Valavanis Bonsai Blog


The second successful Winter Silhouette Bonsai Expo was held on December 6-7, 2104, in Kannapolis, North Carolina. The event was organized and sponsored by Steven Zeisel, a bonsai hobbyist who wants to promote bonsai. Supporters included the North Carolina Research Center and Convention Bureau. The entire weekend was free to exhibitors, vendors as well as visitors to the two demonstrations and critique. You can’t beat that price, especially for the quality bonsai on display, wide variety of items for sale, educational programs as well as being held in the unique building.



Several hundred visitors traveled to the North Carolina Research Campus, near Charlotte, North Carolina, from across the east coast and Midwest, (one couple flew in from southern Indiana only to attend the event), to appreciate beautiful bonsai during the dormant season when the trunk, branches, twigs and buds of deciduous bonsai are best viewed. The event was held in the…

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Valavanis Bonsai Blog


At the Winter Silhouette Bonsai Expo Joseph Noga photographed each tree with his large format digital camera and specialized lighting. He had to rent a trailer to bring all the necessary equipment across the state of North Carolina to capture the beauty of the displayed bonsai. But, that’s just the beginning of producing a perfect photograph. Each photograph must be adjusted for perfection. And, adjusting the photograph depends on the final use, digital or printed. They must have specific profiles which depend on the paper, ink and press where they will be printed. All of this takes time and skill, knowledge and dedication which Joe is well known for.



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Throughout the last fifty years I have met many photographers and have probably seen more photographs of bonsai from around the world than any other person, and I have the library to prove it. There are many good photographers who shoot…

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Spring is here in earnest.

Spring is here in earnest.

Today being Wednesday 24 September 2014, Heritage day, a public holiday in South Africa. The morning started out very dull and gloomy and overcast and windy. I am definitely not going to be grazing today. While enjoying my morning coffee on my porch  I noticed two swallows flying around the complex.
On closer inspection I found them on the ground collecting mud from the parts that is still sodden after the winter rains we have been having even now still.

It seems my two Greater striped swallows from last year have returned to rebuild their nest they vacated earlier this year when the migrated to warmer climes.


Vultures could follow Dodo in our lifetime

Hermanus Bird Club

BirdLife International has announced that vultures are declining and rapidly becoming one of the world’s most threatened groups of birds. In a bid to stop this important family of birds slipping towards extinction in Europe and Africa, they have launched a global campaign asking for public support to “Stop Vulture Poisoning Now”.

The crash of vulture populations in Asia was shockingly fast – quicker than any other wild bird, including the Dodo. Within a decade, species such as the White-rumped Vulture declined by 99.9% in India alone as a result of veterinary drug diclofenac that is lethally toxic to vultures. 

Eleven species of vultures occur on the African continent, and threats to these vultures include deliberate and accidental poisoning, habitat loss, energy infrastructure and persecution for body parts to be used in traditional medicine.

Recent news reports contain multiple examples of deliberate and accidental poisoning such as the up…

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