A puzzle in the field of fallen leaf dynamics

There are a handful of leaves at her widely across my porch.



And then there is this:


Say what? Why is there this one big pile, when the rest of the porch looks like the first photo? Yes, the pile is near the railings, but there is plenty of room for leaves to blow right under the railings; and anyway, they are not trapped up against them.

Of course there is an explanation in terms of the character of the leaves in the dynamical interaction of the wind, the house, and the railings: I am not suggesting that a poltergeist is piling them there. But I bet it would take a skilled physicist an awful lot of work to figure out just what that explanation is.

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