Skunk 2, Dog 0

I think skunks must love bonsai nurseries as much as people do.  This is the 5th time the dog has been sprayed by a skunk and twice in the last few weeks.  I believe it is the same skunk.  Of course this happened early in the morning. So at 4:45 am I get up and bathe the dog about 5-6 times.  I wash his bedding and my clothes.  I also cleaned the filters to the heater.  I also cleaned the air intake for the heater.  I think the dirt that was collecting on the intake was holding the skunk smell.  I took out the two filters on the heater and washed them thoroughly.  I then cleaned the air intake.  It has 238 little vent holes!  I know because I counted them.  I cleaned each one on the outside and the inside.  It took over an hour just to clean the intake.  Finally I put everything back together and turned the heater back on.  While the heater was off for cleaning, the inside temperature of the house dropped to 57 degrees.  I am tired before starting work.  Today I have a few bonsai customers coming early.  I think I will close a little early and relax.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.

Pruning elms.

Today, after I thawed out, I worked on pruning back the elm trees in the field.  I cut off all of the larger branches.  I worked on choosing  new branch for an apex.  My goal is to make a nice, tapered trunk.  As I walked by the white ume tree, I noticed that there were a couple of flowers.  The pink ume in the front of the house started to flower a little a few weeks ago.  The strange thing about the white ume is that there are still a lot of leaves on the tree.  I took pictures of the ume.  I will take another picture when the tree is in complete flower.  Take note of the number of buds that are close together.  Every year the tree produces more flowers.  This occurs because this years flowering spurs produces flowering spurs the following year that are shorter and more compact.  This has been worked on for over 20 years.

Smelly start!

Japanese maple forest started over 25years ago.

Montezuma cypress

Yatsubusa elm, field grown for 15 years,started as a 4 inch liner
I love my dog, but he constantly causes me headaches.  He got sprayed early this morning by a skunk.  My wife left early for work this morning and smelled the spray from the skunk, but she did not know that the smell was coming from the dog.  As she walked out the door, she yelled back to me that she was going to put the dog inside to close the doggy door so the smell would not come inside the house.  Since the smell was coming from the dog, the house started to permeate with the smell of skunk.  I went to the utility room where my dog was sleeping and was overcome by the nasty smell.  I washed his bedding and I washed him.  I washed his body about 4-5 times.  He still smells terrible, but much better than before.  Then I noticed that my jacket smelled like skunk so I washed my jacket.  This was all before 6:30am! I worked on weeding today and I was chatting with my Dad about the weather.  We both laughed because the forecast was for rain and there was not a cloud in the sky.  After about an hour, the clouds rolled in and the skies turned gray.  After another few minutes it started to drizzle.  The drizzle became a sprinkle and the sprinkle turned to rain.  Oh well I guess the weatherman was right for a change.  As I was heading inside the house, I decided to take pictures of a few trees.  There is a picture of a Montezuma cypress which is changing color.  Then there is a picture of a Japanese maple forest and the last picture is of my yatsubusa elm.

Rainy day schedule.

Today we had rain showers off and on.  I used that as an excuse to catch up on my paperwork.  I had to ship a few trees today also.  When the rain stopped, I worked outside weeding the pots on my benches.  I also dug up some smaller cork oaks to work on for shohin bonsai's.  My loyal dog Porkchop is pictured watching me work.  He is very loyal.  Whenever I go outside, he looks to see where I am working and sits near the fence so he can watch me work.  He will do this if I am working in the rain.  He will get wet and start shivering.  That is my signal to stop working and to go inside.  Tomorrow morning is suppose to bring more showers.  I think I will use this time to catch up on my sleep.

Another cold start!

Today was another bitter cold morning.  I have been working on cleaning up the trees that were dug out of the field this year.  I am removing old needles off of pines and thinning the pines.  I am also thinning back the junipers and carving jins on the larger branches of some of the junipers.  I have also been weeding the containers and weeding underneath the benches.  I don't know what it is about the cold weather, but I am always more exhausted after working all day in the cold.  I have included some pictures of the trees in the field.  Most of them were dusted with frost.

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