Lesser Flamingos still at Vermont Saltpan

Hermanus Bird Club

A small group of Lesser Flamingos has been seen at the Vermont Saltpan over the last two months. They were feeding together with the many Greater Flamingos that frequent the pan.

Greater and Lesser Flamingo- A Greater (left) and Lesser Flamingo at the Saltpan, photographed by Mike Mac Naught on 12 June.

The first report, of about eight Lesser Flamingos, came from Mike Mac Naught on 12 June.

“They were together with the more usual Greater Flamingoes this morning,” he wrote. “The last time we saw them here was a few years back.”

Other members have seen them there since then.

The latest report came from John Bowman, on Friday 29 July. “I popped in at the pan this morning, and was pleasantly surprised to see two Lesser Flamingos among many Greater.

“This was only the second time in many years of visiting the pan that I’ve seen them there.

“It was interesting to watch…

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2 Shohin Pinus Sylvestris in Development

Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

Here are 2 future shohin Pinus Sylvestris trees that I have in development at the moment. Both have quite a way to go but it’s that journey which gives me most pleasure in the hobby.

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This is how it looked last year before its’ first styling

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I started the next one about 4 years ago while it was still in the ground. The main trunk was chopped back which forced a lot of new shoots close to the trunk in a single season, many of these are now forming branches.

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Bonsai and pots in the heat

Shohin Bonsai Europe - Morten Albek

These warm summer days (that we are not blessed with too often this summer), it is important to provide some partial shade for especially smaller bonsai. Small shohin bonsai are easily dried out during a warm day, and partial shade in the middle of the day is essential in midd summer. Use a net for the purpose, or place the bonsai under partial shade from large garden trees for example.

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Check regularly for watering needs during the day when possible. Bonsai do not dry out at the same time, just because they have the same size. Different leaf amounts and different types of foliage decides how much each plant evaporates. Weaker trees with less roots have to be shaded more, because the fewer roots may not be able to take up enough water to follow the speed of evaporation.

Please also take in mind the importance of the pot quality…

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Sweet sixteen Shohin

Shohin Bonsai Europe - Morten Albek

All through af Danish bonsai.

Today it is sixteen years ago, that I started up a Prunus avium bought at a local garden nursery in Denmark. Prunus avium is a classic native Danish plum tree, also seen in the wild in between. At this moment it is placed in a pot by Per Toxvaerd, and being a native tree, it can´t become more Danish.

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July, 2016 in a pot by Per Toxværd. Height: 20 cm.

One of my favourite techniques developing a deciduous Shohin bonsai, is to cut back already developed trees or bushes with a good trunk size. The advantage of this method, is that you skip years of development from seeds or cuttings. It is not so far from the Japanese method of developing bonsai letting them grow in the ground for some years, using sacrifice branches to speed up trunk growth, just to cut them off later. My method…

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Port Jackson Fig Yamadori

hermosabonsai

Near my house lies a small mountain that is filled with wild Ficus Microcarpa Var. Port Jackson. I had been keeping my eye on a few low lying figs in the area that may have had branches low enough to sprout roots and be collected for bonsai.
When I went to check it out I was lucky enough to find this beauty! A nice thick trunked root that had grown up its own branches last season. With a shovel, a saw and some clippers I got it out and took it home, ready to wrangle into as small a pot as I could.

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Most of the roots were already gone so there was no prior root work to do. I just had to keep cutting back the thicker legs until it finally fit into this nice turquoise vessel. Underneath it is some mesh over the drainage holes, some light gravel…

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8 years development a flowering Shohin Spiraea

Shohin Bonsai Europe - Morten Albek

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Developing a flowering deciduous bonsai is done in a radically different manner than nursing a conifer. Conifers needs their needles all the time, and if you cut back a branch lower than the needles are present the branch will certainly die. But branches can be bend and placed and thereby often a more “instant” result is achieved. Deciduous trees and shrubs needs a totally different approach. You have to think at least five to ten years ahead when you make even the most drastic pruning. Because what is not there when you remove it will be build up later.

This Spiraea has been an experiment ever since I bought it as a rather cheap raw nursery stock in 2006. I didn’t know of any Spiraea grown successfully as flowering bonsai, and had settled early with the consequence of training this specimen as a deciduous leaf bonsai without flowers. Because the…

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