Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Can you see it?

with 32 comments

On November 15th north of Spring Heath Rd. in Pflugerville I photographed a possumhaw tree (Ilex decidua) with bright red fruit on it. Hidden in the tree was something else: take a look and see if you can pick it out. If you’re not sure, click the excerpt below for a closer look.

If you still aren’t sure, click the final thumbnail for a view of the mystery subject when it was in the open.

(If the subject’s identification eluded you in the URL for that last image, here it is more directly.)

And following up on this post’s title, “Can you see it?”, can you figure out what all the following English words have in common beyond the fact that in each one a vowel letter and a consonant letter alternate?


© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 27, 2020 at 4:35 AM

Posted in nature photography

Tagged with , , , ,

32 Responses

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  1. Nope, that mockingbird won’t sing for me, no idea what the words have in common.

    Robert Parker

    November 27, 2020 at 8:29 AM

    • In Texas you sometimes hear people say “That dog won’t hunt,” meaning that a proposed explanation for something isn’t adequate. You’ve flown with that notion, going from a dog to a mockingbird. In a day or two I’ll reveal what the words have in common, or maybe someone will figure it out sooner.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 27, 2020 at 8:56 AM

      • I’ve heard that expression, and once used it myself, during a conference call…and immediately heard a dog barking. Somebody, (nobody owned up to it), must’ve had a gadget for some reason with a recording of a dog on it.

        Robert Parker

        November 27, 2020 at 9:01 AM

  2. Your search puzzle reminds me of a book full of images that we used to challenge our three- or four-year son to find the gold bug. He would have found the bird in the tree instantly.

    Peter Klopp

    November 27, 2020 at 8:33 AM

    • Your young son would have done better than I did. The picture of my subject out in the open came first. After it flew (completely away, I thought), I took some pictures of the tree in its own right. Only when looking at my pictures later on a large monitor did I discover my subject had merely moved to a different branch.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 27, 2020 at 9:02 AM

      • At Flickr I once posted a landscape photo, where a bird was perched on one of the tree tops. I was not aware of it until one of my followers had pointed it out to me.

        Peter Klopp

        November 28, 2020 at 9:14 AM

        • I’m imagine all photographers who’ve been at it for a while have had experiences like that. Occasionally something new pops out of an image even after a long time.

          Steve Schwartzman

          November 28, 2020 at 9:41 AM

  3. I did not see the mockingbird, but did you see the hawk? It is hiding in the top right third of the tree.


    November 27, 2020 at 9:04 AM

  4. You bird mocks our observational skills. Did you see it when still or did it move to get your attention?

    Steve Gingold

    November 27, 2020 at 9:51 AM

    • Well said in your first sentence. Actually I first saw the mockingbird when it was out in the open on the tree, as shown in the post’s third picture. After the bird flew (completely away, I thought), I took some pictures of the tree in its own right. Only when looking at those pictures later on a large monitor did I discover the mockingbird had merely moved to a different branch, where it was well camouflaged.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 27, 2020 at 9:57 AM

  5. Thanks for the thumbnail, Steve. I’m really bad at spotting things. Even after having seen the Mockingbird in that picture, I could not spot it in the others.


    November 27, 2020 at 10:54 AM

    • There’s no reason to feel bad. The mockingbird in the first two pictures is barely visible. I wouldn’t have noticed it without having looked at my many-times-larger original photograph.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 27, 2020 at 11:26 AM

  6. I figured it was probably a Mockingbird, but didn’t see it until I got down to the thumbnail. Even used my Mag-eyes to magnify the photo on my laptop screen, and enlarged the view on the screen with the appropriate key combination. The Yaupons in my yard are full of red berries, too. And the Chile Paquin have their red fruits out for the plucking as well. So I might be able to see a Mockingbird that isn’t as well hidden. Thought I saw one on the bird feeder yesterday, but the birds are faster than my reflexes – and even in slo-mo on the camcorder they were just a blur…. so – thanks for the thumbnail!


    November 27, 2020 at 1:13 PM

    • The fruit on the yaupon outside my window has also turned red now, but even when it was still green I noticed a squirrel eating some. While I’ve not yet seen squirrels nibbling the ripe fruits on that tree, it probably shouldn’t be long now.

      The trouble with enlarging blog photos on a large monitor is that most of us post low-resolution images to make it less likely people will steal them. Enlarging a low-resolution picture soon leads to graininess because there just isn’t a lot of information in the image. In contrast, I can enlarge the full-size image a bunch of times and pull up more of the detail that’s actually there. I included the thumbnail at the end to give people a clear view of the mockingbird, even if in a different part of the tree.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 27, 2020 at 9:22 PM

  7. Beautiful mockingbird !!


    November 27, 2020 at 8:09 PM

    • These birds are among the most common that I see in Austin. Sometimes we hear them singing even when we can’t figure out where they are.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 27, 2020 at 9:23 PM

  8. I found the mockingbird in the second photo. It’s especially hard to pick out because its coloration is so close to that of the branches. That certainly is a beautiful possumhaw tree. I rarely see one with the fruits so evenly distributed.

    I couldn’t figure out your word puzzle, so I wrote a weird little story instead: “Some fat, sore donor has his lax tomato tower emit pan-awe, Son. Amen


    November 27, 2020 at 9:00 PM

    • Good for you for finding the mockingbird with just one degree of magnification. I was pleasantly to find the presence of a mockingbird in my original image, which I thought contained only the tree. As the possumhaws around Austin are increasingly shedding their leaves, more of the little red fruits are becoming noticeable. I may yet get to photograph even more impressive specimens.

      That’s one weird little story you’ve strung together from those disconnected words. Someone might be tempted to wonder what you were on, but not I. The puzzle will stay up for at least one more day to give people more time to work on it if they’re so inclined.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 27, 2020 at 9:29 PM

  9. Normally I’m good to find hidden objects, but I completely failed on this one! That possumhaw is loaded with fruits! The red really pops in the blue sky background. It seems we’ve had an explosion of mockingbird population in recent years. They are a delight to watch scare up insects in the grass using their wings.


    November 28, 2020 at 7:30 AM

  10. I like to think I’m good at finding things … no way! I needed the thumbnail, which by the way is a fabulous shot 🙂


    December 1, 2020 at 12:39 PM

    • Don’t feel bad: I didn’t know it was there either until I zoomed in on the full-size image on my computer screen. Two days later I got a much closer picture of a mockingbird than the one shown in the thumbnail but I haven’t posted it because so many other things are in the queue.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2020 at 12:50 PM

  11. That’s it?!


    December 5, 2020 at 7:08 PM

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