I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

View previous topic View next topic Go down

I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  Harleyrider on Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:10 pm

Greetings, fellow hobbyists, and a happy and prosperous 2010 to you all.
As you've probably noticed (with relief, in some cases), I've been somewhat absent of late. Fear not, having caught up with my other online projects to a certain degree I can now devote more of my time to making a nuisance of myself around here again. Hurrah!

So, what have I been up to for the last few weeks? Ahh, you may well ask.
(Pauses for response. Receives none, soldiers on regardless)

Well, after Burrs (is there life after Burrs?) there was a period of calm reflection whilst I tried to digest all the information and advice I had collected from various quarters, followed by what seemed like an eternity of nothingness, stretching on and on into the distance until.....

I got a phone call from Tony asking if I'd like to join him and Matt on a sneaky pre-Christmas collecting trip "up t'hill". I "Uhm'd" and "Ah'd" for about 2 nanoseconds before snapping his hand off at the elbow! Who in their right mind would refuse a guided tour of Mr Tickle's personal hunting grounds!

The following Sunday morning (very early), I met up with Matt and we made the trip to our secret rendezvous point. I was just relieved not to have been lifted by the local dibble, having walked a mile through the streets of suburban Manchester in the wee small hours dressed in black, hat pulled down, bulky rucksack over one shoulder and a ginormous crowbar over the other. As if that wasn't bad enough, a cursory glance inside the bag would have raised some hard to answer questions, containing as it did a sharp knife, a roll of heavy duty tape and copious amounts of black bin bags. The only saving grace was the flask of coffee and several ham and mustard butties. Not even Manchester burglars take lunch with them.

Anyway, long story short, we met up with Tony, transferred all our junk into his 4X4 and made haste to our destination, (don't ask, I won't tell you. It's more than my job's worth). Having parked the car and made a short but steep uphill trek we rounded a bend, nimbly leapt a very tired wire fence and found ourselves immediately surrounded by the kind of material Matt and I had only ever dreamt of finding.

Everywhere we looked there were Hawthorn, Blackthorn and Cotoneaster positively throwing themselves at us! I don't think we saw a single one over 2 feet tall, and by the look of their gnarled trunks and branches, the local sheep population has been nibbling on them for a couple of hundred years at least.
We stumbled, mouths agape, through this yamadori wonderland. "Look at this one", says Matt. "Wow! Niice," says I, "but not as nice as that one there."
"Ooh," says Matt, "I like this one." kneeling down next to a lovely little Hawthorn.
"You like that one?" says Tony, "well, take it then."

Long story short again, the day continued in that vein. Matt and I scurrying around like a pair of kids, drooling giddily over each new discovery, dreaming of the day when we could have trees half as good as this in our collections, only to have Tony come up behind us and hand out tools and bags.
After what seemed like an hour or so (which turned out to be 6 hours) gathering four top class yamadori each, it was time to head home to pot them up. What an absolutely brilliant day. Even if Tony did forget his flask and sarnies. Good job he likes ham and mustard!

So, after that little exercise it was almost time for Christmas. But not before we had an unexpected delivery of snow (the first time it has snowed and stuck before Christmas for years in these parts). My recent collections were unceremoniously pelted with several inches of the white stuff whilst I was tucked up in my pit. I confess I was late for work the next morning, having spent 20 mins or so removing as much of the snow as I could. *Note to self* Wear welding gauntlets when dusting snow from Haw/Blackthorn!

Christmas came and went. The snow didn't. Next thing you know, we had 4-5 inches (according to the weather man) of snow in just a few hours. Either my tape measure is wrong, or his is. I measured it at 11 inches. Out came the gloves for another marathon 'dusting off' session. Course, I was getting used to it by now.

The day after Boxing Day was another superb day, with Tony T and Terry Foster taking Matt and myself on a winter ramble through some stunning scenery somewhere in the Lake District. Our first port of call was a limestone pavement positively bursting at the seams with ancient Pines, Ash and Yew. Unfortunately, the site is SSSI protected, so no collecting here! To console ourselves, Matt and I found a couple of interesting pieces of deadwood, and a tanuki class was hastily arranged for Tony's sometime this year.

After a very palatable lunch in a local hostelry (a proper pub. No jukebox, no pool table, no screaming kids, proper antique furniture and that old-fashioned pub smell) we took a short drive and soon found ourselves stomping through shin-deep snow up a nice, gradual gradient. In the distance we could see the rocky outcrop which was our eventual destination, (as before, ask no questions, I'll tell no lies), which we shall call "Area 51".

