Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A new round of frolicking with search criteria

with 40 comments

Following 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 ended up bringing them to this blog. Sometimes the search engine did a great job of figuring out what the person wanted, sometimes it misled the searcher, and other times anybody would have a hard time figuring out what the searcher wanted. My response to each search string appears indented below it.


the beter sunflawer

There are no flaws in my sunflawer pictures, and you’d beter not say there are.

lost ductman mine state park

Wasn’t The Flying Ductman an opera by Wagner? By what alchemy did the search engine turn Ductman into Schwartzman?

where are greackles supost to be in december

Here’s where that query led.

portates made in wild flower fields

How about portraits? Or maybe you were hungry and were thinking of portatoes.

protraits of wildflowers rembrandt

You got Rembrandt right but you couldn’t spell portraits?

vicki wildflower portets

Et tu, Vicki.

fruit portraits with no people in it

At least this searcher knows how to spell portraits, but what does he have against people?

frog portraits

I’m surprised anyone wanted a frog portrait, but what the search engine led to was a photograph of a little wildflower called frog fruit.

asteronomer terning center

Frailty, thy name is spelling.

snowscpe exposure

There isn’t a single snowscape in my blog. Not even a snowscpe.

how many petals are on a firewheele

Technically speaking, zero, because each “petal” is actually a ray flower unto itself. The extra e at the end of firewheele should also go away and become a thing unto itself.

“henriette flatsetø”

I have no idea why a search for this Norwegian girl led to my blog.

clematis drummondii pod

Nice try, but Clematis drummondii doesn’t produce pods.

who sells hookers palafoxia seed

I don’t know, but I sure don’t sell palafoxia seed to any hookers.

lots en sioux huisache #9 donna tx

After the search engine ignored everything except huisache and TX, the searcher got taken to this picture.

new year is rain of pleasant

In Austin we did have some drizzle on January 1 of 2012, but rain of pleasant sounds so much more poetic than drizzle.

25 year tgp

The best I can make out is that TGP stands for Technical Glass Products. I don’t think they make any wildflowers.

what is a flower basket called

Word order matters: a flower basket isn’t a basket-flower.

j’adore sunflower

Moi too.

oltimer golden eye

I guess the search engine considers me an ol’-timer now, someone in his golden years, but still with a good eye.

do mexican hats ratabida plants spread & send out scouts

Yes, the Mexican hats send out scouts on horseback to reconnoiter the countryside.

do wasps like ragweed

I don’t know, but the search engine led the questioner to a post of mine about paper wasps building their nest on a dry giant ragweed plant. I think any similar support for the nest would have worked just as well.

are widows tears plant good luck

It was good luck for me, because I got this dynamic picture.

brown manuring in rice

I won’t go there.

dr partridge buffalo

I get the partridge and the buffalo, but the doctor stymies me.


Will you settle for groundsel + Texans?

what weed blooms in october in brookahaven miss thats bad on allergies

Why a question about Brookhaven, Mississippi, would lead to Austin, Texas, I don’t know, but the answer is probably ragweed.

definition of texas native grasses

Definition: Texas native grasses are grasses that are native in Texas.

painted lady butterfly wisconsin

I didn’t realize that Texas had annexed Wisconsin.

birthday spanking family


zex sex
teny 19 sex mania
photos sek mania mexico

As with similar queries in 2011 and 2012, these took some (undoubtedly let down) guys to a post about the wildflower called zexmenia. What kinky thing the searchers had in mind, I have no idea. If any of you do, shame on you.

body wax drop

What the person got taken to was a picture of two ants trapped in a drop of sunflower resin.

promiscuous louisianica

Make that Proboscidea louisianica. The plant may be the devil’s claw, but does that make it promiscuous? Or maybe it’s those wild folks in New Orleans.

pictures of snow on mountains

All the searcher got was a hot-weather view of the wildflower called snow-on-the-mountain.

grackle bird houston

Houston, Boston, Austin: they’re all the same place, aren’t they?

places without ragweed

But the search engine took you to Austin, the allergy capital of America, with lots of common ragweed and giant ragweed.

bluebells flowers “long island”

The bluebells are from Texas and I’m from Long Island.

why white heron comes inland?

