A funny thing happened on the way to this forum
I cannot decide which is more fascinating; photosynthesis or the leaf.
Photosynthesis must be the most elegant process of Nature; but I do not know them all. Here is a process by which carbon dioxide and water are changed into complex compounds; and all that is needed are sunlight and the living leaf. The only byproduct is water - essential to life.
No fossil fuels are consumed; no carbon footprint is left.
And then there is the leaf.
A pitchman might describe it thus. " It comes in every shape and size! In colors to suit every taste!"
The influence of the leaf impresses me.
We identify trees from a distance - by the arrangement of their leaves.
From a single leaf - fallen and withered - some people can identify the tree with amazing accuracy.
A leaf detail can separate one species from another in plant ID.
And the leaf is the primary clue when one of our plants is in distress. Every single plant problem first caught my attention through a leaf symptom.
Even when there was no abnormal symptom, we routinely took leaf samples, dried them, macerated them, digested away the organic matter with concentrated nitric acid and heat. And then we reacted the resultant solution of with reagents to wring out the percentage of macro (or micro) nutrients to within three decimal points of accuracy.
From such analysis supplementary fertilizer would be applied by aircraft; so the final yield had better justify all that expense.
And all that started with a field worker collecting fifty individual leaves from a fifty acre area of crop at the crack of dawn.
But back to the leaf. It hones our power of observation, it stimulates our curiosity and challenges our skill at problem solving.
And then I think, how many things can a leaf do?
It could drop out of sight and deny us a great opportunity!
It can certainly change color.
It can droop or wilt.
It can curl or crinkle.
Three things only. And from there a skilled diagnostician will look closer and further until (s)he determines the cause.
That is why we like images of the problem.
Why we will ask questions (they are all relevant) to determine causes.
And all the foregoing is why I (we?) like to visit here.