite, small but powerful. One could fall asleep beneath those branches and drift off into a dream.
And the festivities...
While everyone else ate, a small group of people worked on three trees in a styling demonstration. As always, three nondescript plants miraculously transformed in the space of one hour. Oh look! Could it be San Diego's Kyle Icke getting a worm's eye view of the action?
What is this? San Diego Bonsai Club members shopping at a late night elf's market? No. This is all the booty acquired during the trip being packed in the bottom of the bus for the ride back home. It's getting late. Everyone looks tired, but there are still a lot of smiles on their faces. This trip is done until 2021.