Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Another year’s fun with search criteria

with 46 comments

I don’t know if one occurrence counts 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 up bringing them to this blog. Sometimes the search engine did a great job of figuring out what the person wanted, but other times it misled the searcher.

—>  Comments of mine appear indented under the search strings.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

garlic fowers

Thank you, search engine, for understanding that the person meant flowers. This search engine knew how to go with the fow.

preaky pear

Just like last year, we meet people who think prickly pear is preaky pear. Do they also think someone in poor health is seaky?

meaning of preakly pears in a dream

It means that you should study spelling.

think steve pear pad

I guess my personality can be preaky at times. Or is this a dream telling me to buy an iPad?

hanging bubble cactus

Wouldn’t the spines of the cactus pop the bubbles?

flowers in preria
perari flowers

Anyone for prairie?

if i had wings like a morning dove

Make that a mourning dove, named for its sad-sounding call.

how can i edit my portraits to have sharp eyes but soft skin

I have sharp eyes for portraits of wildflowers, but nothing is gonna make some of those plants have soft skin.

prairie verbena informatshon

My blog is a great source of informatshion about prairie verbena and many other plants in this part of the natshion.

ludwigia beethoven

That’s Ludwig von Beethoven, famous composer. I assure you that when I photographed a wildflower in the genus Ludwigia last year it wasn’t humming the Fifth Symphony or the Ode to Joy. My post was whimsically titled Not Named for Beethoven.

speaking flowers

Not only don’t flowers hum or sing, they don’t speak, either.

texas thistle is it a wildflower

Can’t say that I find many thistles being cultivated in nurseries, so I guess it’s a wildflower.

20 foot tall weed bush

Have you ever heard of a weed bush? I haven’t. Especially not one that’s 20 feet tall.

leaves with real names

You mean like John Leaf, Sarah Leaf, Freddy Leaf?

whats the weed names

I just told you.

cool lizards names

No idea what post this brought someone to. I tried the search myself and was surprised to find a bunch of websites offering lists of suggested names for various types of pets, including lizards. Some of the suggested lizard names (including their meanings) on one site are Bodizara (divine), Radoslava (glorious and happy), and Frantiska (free woman). I think I’d want my pet lizard to be glorious and happy.

ontario see

The person may have wanted to see Ontario but ended up seeing a picture in which the clouds over my neighborhood in Austin reminded me of the way the north shore of Lake Ontario looks on a map.

shape of lake ontario

This person really did want to know the shape of Lake Ontario but must have been surprised to find it—or half of it—in the clouds over Austin.

tony creek ontario map

The place in Austin where I looked up and saw the northern outline of Lake Ontario was alongside a tributary of Bull Creek. Maybe the search engine thinks that’s a tony neighborhood.

overhead pond

If the pond were overhead, wouldn’t the water spill down onto us poor folks below?

red fruit in sky

Look, up in the sky: it’s a bird… it’s a plane… it’s… a red fruit!

all plant life of blackland prairie

That’s a pretty tall order, don’t you think? How could you expect to get information about all of the hundreds of plant species found on the Blackland Prairie?

all kinds of plants or leaves with names

Man, you must’ve gotten a lot of hits!


Man, you must’ve gotten a lot of hits!!

flowers of world

Like I said, you must’ve gotten a lot of hits!!!!

flower picture side view

Well, at least that’s a little more specific. You must have gotten only half a zillion hits instead of the full zillion.

look up a flower

Yes, do look one up. There are many to choose from.

violet colors awesome pictures

All my pictures are awesome, no matter what colors are in them.

yesterday flowers

Yesterday, flowers. Today, flowers. Flowers forever!

compare yesterday

To what?

matter similar in color

Similar to what?

similar flowers

Similar to what?

comments about is water different

My comment is that water is definitely different. It’s different from wood, from metal, from porcupines, from adjectives, from hardware and software, from overweening pride. This is going to be a daring leap, but let me generalize: water is different from everything that’s not water.

caterpillar succulent

The person probably wanted a picture of a caterpillar on a succulent but ended up being taken to a very succulent caterpillar.

the turtle is staring at me

I had just the picture for this person.

how much spanish moss in shoes for blood pressure

And don’t forget to wear garlic around your neck to ward off vampires.

teksas planine

The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain
In Teksas, which used to be a colony of Spain.

yexas mountain laurel

If I ever decide to leave where I am, Yexas would be my first choice for a state to move to. Yex indeed.

bunga lili kuning.

