I'm on the road again today, seeking out the mysteries of Life, the Universe and Everything, and I have my towel in hand (literary allusion), but sometimes the best little mysteries come from the home territory. I was out walking on our campus, and realized there seemed to be a problem with this tree that is situated next to the soon-to-be Student Services Building (the construction of which has been very loud; my lab is next door). I took a closer look at the foliage (below).
So the mystery has two parts. What is wrong with the poor tree? And why is that the wrong question to ask?
A short stroll to the other end of the building revealed an extra dimension: how can this tree be related to the one discussed above? And what does any of this have to do with geology?