Why did the chicken cross the road?

clarity of a bird

I don’t know what the searcher was after, but the query led to a post about a grackle on a metal fence, and beneath the photograph was a version of my usual caption: “Click for better color, clarity, and size.”

jack loticus snake rhyme

No post of mine mentions Jack Loticus or the rhyme he invented so people could distinguish a coral snake, which is venomous, from some similar-looking snakes that aren’t venomous. You can check out the original rhyme and some variants here.

middle east flowers and buds

Austin is more or less in the middle eastern part of Texas, but somehow I doubt that’s what the searcher had in mind.

flowers of the world

What a great example of narrowing your search string. When I tried this phrase I got 191 million hits.

google map of lake ontario

The searcher must have been surprised that “my” Lake Ontario was formed by clouds over Austin.

темная оса

That’s tyemnaya osa, Russian for ‘dark wasp.’ The day this search term turned up, no one was led to a post about a wasp. The viewed post closest to that was about an Argiope spider.

what leaf when spirals freezes

Make that 1 for 2 for the search engine: I showed a picture of a willow leaf spiral but I assure you nothing was freezing outdoors in Texas in September.

elm leaf tattoo

The search engine apparently thought that my picture of a new cedar elm leaf would make for a good tattoo.

metaphysics of yucca plant

I’ve gotten stuck by the sharp tips of yucca leaves, but isn’t that pain strictly physical rather than metaphysical?

the funnel web theme park

Wow, I never knew that funnel web spiders have theme parks. I guess it gets boring to be a funnel web spider, what with molting and eating insects and all that kinda stuff, so they need theme parks for amusement.

(il mourut poursuivant une haute aventure; il eut pour le brûler des astres le plus beau)

I tried this search in Google on April 6, and the eighth hit was my post about two ants trapped in a drop of sunflower resin. In the post I quoted a French poem from 1573 about Icarus, who in Greek legend dared to fly too close to the sun wearing wings attached to his body with wax, which melted and caused his doom. The ants and the sunflower were a bonus for the searcher.

çınar yaprağı

This Turkish phrase means ‘sycamore leaf,’ so let’s give credit to the search engine not only for translating that into English but also finding my blog post.

yayla çiçekleri

And this Turkish phrase means ‘spring flowers.’ I can’t be sure which post the person got taken to, but that day there were three page views from Turkey and three viewings of a Texas mountain laurel post.

nanas ungu

This Indonesian phrase means ‘purple pineapple.’ The search engine popped up a post about eryngo. Did the searcher know enough English to read the text and understand that what looks like a purple pineapple is actually a small flower head that has nothing to do with pineapples? (Et pour vous qui parlez français, vous reconnaissez que le mot nanas correspond à ananas.) (And if you don’t speak French, I pointed out that the Indonesian word for ‘pineapple’ is very similar to the French word for ‘pineapple.’)

паслен цветы тычинки

This Russian phrase translates as “nightshade flower(s) stamens.” Strangely, although I do have posts showing that, none of them appeared in the list of pages viewed on the same day as the query. And here’s an interesting bit of language: the Russian noun цвето (tsveto) means ‘color,’ but the plural цветы (tsveti) means ‘flowers.’

wild flowers фото

Why would someone who knows enough to write wild flowers in English write photo in Russian?

can u eat a spider crab in darwin

Can u find a crab spider in Schwartzman? Yes—at least in his blog.

virginia state leaf

I’ve heard of an official state flower but never an official state leaf. Talk about micro-managing. But what can you expect from a state that used to make you get your car inspected twice a year?

sometimes still i cannot keep

Sometimes reply I cannot make.

austin daily flower false

I don’t know what kind of aspersions you’re casting there, bud, but all my Austin daily flowers are real.

squirrels coming house

My squirrels staying roof. No coming house. People coming house.

elm leaf meaning

I sometimes get philosophical, but wondering what an elm leaf means is too philosophical even for me.

vulture pronounce

Quoth the vulture: “Nevermore!”

redbud trees near mt. shasta

I guess the redbud trees in Austin are near the ones at Mt. Shasta if you’re looking from the moon.

winter flowers of india which are rarely found in india

What’d they do, move to Florida to get away from the cold? (I once mentioned that Austin has a lot of technology companies, so it’s not unusual to see people from India here.)

abstract liquid photography

There aren’t any examples of that on my blog, unless you count trees or plants reflected in the surface of a pond or creek.

image of plant having fully thorn

Imagine me as I read this having fully smile.

do chiggers like bluebonnets

I don’t know, but I’m sorry to say they sure like me.

white things that are in the sky that look like doves

We normally call those things clouds.

william faulkner and spanish moss

I provided the plant but you’ll have to provide your own Faulkner.

where did the photographer gary moss grow up?

This led to a post about Spanish moss growing on a tree. Whether it looks like Gary, I can’t say.

dry leafs places

Whenever we have a drought here, Texas becomes one of those dry leafs places. Then all the married men scrounge for water to save the lifes of their wifes.

prairie wildflowers art

Oh, once again the search engine thinks my pictures of prairie wildflowers are art: what a smart search engine!

what goes well with a flame leaf sumac

My camera.

my frostweed didn’t split in the frost

Oh, you poor baby, you must’ve been so disappointed. Mine did.

falling through thin ice

Come to think of it, that takes less energy and is therefore less painful than crashing through thick ice.

a climber who has purple coloured flowers

Don’t you love calling a plant a who? Or maybe we’re looking for a mountain climber who wears purple flowers while climbing.

purple flower looks like it comes out of round thing with long flowers

Thanks for being so explicit.

fasciation cannabis

I think think there are a lot more people fascinated by cannabis than by fasciation.

bluebonnets, daisys, dandylions(flowers)

Lions are fine and dandy with me, just as long as they stay far away from any bluebonnets and daisies I’m photographing.

world best flower in hq clearity

I make sure my pictures have lots of clearity. In fact my blog is the world headquarters of clearity.

photography passion

That’s me!

a close at a flowers

I hope that wasn’t from a native speaker of English.

small fuzzy green plant that curls at the end whats it called

You got me, pal.

texas firewheel flower poem

Hail to you, mighty firewheel!
Your saturated red and yellow,
More colorful than a wire wheel,
Make me want to shout and bellow.

big brown furry beatle

Would that be John, Paul, George, or Ringo?

how long usps for mail “from austin to austin”

In my experience, as long as a week, alas. What this has to do with wildflowers, though, I don’t know.

steve swartzmam photography
steven swartzmann nature blog

Frailty, thy name is misspelling.

eric schwartzman wildflower photographer austin

I’ve hosted trail walks with geologist Eric Potter. Looks like his head got put on my shoulders.

famous floral photographers

Yay! The search engine thinks I’m a famous floral photographer. Silly search engine.


Wow, out of the tens of thousands of blogs on WordPress, the search engine led someone to mine. Smart search engine.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 1, 2014 at 6:20 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

40 Responses

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  1. I really enjoyed reading this – thank you for your takes on people’s misses.


    January 1, 2014 at 7:01 AM

  2. Wow, you sure put a lot of work into this post, and it’s hiliarious!! My favourite was the “places without ragweed” being an allergy sufferer myself. Remind me never to take advice from a search engine in that regard :). Happy New Year by the way.


    January 1, 2014 at 7:04 AM

    • Thanks for appreciating the work, Cindy. I added to the post as things came up, so the labor was spread out throughout the year.

      I’m sorry the “places without ragweed” strikes close to home for you, too. It’s one more occupational hazard for a nature photographer.

      Happy January 1st to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2014 at 7:19 AM

  3. This made me smile. Here’s to another year of perplexing search terms.

    Emily Heath

    January 1, 2014 at 7:15 AM

  4. Those were funny. Google is spooky sometimes how well it ‘knows’. I tried this (wldflwrs teckis steev) and got your blog at the top of the list.

    Happy New Year.

    Jim in IA

    January 1, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    • That was clever of you. The teckis baffled me (sometimes I think quite literally) but I tried your search, and without skipping a beat (unless a beat is less than 0.38 seconds) Google said “Showing results for wildflowers texas steve. The first hit was a collection of photographs showing Texas wildflowers or other elements of nature, including (but not limited to) a bunch of mine. The second hit was this post. I’m glad you extended this bit of New Year’s Day fun.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2014 at 7:56 AM

  5. I enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed the others. So much fun, not only the search terms, but also your skillful responses (save the lifes of their wifes). I very much have enjoyed your blog these last couple of years. Thanks for keeping us nature-types engaged and enriched. Cheers, Steve! And Happy New Year from your Texas neighbor to the east.


    January 1, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    • Thanks for letting me know, Texas neighbor to the east, and Happy New Year to you on this sunny and calm morning (at least in Austin). Speaking of wifes, did you know that the word woman began as the Anglo-Saxon version of wife-man, where man meant ‘person’? You can still find a trace of the original first vowel in the plural women, whose first syllable we pronounce as if it were wim. And if I snuck in this bit of language lore, just call it a whim of mine.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2014 at 8:07 AM

      • Not surprising and great tidbit indeed. It’s what I like about coming here!


        January 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

  6. oh some of those are hilarious.


    January 1, 2014 at 7:43 AM

    • As long as people keep submitting search terms there’ll be a guaranteed supply of hilarity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2014 at 8:08 AM

  7. Apt summary of the world of blogging and cyberspace. Well done.


    January 1, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    • Thanks, Sally. New Year’s Day finds you philosophical: I’d be happy to see you parlay your observations on cyberspace into a blog post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2014 at 8:12 AM

  8. Haha, what great fun Steve, and such brilliant responses! You have cheered up what has been a very dark and dreary day here in the Shires.

    do mexican hats ratabida plants spread & send out scouts
    Yes, the Mexican hats send out scouts on horseback to reconnoiter the countryside.

    had me LOL 😀
    Jude xx


    January 1, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    • I’m glad you found it fun, Jude, especially if you’ve had a dark and dreary day over there in the Shropshires (in contrast to the sunshine here in the Texshires this morning). I imagined the Mexican army in 1836 sending out scouts during the war against the insurgent Texians (that’s what they used to be called; Texans is the modern form). You may be familiar with that war from the Battle of the Alamo, which though a defeat for the Texians became an icon of Texas history.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2014 at 11:01 AM

  9. How does one recover a list of items such as this?

    Pairodox Farm

    January 1, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    • If you go to your WordPress “My Stats” page, there’s a section of that page titled “Search Engine Terms.” If you click on Summaries in the upper right portion of that section, you’ll be taken to a page where you can click to see search terms from the last 7 days, 30 days, quarter, year, or all-time (which I imagine takes you back to the big bang, if not before). I’ve described things as I see them on my blog, but different WordPress themes might present things differently.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2014 at 11:29 AM

  10. Oh my gosh these are just too funny! Happy New Year to you Steve and your family!!! All the best in the future!


    January 1, 2014 at 12:40 PM

  11. Delightful. Thanks. Your photos are fabulous.

    Martha Goudey

    January 1, 2014 at 3:44 PM

  12. Steve,
    Thank goodness you have made this entry ” a tradition”. After laughing at each of the items from this year, I went back and read with glee the previous two year’ s offerings—-when I found the one about cemetery plots and ” You might try dying.”, I almost collapsed with convulsions.
    You have turned a grey day sunny with your wit. Can hardly wait till next year!!


    January 1, 2014 at 3:47 PM

    • Thanks for letting me know you enjoy this tradition, Esther. It all depends on the search criteria that WordPress reports to us. If there are good ones in 2014 (and there’s no reason to think there won’t be) then I’ll have material for another year-end compendium, as well as an outlet for some of my New York sarcasm (which hasn’t always stood me in good stead in the South). In any case, I’m glad this post brightened a grey day for you and that you were able to stop short of collapsing with convulsions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2014 at 5:25 PM

  13. 19 sex mania


    January 1, 2014 at 11:46 PM

  14. Reblogged this on WordVerseUniverse and commented:


    January 2, 2014 at 6:21 AM

  15. I am jealous of your great search terms! You should try your hands at search term poetry 😉 (No comments – just the strange stream of consciousness of your visitors).


    January 3, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    • I’ll take your jealousy as enthusiasm, Elke. The number of search terms reported to me in recent months has fallen off, so I don’t know if I’ll do a version of this next year, with or without comments. I’m glad to see you’re still doing your quarterly poem.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 3, 2014 at 9:58 AM

  16. I just love your sense of humor! Those are great search terms. I never thought of doing a post about it but I have had some strange ones in the past. Now I’m intrigued to go back through them just for a laugh!

    Michael Glover

    January 3, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    • I’m glad to hear you appreciate the humor. I used to have an outlet for it in my teaching, but since I haven’t done that for some years now, this blog provides an occasional release. I hope you’ll be inspired to play with your search terms.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 3, 2014 at 11:46 PM

  17. Always look forward to this annual post of yours. I rarely looked at my blog’s search engine words until you brought it to my attention. It’s always perplexing and good for a laugh.

    Mind Margins

    January 8, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    • Hi, Angela. I’m especially glad, for obvious reasons, that this post brought you a good laugh. I’ve been getting fewer interesting search engine terms in the last few months (in fact fewer, period), so I don’t know if I’ll have enough material to continue the tradition. Pictures, though, I can provide.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 8, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      • Well, I for one hope all the nutty searches continue so I can read your post again next year.

        Mind Margins

        January 8, 2014 at 5:17 PM

  18. So has wordmot forever: unmemorized inoriginalled expressionization


    January 11, 2014 at 4:27 PM

  19. […] If any of you crave above-and-beyond-the-call stimulation, you’re welcome to look back at the corresponding search-engine posts from New Year’s Day in 2012, 2013, and 2014. […]

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