How is this like that?.
Seems to me that noticing how ideas, people, places, and words all link together is a fundamental to creative thought.
Last week's Challenge was an example of this kind of connective thinking, one that I hope leads you to learning how to find your own fascinating connections.
Backstory: I was walking along a trail that follows the edge of an oceanside bluff in a place that has wind and weather that always comes from the same direction. In this case, the winds always come out of the west, flows over the bluff, and then blows constantly on the trees and shrubs at the top of the cliff. As you'd expect, this causes some pretty serious deformations in the way the trees grow. The tree shown above was especially bent and pruned by the wind, as are most of the trees along this part of the coastline.
That walk led to today's Search Challenge:
1. If I want to learn more about such bent and deformed trees, what's the specialized search term that I'd want to use? (Hint: There is a very specific term to describe such trees--that's what you seek.)
Where do you start with such a Challenge? In my case, I suspected that there would be a specialized term about such trees--and as we know, if you have a precise term for something you'd like to find, it makes your search (and your corresponding learning) that much simpler.
My first search was:
[ tree bent over by wind ]
and after scrubbing through the results (and NOT finding anything useful--just lots of information about how to straighten up bent trees), I tried a more direct route:
[ word for tree bent over by wind ]
and--lo and behold--the first result was exactly what I was looking for.
Of course, once I learned this, I did a few followup queries to make sure that I understood what krummholz really meant. As the Wikipedia excerpt suggests, it has a connotation of being a tree at a subarctic or subalpine place. But as I looked around, it's clear that the term is used more broadly to include all kinds of trees that are bent over, pruned, edited, or otherwise shape-shifted by wind and weather.
2. What is the name of a musical instrument that sounds a lot like this specialized term? (Hint: The word for the instrument shares a language of origin and the first 6 letters with the tree-term. This is one of those "you'll know it when you see it" kinds of Challenges.)
Now that we know the term krummholz, I did this :
[ krummholz musical instrument ]
I'm not quite sure what I expected, but the spelling suggestion of "krummhorn" is great!
When you look up krummhorn, it's quickly clear what the connection is: