Bonsai Convention (and Animals!) in South Africa-
November 17, 2013 by crataegus
In October I was in Johannesburg, South Africa to teach at their national convention. It was quite an exhilarating trip, full of great hosts, impromptu trips into the city and national parks, fun times with bonsai, and large animals that either wanted to trample you, ignore you, or eat you, so that was rather exciting as well.
Many thanks to Derek and his family, Errol and Tommy, and, for many different things, Ockie.
Here are a few photos of those two weeks, the first three courtesy Cindy Rodkin:
Tea/coffee breaks were taken very seriously, which was a delight to me. I drink Rooibos tea (African Red Bush) almost addictively back home in the United States.
Rob Kempinski at work on stage.
Walter Pall in front of a Jacaranda tree. They bloom in the spring in South Africa, which is October, and Johannesburg is known as the ‘Jacaranda City’.
One of the most engaging compositions in the show-
Obligatory megafauna shots…
I was grateful to be in the car with Ockie, who was quite familiar with navigating AWAY from elephants. Smart man. We were not supposed to drive over the elephant dung in the road, as it is the preferred residence of an endangered dung beetle.
We did get close. Or rather, they got close to us. Zebras are ‘donkeys with fancy pajamas’, as Ockie called them-
This was part of a personal week exploring the southern coast, which is a modest plane ride from Johannesburg. This was in the ‘Wild Coast’ area, very beautiful, subtropical, and rural.
Remarkably dreadful shot of Weaver birds, who make these nest condos on the ends of palm fronds.
Bedrock in the ocean. I saw an octopus in the pools.
Curious tree succulent near the shore.
Grinding meal in a traditional Xhosa village.
Impromptu seminar I gave to the Port Elizabeth club.
Attempting, relatively successfully, to drive on the left side of the road. Intersections were remarkably, sometimes hilariously, scary.
This, believe it or not, is a Podocarpus that is about 1,000 years old and 120 ft / 37 meters high. A very slow growing conifer! This was near the coast, in a subtropical forest with orchids hanging off the trees.
Coastline west of Port Elizabeth.
Exquisite rock drawing in a museum, by the San people.