Our ascent was temporarily halted when Tony, having been caught short, nipped behind the drooping branches of a stunning, ancient pine. Seconds later we heard excited noises coming from beyond the curtain of needles. (Oh, you mucky-minded lot!). Tony had noticed that this majestic pine, which has doubtless stood in this spot for many hundreds of years, had very recently fallen victim to the weight of snow and ice and had lost not one, but 2 of its major branches. Inspecting the damage, we could see the force with which these foot thick limbs must have snapped. There were jagged slivers of wood sevral inches long sticking out from the wounds, and strips of bark several feet long hung down like tattered cloth. Both branches were still attached by quite a substantial thickness of timber, but it remains to be seen whether they survive. Numerous pictures were taken, but you'll have to wait for Matt or Terry to post them as I didn't have the camera with me.

Anyway, time yet again for long story short. Having reached our destination, Tony and Terry took us on a (sometimes hair-raising) mooch around this collecting site, pointing out good material and explaining why it was good, and bad material and why it was bad. In short, we got the kind of lesson that money can't buy, from (in my opinion) the two best teachers around today.

Before we left, we were treated to a rare glimpse of Tony's best kept secret (I told you you were mucky-minded!). I don't want to say too much without asking Tony, but suffice to say that somewhere in the Lake District is a Yew tree the likes of which you probably will never see again. It wouldn't look out of place growing from a crevice high in some American mountain range. It is, quite simply, the most stunning tree I have seen to date. We have photographic evidence, if you don't believe me. How on Earth he's been able to leave it there since he found it 9 years ago is beyond me.
All we need to do now is convince him to collect it.

Well, that just about covers it. Oh, I almost forgot. Before we set off on our post Christmas jolly, we called in to look around Terry's garden. A rare enough priveledge in itself, you may think? How do you think I felt when I walked out of his garden the very proud owner of a Terry Foster collected and semi-trained Oak! How cool is that?
My wife knocked the shine off it a little though. "Just think," she said, "if you cock it up, you'll have some bloody explaining to do". Cheers love, no pressure then.

Thanks in abundance to my fellow explorers in bonsai, Tony, Terry and Matt. Those were, without doubt, the 2 best days out I have had in may a year. Great scenery, great trees, and great company. What more could a bloke ask for?

Harleyrider
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  F. Waheedy on Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:02 pm

WOW..what a wonderful time you must've had Steve..and some wonderful material as well. what a luck..
would you be posting some pictures of your semi trained Oak from Terry? and of the other collected trees? can't wait to see 'em.

btw, welcome back.

Happy New Year.

Cheers,

Faisal

F. Waheedy
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  Guest on Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:02 pm

You may have been away for a while but you've certainly made up for it study Jeez.!! Good to see your back and look forward to future posts Very Happy

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:05 pm

Good to see you Steve and glad that the days went well. They are always special with people like Tony and Terry.

Looking forward, like Faisal, to seeing the pics later.

I wouldn't bother clearing the snow off the collected trees. They are completely hardy and in current record low temperatures, the snow would actually insulate.

_________________
β€œIt is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” - Charles Darwin.

Kev Bailey
Admin


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  Harleyrider on Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:18 pm

I will indeed be posting numerous pics, just as soon as I find the usb cable for the camera!

As you say Kev, you can't buy the experience of a day out with folk like Tony and Terry. I'd add several more names to that list as well, yours included.

I was kind of hoping that the snow would be an insulator, considering we had -13 last night!

Harleyrider
Member


Back to top Go down

Steve... this trip was a good un!

Post  Tony on Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:29 pm

Steve... this trip was a good un! Rather bigger than I usually collect!


_________________
Tony Tickle.. "that's not your real name is it?"

β€Ž"Study me as much as you like, you will never know me, for I differ a hundred ways from what you see me to be. Put yourself behind my eyes, and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see." β€” Rumi

Visit Tony's Bonsai website

If you Tweet?

Tony
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  Ian Warhurst on Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:51 pm

Sounds like a great time. Glad to see Terry has reared his head again lets hope we see a lot more of him and his fabulous trees this year.

Ian.

Ian Warhurst
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  Harleyrider on Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:06 pm

Steve... this trip was a good un! Rather bigger than I usually collect!

