Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

I was hardly golden groundsel’s only visitor, but one who lived to tell of it

with 8 comments

Click for greater size and clarity.

When I photographed some of the plants in a colony of golden groundsel, Packera obovata, in northwest Austin on March 6, I noticed that one of them had been serving as a spider’s hideout. This picture is a reminder, if you haven’t thought about it recently, that spiders are messy housekeepers.

As a bonus, you get a better view than in the last picture of golden groundsel’s buds and their long yellow “fingers.” (You’d expect no less of a digital—and etymological—photographer, would you?)


The daily posts that you’ve become accustomed to will continue while I’m away from Austin. Feel free to comment if you’d like, but please be aware that it may be a while before I can respond.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 27, 2012 at 1:45 PM

8 Responses

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  1. Who knew spiders were so untidy? Just never looked close enough, clearly. And I see the wordsmith is again at work (digital/digital!). Groundsel is a sweet little plant. I do think we have a form (or probably more) of it in our yard.

    Steve: FYI, I had some trouble with the comment form–it didn’t fill in my info as it has before. Perhaps a momentary glitch, but wanted to let you know.

    Susan Scheid

    June 27, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    • I often find remains of prey in spiderwebs, no doubt because I use a macro lens so much.

      The various species of groundsel were traditionally placed in the genus Senecio, and many still are. Perhaps it’s some type(s) of Senecio that you have in your yard.

      Thanks for letting me know about the glitch, Susan. I’ve occasionally had that problem with WordPress, but it has always gone away. I have no idea what causes it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 27, 2012 at 8:10 PM

  2. I guess messy spiders are better for the plant than aphids????? Great photo allowing us to see many stages of the plant.


    June 27, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    • You’re probably right that messy spiders don’t harm plants, while aphids often do. I’m glad you like that approach of showing different stages.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 27, 2012 at 9:27 PM

  3. Excelente!
    Hay una de ellas que resalta mucho, y que a primera vista la vi como un tenedor colorido.

    Pablo Buitrago

    June 27, 2012 at 9:40 PM

  4. Every day, I walk the grounds as I drink my coffee, and one morning, I witnessed a spider gathering up his web — the whole thing — apparently finished for the night. I watched for several minutes until he was gone, leaving his ball of web behind. I had never seen such a thing. A tidy spidey!!


    June 30, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    • I’ve read about the way some spiders gather their nets in for the night, only to reconstruct them the next day. I haven’t seen it, but I’m glad you got the chance to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 30, 2012 at 8:22 AM

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