Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Contemplating the Bonsai

Now that my medical leave is over, I'm back at my day job, and I don't really have time to review every book I read (although it was fun), let's resume talking about topics that are in Speaking of Murder. Like bonsai trees.

What do tiny trees have to do with Lauren Rousseau, linguistics, or small-town Massachusetts? Lauren happens to have a miniature elm tree on her college office windowsill. She talks to it. It's a hobby of hers that she first learned when she lived in Japan teaching English. Who knows, it might develop into its own intriguing plot in a future book in the series.

Personally? I don't know anything about bonsai cultivation except that they are tiny and realistically proportioned, and the name means 'tray plant,' more or less ('bon' meaning a tray-like pot). Wikipedia tells us the following: "The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower)."

So that's where research comes in. The Internet can tell me a lot about care and feeding of bonsai trees. I plan to schedule a field trip to Bonsai West in Littleton, Massachusetts one of these days.

Here's a pretty crabapple in bloom for us to contemplate. Any of you readers out there experts on this art form? Any wannabe owners of a tiny tree? Who wants to come along on the field trip?

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