The Private Eye - looking closely and thinking by analogy with jeweler's loupes and inquiry method for hands-on interdisciplinary science, art, writing, math, and more

The Private Eye and ALAHASP at the Birmingham Botanical GardensThe Private Eye
at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Seed Pods

Nameless Leaf

I found a plain green leaf today, laying on the ground in the quiet peaceful garden.  As I picked it up and examined it under my loupe, a transformation took place.  No longer did it look like a plain green leaf.  It now resembled a map, where far above, I could see a river and its tributaries winding southward across a flat, fertile valley.  How long have you been on earth?  Were you here when the river cut a path through the valley?

But wait, maybe that is a road to nowhere.  Are you crossing county lines?  Where are you going?  Do you like to live in one place more than another?  Why are there so many sections and lines crossing your surface?  Do these lines have a certain function according to your design? 

As I look closer, I can now see cuts, scars, and nicks in your soft green body.  What put these marks on you?  What kind of birds, animals or insects do you attract?  Or, do you have special features that can repel these creatures?

Little leaf laying on the ground, do you prefer to grow close to the ground or up into they sky?  How much sun do you need?  Does the sun help you or hurt you?  (I noticed several marks on your surface that looked like burns!)

Are you alone?  Are there more leaves growing around you?  Do people always comment on the beautiful red trumpet flowers that grow above you?  When do you look your best?  Spring, summer, fall, or winter?

Please little nameless leaf.  Tell me your name.  I need to know your scientific name?  What about your common name?

Little leaf on the ground, I hope to see you next year when I come back down.

  Starr McGahey

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