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

bunga kaktus

None in Teksas. Kowabonga, all you [ancient] Howdy Doody fans.

pohon rotan

Boca Raton, anyone?

strange plant that grows in texas

There are lots of strange plants that grow in Texas. Lots of strange people, too.

prehat cindy

You mean Cindy before she put her hat on?

blooming hats
texan hat brim
brimmed hats for men

These searches apparently brought people to a picture of a Mexican hat.

mexican top hat plant

A Mexican hat is one thing and a top hat is another; a Mexican top hat would be one strange piece of headware, dude, and a plant that looked like that hat would be even stranger.

mexican guys on tumblr rare

The ones wearing Mexican hats are probably even rarer.

how many people use hats in mexico


rusty looking plant- 2 words

Someone seems to have been doing a crossword puzzle. What the person got taken to is rusty blackhaw, which probably wasn’t right for the puzzle, given that the word rusty was already in the clue.

yellow glow surrounding text

And I haven’t got a clue about which post of mine this person could have been taken to.

curls on green pictures

If you leave green pictures out in the sun they probably will curl up.

cover a piece of a leaf and it turns yellow

I wonder if that would happen to my skin if I covered a piece of it.

what is one theme of “what if a much of a which of a wind?

Sorry, student trying to get help on an assignment about that poem for an English class, but you found only a poverty of answers to your question in my post about poverty weed blowing in the wind.


Months have passed. Are you done now?

insects picturesbredyfly

A bird can fly but a fly can’t bird.





blue bud dwaft

This apparently led to a post about a dwarf—not dwaft—dandelion, which doesn’t have blue buds. Whether the searcher felt a dwaft at the time, I don’t know.

orange flowers you can draw

I wonder what makes some orange flowers drawable and others not.

men in flowers

I don’t know about men, but this one man has been in enough flowers that the search engine went ahead and counted me as a plural.

i’ve seen the same butterfly numerous times. what does it mean

It means that that kind of butterfly is common in your area.

mean butterfly

What did the mean butterfly do, bite you?

okay wolf

Okay, I did a post about a wolf spider.

spines on beetles

Which on which doesn’t seem to matter to the search engine, so how about a picture of a beetle on a spine?

common name of bindwee,purple

The common name of purple bindweed is purple bindweed.

sesbania herbacea scientific name

The scientific name of Sesbania herbacea is Sesbania herbacea.

a close look at flowers

You came to the right place!

where in texas are pretty wildflowers as of april 1 2012

On my blog, naturally!

where can i get black and white photos colorized in houston

Not on my blog in Austin, but that’s where the search engine brought you.

14 turkey’s eggs

How about two turkey vulture eggs?

white snail rain

Is that a lesser amount of rain than when it’s raining cats and dogs?

dağ çiçekleri

This Turkish phrase means ‘mountain flowers.’ I imagine it took the searcher to a post about snow-on-the-mountain.

фото семян клематиса

That translates as “Photo seed of Clematis.” Whether someone writing in Russian wanted to see seeds of a Clematis that’s native in Texas I don’t know, but that’s what the search engine led to.

flower glitter

My bright wildflowers got me
A place among the glitterati.

a weed that has a brown stem and have fluffies on them

Aw, those fluffies are so cute, who cares if they’re on a weed?

fluffy dee smith

Is she really fluffy? I hope she’s not a weed.

how to include human element in cemetery photos

You might try dying.

voyeur cam galore

Yep, there’s lots of nekkid female flowers on this blog.

. pretty and paid


wonderful lady and wonderful flower

Now that’s more respectable.

tiny 18

Tiny perhaps, but of legal age.

photo model sex mania
www sex mania com
sex mania
photo sex mania
sex mania mexico [twice]

I did a post about Zexmenia entitled Sex Mania. I can only imagine the letdown those seven searchers felt when they got taken to a picture of a wildflower.

grape infouresence

That’s the quintessence of a misspelling.

prairie aganilis

The search engine figured out that the person meant prairie agalinis.

plant that was hole for seeds

Can a plant be a hole, for seeds or otherwise?

what kind of flower grows up

Any kind of flower that doesn’t grow down.

champagne bubbles clip art

This apparently led to my photograph of algae bubbles in a local creek. Drinking that water, even on New Year’s Eve, is strongly discouraged.

techniques in order not to get

This led to a post entitled “In order not to have a pictureless day.”

resin drops with ants free people

I did a post about ants trapped in a drop of sunflower resin, but I have no idea what the searcher meant by adding “free people” to the query.

sycamore feeling

Wasn’t there a song about “Here comes that old sycamore feeling again”?

richly colored blue brown red photography

Do you have any idea how many photographs there are out there that are richly colored in blue, brown, and red?

wildflower ma gracia

What? Was your ma named Gracia?

yellow wildflower central texas

There’s only about a gazillion yellow wildflowers here, so good luck finding the one you’re after.

insects on plants by digital camera

Were the plants with the insects on them growing alongside a digital camera?


It’s almost certainly not what the searcher wanted, but I posted several pictures of plants growing in the parking lot of the Costco in north Austin.

lakeline mall austin

This would-be shopper got to see a dense late-spring display of wildflowers that happened to be on the fringe of that shopping mall—and no sales tax was charged on the view.

how look camphorweed?picture

I have a feeling this was not from a native speaker of English.

thorny plant that shoots his seeds

Don’t you love the his rather than its?

seeds look like a mop thorn

I pity any plant whose seeds look like a mop thorn.

show me a picture of a bulrush!

Did the person who wrote this think that putting the exclamation mark at the end would get a faster response?

magical properties of deer horn.

My picture of a deer antler was magical indeed.

sky sun good

me photographer good

views from bellow

I hope it hasn’t sounded like I’ve been bellowing.

flower of clarity

The caption under many of my photographs says to click for greater clarity.

good two flowers

This apparently led to my photograph of two crossed purple and white anemones. I’m glad the search engine found it to be a good picture.

focused flower

Yes, most of my pictures of flowers are in focus.

full clarity flower images

And they have clarity, too (especially if you click on them to undo some of WordPress’s crunching of images).

natural flowers and which is very rare found in india

There are people from India who live in my part of town, but that’s not so rare anymore. I don’t know if they have natural flowers.

great hills of nature

I often mention that I live in the Great Hills section of Austin and have taken many pictures in Great Hills Park. For me this part of town could indeed be thought of as great hills of nature.

flower, trees, skys, nature

Lucy in the skys with diamonds.

clear cover resin

Somehow I think this came from a person interested in handicrafts, not rosinweed.

resin eyes

But rosinweed flowers do have a sort of eye.

violins and flowers images

Maybe the violinists could’ve used the resin on their bows.

so, now since you are here, let’s replace violet with blue

So, now since you are here, let’s assume the query led to one of my comments about a flower with blue in its name (bluebell, bluebonnet, mealy blue sage) looking more purple than blue.

willow leaf tattoo

I never thought of it, but this willow leaf could become a good tattoo.

celtic willow tree leaves

Turns out that that willow leaf really was similar to one of three spirals in a Celtic goddess tattoo that a commenter mentioned having.

vine posts

Somehow I don’t think a blog post is the kind of post the person had in mind.

portriat of long beards

Maybe you can use a lariat to lasso those long beards.

harmonious portraits

Harmonious portraits I’ve got, but somehow I doubt the seeker was happy with the kinds of subjects in them.

i m always happy

I’m not.

richard van hessel

No idea who he is or how that search brought someone to my blog.

“suzanne elrod” “sculpture”

No idea who she is or how that search brought someone to my blog.

schwartzman flower

How nice to have a flower named after me.

louie schwartzman and ladybird johnson

Louie, schmooie: it’s Steve.

steven schwartzman children

I guess the search engine thinks of all these pictures as my children.

artists who have carried out work on flowers

Oh, the search engine recognized me as an artist! I’m the Michelangelo of milkweed, the Goya of goldeneye, the Rembrandt of rosinweed, the Miró of Mirabilis, the Titian of Tinantia, the Gauguin of Gaillardia, the Dalí of Datura, and the Monet of Monarda. You, too, can play the game and add other alliterative titles that link a famous artist to a native plant.

portraits of wildflowers steve
wildflowers steve
“portrait photography of wildflowers”

Yay, me! When I tried that third search myself in Google on November 14, this blog was first in the list of hits. I’m number one!

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2013 at 6:12 AM

46 Responses

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  1. Steve, you have such a wonderful, quirky sense of humor (and I really like that in a person) that shines through in your commentaries on the comments. Often, you come across in your postings as so super serious. Who knew? Thanks for helping me start my day (and year) with laughter. In some ways, I am happy I am reading this at home, not in public–people would be wondering why I keep bursting out in laughter.

    Mike Powell

    January 1, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    • I appreciate your comment, Mike. Sometimes my initials S.S. can stand for more than Super Serious. In the years when I worked as a math teacher I was very demanding in what I expected my students to learn, but I also enjoyed playing around intellectually with the material and with them. That spirit shows up here from time to time. Happy New Year and Happy laughter to you, in places public as well as private.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 8:52 AM

  2. My eyes haven’t stopped watering with so much laughter, in a long time! Thanks to you, Steve, I’ve seen in the New Year with your very humorous eyes. Happy New Year to you too, and greetings from Melbourne! 😀
    PS: I’ve had a giggle or two with the search engine terms that have found my blog(s)!