I'll say! Considering we had to remove several other trees and half the mountainside to get to it. It'll be worth it though, it's potentially a very special tree.


Last edited by Harleyrider on Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : quote added)

Harleyrider
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  Jeremy on Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:10 pm

Welcome back Steve.
Collecting with Tony and Terry........ I have dreamt of that. Sleep Wink Sleep
Look forwards to seeing the pics.

Jeremy
Member


Back to top Go down

Re:I'm ba-ack!.......OI! Who groaned?

Post  Bob Brunt on Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:56 pm

Hi Steve,
Welcome back mate !.. Your absence was noticed..Excellent post. I could feel the excitement I felt on my 1st collecting trip with Tony and Lee in your words.
.Sorry I couldn't get off work for the Cumbria trip.Looks like I missed out big time there. Looking forward to seeing some pics of your new trees.Hoping to get a few more Hawthorn and maybe one or two Blackthorn myself this spring..

Bob Brunt
Member


Back to top Go down

Pictures from the colecting trip...

Post  matt addie on Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:30 pm

Hi Folks,

Apologies for the delay in putting up photos to augment Harleyrider's wonderful prose but I finally find myself with some time to spare for the first time in 2010!

HR has done such a top job narrating our December adventures, I didn't want to rehash it in another thread so I thought I'd just put up a few pics here - hope no-one minds.

I'm only putting up a couple from the collecting trip. Tony has sown the seeds of superstition in my mind about putting up pics of freshly collected trees in case they don't survive and I want mine to survive!!

Still, heres a taster...

Tres Amigos ready for a day on the hill (and before you hear it from anyone else, yes - Tony DID have to show me how to work the timer on my camera!!)



Harleyrider pulls a cracker, so to speak... Laughing



Here's me working on digging out a potential literati Hawthorn...



Those trees that DO survive may well be posted at a later date.

Matt.

matt addie
Member


Back to top Go down

The Christmas Ramble

Post  matt addie on Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:59 pm

Here are some pics of the walk that Tony, Terry Foster, Harleyrider and I went on just after Christmas. A fantastic day out on the hills with friends surrounding by AMAZING trees, it doesn't get much better than this! Very Happy I am very fortunate at this early stage in my bonsai life to be able to spend time with - and learn from - the best.

The yews were all in a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and are not to be collected. However this trip was NOT about collecting but about being inspired by trees growing in a wild hostile places ... and on that count, it was a roaring success!! Very Happy

Without further ado...

A very old, naturally miniaturised, pine...



A yew that's been growing between these rocks for many, many years. Check out the swirling trunk...



Another yew, stunning!!...



Just check out this cheeky grin! Leave it Tony, leeeeeave it .....



If Stone Monkey's reading this, you might need to get a bigger kiln for this one...



Nice nebari...!



And now ServImg seems to be playing up, I might post a few more later.

I hope you too find some inspiration from these pics as I did taking them.

Cheers

Matt

matt addie
Member


Back to top Go down

Pictures from the colecting trip...

Post  Guest on Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:03 pm

SOOOOOO glad you posted those pics. I know exactly where this is now Very Happy My Nan lives within throwing ditance of there Very Happy Twisted Evil Very Happy ..............Only kidding. Trees look amazing. Well done.

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  Harleyrider on Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:15 pm

Thanks for posting those Matt. I haven't even got round to removing any incriminating evidence from my pics yet!

Oh, and Happy Birthday, BTW. thumbs up

Harleyrider
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  F. Waheedy on Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:57 pm

Hi Matt,

Thanks for posting. Beautiful trees. Love the Yews. did you collect the ones in the picture?
Matt and Steve you guys are so lucky. In a cpl of years you will have loads of high quality Yamadori.
Take good care of them.

Cheers,

Faisal

F. Waheedy
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  matt addie on Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:40 am

Hi Faisal,

Good to hear from you. No, the yews were not collected as they are protected in a SSSI area and cannot be collected. They are absolutely stunning though, and it's amazing anything grows in rocks like that but life finds it's niches! The trip was all about inspiration and for anyone who may think you don't get twisty, curly-wurly, lots of dead wood trees in the uk, I hope this is proof you do if you look in the right place Very Happy !

All the best

Matt

matt addie
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: I'm ba-ack!.........OI! Who groaned?

Post  Sponsored content Today at 7:53 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum