Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Some fun with search criteria

with 44 comments

Now that the clock has passed midnight here and it’s officially the first day of 2012, I’d like to drink in a bit of the spirit of the strange New Year’s resolutions that people occasionally make, and do something on the light side for a change. The usual fabulous nature photographs that have taken take your breath away lo these eight months and have made so many of you want to elect me president of the United States (or whatever other country you live in) and put me in your will as sole beneficiary will resume tomorrow.


After I’d been hosting my other blog for a while, I became aware of some of the strange (to me) phrases that people had searched for in their browsers and that had brought them to one of my entries. Because WordPress provides me with a list of all those search strings, I can now have a little fun by showing you some of the phrases that led to this native plant photography blog over the eight months of its existence. I’m impressed with the way search engines can decipher mangled spellings, but I also have to ding search engines a few points for bringing people here when I don’t have anything that matches what the searchers were after.

For better or worse — and mostly worse — here are some of the things that people have searched for that led them to this blog; any comments of mine appear indented under the search strings:

people leaf

I’ve got a beard, but as far as I know, no people have leaves.

leaf of people tree

Here it was again, a few months later. I’m beginning to wonder if the searchers meant a poplar tree, whose genus is Populus, which coincidentally means ‘people’ in Latin.

if its in amber is it living

It’s rather hard for something to keep breathing when it’s encased in amber.

climp means

My online dictionary says “No entries found.” Then it asks “Did you mean?”, followed by this list: “blimp, chimp, clamp, climb, clip, clomp, clump, crimp, limp.” Take your pick.



how do i noticing guest

I don’t know. How do you noticing guest?

the wind of sun flower

Maybe we can tap into sunflower wind as a renewable resource.

plant a feather

If you can plant a feather and get it to grow, I’d like to know about it.

sunflowers in back of truck

In one post I mentioned a truck depot, but that post doesn’t have the word sunflower in it.

eduard mottled

I hope Éduard got over his attack of mottling.

flower store hours austin

My online store of flower pictures is open for viewing 24 hours a day.

fresh shout outs on plants are curled up

Did the person mean “sprouts” or perhaps “shoots”?

a weed with union like stem with a white flower

Make that onion-like.

nature hesay

What’d he say?

what is the spanish word for alamo

The Spanish word for alamo is alamo.

family portraits at the alamo

I don’t think the person bargained for portraits of wildflower families.

burning sycamore leaves -bad for you

And it’s bad for the leaves, too, especially if they’re still on the tree.

show me pichers of wildflowers

Yup, I showed you “pichers” of wildflowers all right.

orange stripped caterpillar

This blog is PG: no stripping allowed.

suflower syalk

The search engine miraculously deciphered this as sunflower stalk.

preaky pear internal structure

And the search engine deciphered this as prickly pear.

wildflowers that show up after rainrain lillies

This blogblog has shown manymany.

purple plus white is blue

Although the claim is dubious, it led to the post entitled “Red, white, and blue—plus purple.”

клематис цветок фото [Klematis tsvetók foto, meaning ‘Clematis flower photo’]

Someone searching in Russian for a picture of a Clematis flower was brought to a Clematis drummondii in Texas.

fash climbing clematis

I showed pictures of climbing Clematis, but I never said how “fash” it grows (nor did I say that for me this plant never goes out of fashion).

daun pohon elm


cedre fulla


mexican hat places in kerrvill tx

My guess is that the person was looking for real hats from Mexico in Kerrville, not the flower called Mexican hat.

cyprus plant grows out of wall

This led not to the island of Cyprus but to a post about bald cypress.

bald cypress growing in new york

I guess if you were on the moon Austin would look like a suburb of New York, wouldn’t it?

lamatis clouds

The search engine interpreted that first word as Clematis, but I have no idea what the searcher intended.

illinois tollway

Neither of those two words appears in any entry anywhere in this blog.

mountain of bud

green leaves

I just tried a search for “green leaves” and got over 33 million hits. I’m honored to have been among the top hits that the searcher must have gotten—unless he read through a good chunk of the 33 million before getting to one of my posts.

i have drunk, and seen the spider

This struck me as bizarre, but in doing a search I found out that it’s a line from Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. I’ve shown a few pictures of spiders in this blog, but none of them have had anything to do with drinking, although it’s true that spiders can only take their food in liquid form.



sunflower is ?

I think a sunflower is a kind of flower.

what is the scientific name for the macro plant

I have plenty of macro photographs of plants but I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a macro plant.

why are a lot of my macro shots blurry?

Probably because you don’t hold your camera steady enough.

i have seen large purple flowers on bindweed what plant is this

I think the purple flowers on bindweed are from the plant called bindweed.

i just cant get enough schwartzmann

Honestly, I didn’t make that up; I wouldn’t misspell my last name.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman (with one n at the end)

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2012 at 12:01 AM

44 Responses

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  1. Don’t some of these, like “how do i noticing guest”
    and “the wind of sun flower” sound like the work of a bad online translator or someone who just doesn’t have a good command of English? What a great way to start out the new year, with a good laugh.


    January 1, 2012 at 2:49 AM

    • Yes, I’ve assumed that some of the phrases with awkward grammar are from people whose native language isn’t English. I hadn’t thought about online translators, but that makes sense too. Glad you enjoyed this bit of fun.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 9:15 AM

  2. Gives you a good giggle to start the new year.


    January 1, 2012 at 7:55 AM

  3. You know you’re an English major if … LOL

    Bonnie Michelle

    January 1, 2012 at 8:03 AM

  4. Thanks for my first good laugh of the new year. Have loved the photographs each day. Looking forward to more this year.


    January 1, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    • I’m glad for your first good laugh of the year, but don’t forget the part about adding me to your will.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 9:35 AM

  5. Computers provide such entertainment! They amaze and frustrate in about equal amounts much of the time, and when they have the temerity to correct me I inevitably learn something hilarious, if not useful. May the year ahead bring you plenty of additional humorous assistance from this our i-secretary pool.


    January 1, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    • A good metaphor: our i-secretary pool. I’m afraid some of its members are a bit clumsy swimming through that pool.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 9:32 AM

  6. Hilarious!!! Happy New Year!

    Agnes Plutino

    January 1, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    • Thanks, Agnes. I hope you can make it to the slide show on Thursday the 12th at the NPSOT meeting in Georgetown.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 9:38 AM

  7. I can haz flowers, too!

    ken bello

    January 1, 2012 at 9:35 AM

  8. Happy New Year, Steve. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us this year. ~ Lynda


    January 1, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    • Happy New Year to you, too, Lynda. I’ve already got some yummy leftovers in the pipeline from 2011, and I hope we’ll have a flower-worthy spring in Austin in 2012.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 10:41 AM

  9. Some of them like “Wind of sunflower” make a great title for poetry or artwork.

    I love that you looked them up. I love that people arrive at your photos without planning and just serendipitious wind up there (was that a word?)

    Happy New Year and thank you for the pleasure of your photos.


    January 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    • oh and I misspelled it. More coffee.


      January 1, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      • Not to worry: you provide more coffee and I’ll provide more photos. I’m pleased that you found pleasure in the pictures.

        Steve Schwartzman

        January 1, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    • I had the same thought: some of the phrases, though not standard English, are poetic and would make good titles for creative pieces.

      Of the searchers who arrived at my blog by accident, I can’t help wondering how many felt it was serendipitous and how many were disappointed. I’m afraid there’s no way to know.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 10:47 AM

  10. Not long ago I talked with one of my other blog friends precisely about this subject “search terms”. So now I looked closely at my own, inspired by your amusing reflections here 🙂
    Most searched term: “Denmark” (not surprisingly). But no. 2 is: “Walnut snaps” (only two posts I have on this topic). Then a few unsurprising terms like “landscape” – and “Sculpture by The Sea”. But running down the list there are – as you experienced – many strange and surprising search terms. For example: “housis of potrats and housis theat you can dror it” (!!!! – 3 views) or “the most beautiful summer spring mountian field flowers flowers ever seen before” (2 views. I have tags like summer or flowers – but……)
    And you are right: These statistics provide material for a little reflection here on a quiet New Year’s Day!


    January 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    • Thanks for letting us know a few of the weird and funny things you found in the search terms that brought people to your blog. I’m glad this non-wildflower post still managed to brighten up your quiet holiday in what I imagine (even if incorrectly) as a snow-covered landscape. Happy New Year to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      • Sorry about the snow. We had snow last year (and the year before) for around 4 months – but none this winter. But I’m glad to watch your lovely photos to light up the dark winter days 🙂
        Happy New Year, Steve!