    January 1, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    • You’re quite welcome, Janina, and a Happy (and more than half-day earlier) New Year to you in Melbourne. I’m glad your own search engine terms haven’t left you bereft in the past year. Let’s look forward to the strangeness to come.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      • What’s stranger still is the WP annual report….that’s a huge LOL! 😉


        January 1, 2013 at 8:32 PM

  3. Good Lord! Did you stay up all night writing this? First and best laugh of the new year!!! Happy 2013 to you and Eve!!!


    January 1, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    • Worse than staying up all night, I devoted months to it, but in drips and drabs, like the rain we had yesterday. Whenever I noticed an unusual search string on Word Press’s stats page, I added it to this nascent post.

      (By the way, the math teacher in my head can’t resist pointing out that if this was your first laugh of the year, it was automatically the best. It was also automatically the worst, but I won’t dwell on that. And by the way squared, on our way to the house of some friends in Round Rock last night, we drove past the Meister Ln. cul-de-sac, and on the way back past the would-have-been Mokan Prairie site, at both of which we went on early field trips with you and other people.)

      Eve and I wish you a Happy New Year, too, and happy native plants to us all.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 9:03 AM

  4. I so love your style! I don’t get gems like these since my blog is not tied to public searches. I have to live vicariously through your and others’ collections of wacky phrases. Thems some wacky ones, too. Probably the best compiled list I’ve seen yet.

    Thanks for sharing all that — I’m sure it took some time to compose. I really enjoyed the full read, laughed out loud on so many of them it’s difficult to pin them in a small comment box. Cheers, Steven. And Happy New Year!


    January 1, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    • Thanks, Shannon. Just call me the Stamen of Style (or the Stud). I’m sorry you don’t get any of these strange searches on your blog. I’m sure I could be induced to sell you some at a reasonable price. In fact, here’s a freebie from this morning’s stats page: “new year is rain of pleasant.” May this new year indeed be a rain of pleasant to us.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 9:11 AM

      • LOL “Rain of pleasant.” We’re having some of that today, in fact.


        January 1, 2013 at 9:16 AM

        • It really would be pleasant if those of us in Texas could get enough rain to ward off another drought.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 1, 2013 at 9:47 AM

  5. Well- it is apparent that a great many people have no idea how to use a search engine box. And of course lots of the same people clearly did not go far in school. (Anyhooo)– that is a word that I often use just because I like (anyhoooo) if you stretch your imagination the word could vaguely sound like an owl. I’m just yanking your chain now. This really is a cute post, Steve. I’m like the other commenters. This one made me smile. Keep those great posts rolling. You have some faithful subscribers that admire your work.


    January 1, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    • It’s my good (and funny) fortune that people keep doing some wacky searches.

      If you ever discover a new species of owl, I’m glad that you’ve got a name already picked out for it: the anyhooo owl.

      Anyhooo, I’m glad that you and other found this post to be a hoot.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 9:14 AM

  6. I’ve got a couple of really weird ones in my search strings too – yours were funny. I’d forgotten about that turtle shot!



    January 1, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    • I want the turtle to quote from “Casablanca” and say “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 9:59 AM

      • You should! You probably have multiple shots from that day – process another one and put a bubble on it. Too funny!


        January 1, 2013 at 10:06 AM

  7. Maybe you should consider publishing a quote of the day calendar, the photo and the search string . .. 🙂

    Bonnie Michelle

    January 1, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    • That could be fun (and a lot more work!), but I can’t always figure out which post a search string brought someone to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 10:17 AM

  8. Oh, my gosh! It was great to start the new year with such a laugh! I love receiving your blog every day. This hilarious post was icing on the cake.

    Vicki Bell

    January 1, 2013 at 10:15 AM

  9. I was drinking my first cup of coffee of 2013 when I started reading this post. A smile began to spread across my face and then it turned into outright laughter. I had to stop drinking my coffee. Thanks for a great start to the year!


    January 1, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    • You’re welcome. I’m sorry for the delayed caffeine, but I’m glad prudence won out and you avoided a coffee calamity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 10:58 AM

  10. Oh, the sound you hear is me gasping for breath after laughing too long and hard. Steve, this is too funny! Here’s a post you might enjoy from Brown Road Chronicles on an “interesting” search term. http://brownroadchronicles.com/2012/01/05/how-to-dispose-of-an-unflushable-poo/


    January 1, 2013 at 11:55 AM

  11. Hilarious- the turtle pic set me off but the sex mania- too too funny! Thanks for this wonderful way to start the new year – hope 2013 brings you much joy. K

    The Course of Our Seasons

    January 1, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    • A turtle and sex mania: novel ways to start the new year (at least for most of us). A happy 2013 to you, too, and may your search strings tie you in knots from time to time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 12:19 PM

  12. You had me in stitches Steve! Thanks for such a funny start to 2013. Happy New Year!


    January 1, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    • They say that a stitch in time saves nine. Does that mean I can skip the next nine days? No, you probably won’t let me off the hook.

