A question I get asked a lot is...
... "Where do you get your SearchResearch Challenge ideas?"
As you know, our topics vary quite a bit. One week it might be identifying a wreck that I spotted somewhere off the California coast, while another week we might be discussing the location of a mysterious statue in London, or small animals cutting a clearing around bushes in the Santa Cruz mountains. We get around.
But the Challenges I like the most are those that come from friends who ask questions that seem simple or obvious, but which, upon closer examination, reveal hidden depths.
I was email-chatting with my artist friend Lynne Garell who is living in France, loving life there, and taking wonderful photographs of the place world around her.
We started an email conversation about one of her photos that caught my eye. I've seen lots of leaves change colors over the years, but never quite like this:
|A grape leaf closeup. P/C Lynne Garell, from her series of grape leaf images.|
This appeared in her blog, Lo Vedo Life, the other day and it seemed impossible. How does this happen? How can a polygonal piece of a leaf all change at once? Is this the way all leaves change? What's going on here?
Another image from her series:
The more I looked into this, the more I realized that this isn't at all obvious...
So I'm translating our conversation into an SRS Challenge for everyone. Caution: I have not yet figured this one out, so it might be REALLY HARD or even impossible. But that's the fun of the Challenge, is it not? We'll set a high bar, and see if we can leap over it.
1. What is this effect called? (That is, the polygons changing color independently of the surrounding leaf to create this kind of pattern.)
2. To answer this question for myself, I thought I'd first find out what each of those polygonal sections is called, and then search on that term. But I couldn't find it! So, a Challenge for you: What is that part of the leaf called? Here's an image that I made to illustrate the question:
That thing... what's it called? These polygons, like the ones above in Lynne's photo, would seem to be fairly obvious structural features of a leaf. But I can't figure out what they're called. Can you? (I realize that up close this looks like a giraffe's skin, but I assure you, this is a closeup of a leaf.)
As always, I'm interested in HOW you found the answer! Let us know in the comments section.