        January 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

      • Ah, but January, February and March are still ahead, so I imagine Denmark is bound to be a land of snow again before spring finally arrives.

        Steve Schwartzman

        January 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

  11. Here’s to a light-hearted new year in blog-land!


    January 1, 2012 at 11:12 AM

  12. These are too funny Steve!!! It’s a blessing that most folks have been taught “gooder English” Happy New Year to you and your family!!!


    January 1, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    • Glad you found the “badder English” funny, David. Happy language and happy pictures in 2012.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2012 at 3:00 PM

  13. lol! Love this post. Very clever and very funny. 🙂

    Search engine terms are such a hoot. My most puzzling is “ice cream truck phobia.” I had never posted about an ice cream truck phobia until it showed up in my stats under search engine terms. Having posted about it twice since, with no helpful information, I seem to be the expert on it as my blog shows up first when I Google the term.

    Happy New Year, Steve.


    January 2, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Robin. You’re comment is funny too. I’m sorry to say I don’t have an ice cream truck phobia, and somehow I suspect other readers of this column don’t either, but should any of us ever develop ice cream truck phobia we’ll know who to turn to for help.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2012 at 9:45 AM

  14. This was absolutely hilarious, and you picked up steam as you went along. I’ve not truly laughed aloud at a blog entry for a while, but this one did it.

    Unfortunately, now I have search term envy. I looked at my list. Every term is reasonable, and I pretty much know which entries they led to. Nothing humorous at all, and I took a close look. “Dead Pacman” is about as funny as I could get – and yes, I know which entry that led to.

    It was interesting to see the top three search terms: Suzanne Elrod, Cape Honeysuckle, and Suzanne Verdal. Two Leonard Cohen significant others and a pretty flower. Well, at least Dead Pacman wasn’t at the top!


    January 2, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    • I’m really happy that you got such a laugh out of this, Linda. I’m sorry to hear that it gave you search term envy, but that has to be better than the envy triggered by reflections in photographs of items for sale.

      “Dead Pacman” sounds weird enough to me. I’m puzzled by the two “Leonard Cohen significant others”; did you write about him or them? My first encounter with something by Leonard Cohen was “Suzanne” as Judy Collins recoded it in 1967, and I still think he’s one of the most creative songwriters we’ve ever had.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    • I highly recommend the linked article to anyone who would like to learn more about the origins of Leonard Cohen’s famous song.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 3, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    • Follow-up to the first part of the comment by shoreacres: yesterday I got one that would give anyone search term envy:

      bunga lili kuning.

      I have no idea why that Indonesian phrase, apparently involving a kind of lily they have over there, would have led to a blog about native plants in Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 7, 2012 at 8:10 AM

  15. o! these are delicious..i shall twitter and facebook them immediately!! Thanks, what a surprise!


    January 4, 2012 at 5:41 PM

  16. Under the weather today, so not at work and leisurely browsing…I’ve read your posts to here and enjoyed every one. Your images are so wonderfully descriptive and so beautiful at the same time. It’s fascinating to me that you can still post about flowers and leaf colour in January!

    Had to stop here though to tell you all that and how much I enjoyed this one. The Internet is a funny thing and having tried to help students with effective searching, I find this especially insightful if only to confirm how difficult it can be to find what you are looking for and how useful it is to learn to search effectively.

    Now I’m off to have a look at my blogs’ search terms, which I haven’t really looked at closely before. Thank you for an enjoyable, informative and relaxing time with my tea this morning.

    Cindy Kilpatrick

    January 17, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    • Hi, Cindy. Sorry you’re under the weather. And speaking of weather, as you did at the end of your first paragraph, I have to tell you that it’s 71° and sunny here now! That’s why I don’t live up north anymore.

      I’m glad you found this atypical post useful. Let us know if you find anything bizarre when you look through your blog’s search terms.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM

  17. This is hilarious, Steve!! Thanks for the laugh – I just can’t get enough! 🙂


    April 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM

  18. […] as a tradition, but let’s assume that it does: following in the “tradition” of the fun post from New Year’s Day 2012, here are some things that people typed into their search engines during the past year that ended […]

  19. […] in the tradition of the fun post from New Year’s Day 2012 and the fun post from New Year’s Day 2013, here are a few of the things that people typed […]

  20. […] welcome to look back at the corresponding search-engine posts from New Year’s Day in 2012, 2013, and […]

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