      Happy 2013, Cathy. You’re a third of a day further into it than we are in Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 1:07 PM

  13. It’s even funnier after a glass of wine the second go ’round.


    January 1, 2013 at 9:36 PM

    • Thanks for the follow-up report after increasing your WQ (wine quotient). I confess that hadn’t occurred to me as a way to boost ratings.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2013 at 10:35 PM

  14. I had to pause frequently to wipe the tears from my eyes. What a good way to start the New Year – with some good laughs. And I liked the one about the poo, too. I love reading about Texas wildflowers; I lived near Houston for most of my life.Then I moved to Washington state. I’ve been here for about 5 years, and I haven’t scratched the surface of photo ops yet. I’m having so much fun!


    January 1, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    • We’ve ended up following opposite courses: I spent the first six months of my life in Washington state but have ended up in Texas. By any name, having lots of photo ops ahead of you, as we both do, is a good state to be in.

      Thanks for reporting your happy tears over this article.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2013 at 5:56 AM

  15. These are great. My personal fave was mean butterfly 🙂


    January 2, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    • Thanks for letting me know your favorite. Nowadays you hear mostly mean-spirited, but when I grew up the term was the simpler mean, so I wondered if some people might not get what mean means here. I’m glad that you not only did but came to like it the best. That’s no mean feat.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2013 at 6:06 AM

  16. I remember laughing at last year’s search criteria post, but this one is hilarious. Keeping up with things through the year is the way to do it, for sure.

    I was especially tickled to find my favorite caterpillar included – I didn’t even have to click the link to see his portrait, although I did click, of course, and smiled even more.

    Here’s another fun tidbit. You listed “suzanne elrod” “sculpture” and then added that you hadn’t a clue who she is. Sure you do. The name “suzanne elrod” is my all-time top search term, with 4,980 hits as of yesterday. (I just looked. Make that 4,982). It’ll be easier if you just look at the first name. 😉


    January 2, 2013 at 7:16 AM

    • Thanks for jogging my memory. I’d forgotten that Suzanne Elrod was Leonard Cohen’s wife, but I certainly remember your post about the famous-through-song Suzanne Verdal who wasn’t.

      I finally figured out what the sculpture in the search string had to do with anything. On January 1, 2012, when you left a comment mentioning that Suzanne Elrod was your top search string, someone else left a comment that happened to contain the phrase Sculpture by The Sea. As a result, the search engine hit was based entirely on comments rather than on anything in a post of mine per se.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2013 at 7:35 AM

  17. Steve, I had a great time reading all your jibs and jabs on search queries that led to your site. You really had fun with this didn’t you. 😉 I did think of a logical answer to your leaves with names and speaking flowers. “Leaves with names” = Leif Erickson, and “Speaking Flowers” would of course be the “Language of Flowers,” which was a quaint Victorian way of sending a symbolic, and usually romantic, message to a loved one. http://www.languageofflowers.com/
    Perhaps this will become a tradition with you at New Years? 🙂

    Of course, all of the above is more entertaining and fun than the two hits I received on Monday from someone searching for me by my first, maiden, and married name with two hits, and then leaving no comment. Kinda creeped me out. 😯


    January 2, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    • Yes, I did have fun with this, and probably spent way too much time on it, but I’m glad you found it worthwhile. This does seem to be on its way to a tradition, and a couple of search queries from yesterday have already found themselves into an otherwise empty post that I’ve scheduled for January 1, 2014. Of course that implies that I keep this blog up for another year. The things we get ourselves committed to (maybe we should get committed to a different sort of institution).

      Thanks for your insights on Leif Erickson and “Language of Flowers.” And speaking about romantic messages, maybe it was a timid old flame of yours who was trying to find you on the Internet this past Monday. Better that than an ax murderer, don’t you think?

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 2, 2013 at 9:17 AM

  18. Very entertaining!

    Emily Heath

    January 3, 2013 at 11:22 AM

  19. […] by this amusing post on Steven Schwartzman’s ‘Portraits of Wildflowers’ photography blog, I thought […]

  20. […] 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 into their search engines during the past year that […]

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

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