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 Post subject: Diary of a Hawthorn
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:13 pm 

Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 6:57 pm
Posts: 1302
Location: Michigan USA
A fellow bonsaist and personal friend of mine was reported missing early this spring, his wife gave me his bonsai diary which I spent long hours on, trying to find a clue as to why he would just disappear. I have pieced together bits and pieces of it, as best I could considering his awful penmanship and sometimes coded writing. What follows is a strange tale indeed, one which may be simply the ravings of a man driven insane by bonsai or maybe one which should be taken as a warning?

March 2003

While walking back from a cedar swamp up north, where I was collecting a couple dozen good sized Larches, I tripped over a thorn filled shrub and tore a nice gash in my calf. I stood up and upon closer inspection, found that I had tripped on a very nicely stunted Hawthorn. I decided to collect it on the spot and bring it home.

While digging up the unusually compact root ball I noticed 3 dead birds under the lowest branches, thinking nothing of them, I lifted the tree and buried the birds where the roots once were.

Once I was home and the tree was potted into a small pond basket I noticed that I had no less than a dozen gashes on various parts of my body. I carefully moved the tree to a backbench, where the thorns would not pose a hazard and then I applied iodine on the wounds until I looked like a tourist on the beaches of Jamaica and went to bed.

May 2004

While watering my bonsai today I noticed a movement up by the Hawthorn. When I went closer I seen a small bird trapped next to the trunk by a few branches that appear to have grown downward and in a rough semi-circle. I carefully moved the branches and freed the bird but noticed the remains of two other birds on the soil as well as the bones of a squirrel. I cleared this mess off of the soil and turned away only to catch my bare arm on a thorn, which drew instant blood. Strangely, I could have sworn I was at least two feet away from the tree when I got scratched. Note to self: Be careful around these thorns. Ouch.

May 2004

Today I fitted a square cage I made out of chicken wire over the Hawthorn to prevent more small creatures from being trapped in the thorns. I had to give the tree it’s first trimming in order for the cage to fit, I scratched myself a half dozen times on the thorns and made a mental note to remove them when I pruned the tree the next time.

While walking back to the house I thought how strange it was that the branches that had trapped the bird had returned upright. Impossible, I thought, and quickly put it out of my mind.

July 2004

Today I noticed that the Hawthorn was in bad health. Just a few months ago it was healthy and thriving better than any of my other bonsai, but now the few leafs left on it were pale and the branches all seemed to be sagging. I lifted the cage in order to take a closer look and instantly got my hand tangled in a couple of branches. I must have lost a full pint of blood before I finally freed my hand, it seemed like I’d no sooner freed myself from one branch and I’d be tangled in another. Thankfully I had my concave cutters in my pocket and was able to cut myself free.

Tomorrow I am going to give that tree a real pruning and remove those thorns once and for all.

July 2004

Went outside today to prune the Hawthorn and to my great surprise it had fully regained health overnight! Not only were the branches upright again, but the leaves had regained full color. If I didn’t know better I would say that it had grown three times more leaves overnight. I decided to put off the pruning until I understood this tree more.

August 2004

After a few weeks of serious thinking on this Hawthorn, I came to a couple conclusions that very well could have me committed if I told anyone. Instead of risking this, I decided to move the tree away from my other bonsai and fence it in completely behind my garage. In this way I hoped not only to protect my children and wife from harm, but to also be able to carry out some experiments out of sight that would either confirm my suspicions or confirm my insanity.

September 2004

Swiping bags of blood from the Red Cross was much easier than I thought it would be. I would simply go in to donate blood and leave with more than I gave.

The IV setup works like a dream. I have the bag hanging from the eave of my garage and have the hose set about two feet above the tree, releasing a drop of blood every hour. I originally had the hose lower but the tree would snare it with a branch and pull the whole bottle down, emptying it in minutes. The secret is to keep it above the height of a fully extended branch.

May 2005

The tree has moved closer to the garage and has started putting out climbers up the wall; I must find a way to contain it.

While I was thinking this over, I seen the tree slowly move a branch with berries on it through a small gap in the fence. Before too long a bird landed on the branch and the tree instantly trapped the bird, impaling it with its thorns. It brought the bird inside the fence and drained every drop of blood out onto the soil around the trunk.

At that moment I knew I had to destroy this tree. I vowed to burn it first thing in the morning, it was just too dangerous to take the chance of it multiplying or escaping the confines of the fence.

This was the last entry in the diary.

Note: I did check behind the garage after reading through his diary but alas, nothing was there except a shedded old fence. Well that and a few bones from what appears to be small birds and animals.

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