Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Yet another Euphorbia

with 45 comments

You’ve already seen Euphorbia bicolor, Euphorbia marginata, and Euphorbia cyathophora here this season. Now comes Euphorbia corollata, which doesn’t grow in Austin or anywhere else in Travis County but which I found 40 miles southeast of home in Bastrop State Park on September 23rd. (In searching past posts, I discovered that 1200 miles northeast of Austin, during a visit to Illinois Beach State Park in 2015, I’d taken and shown you a photograph of this wide-ranging species in an earlier stage of flowering.)

The crab spider in the picture above is a bonus—for you as well as me, given that I didn’t notice it at the time I took the picture. I did notice the plant’s red stems, which are also a feature of Euphorbia bicolor and Euphorbia marginata. And now that I’ve brought up those other red stems, I guess I’ll have to show you one. Below is a minimalist view of a snow-on-the-mountain stalk against blue sky at Tejas Camp in Williamson County on September 25.


Don’t you love spam? Of course you don’t, but it can be amusing. Here’s a recent comment I got:

I precisely had to thank you very much all over again. I’m not certain what I could possibly have undertaken without the entire tactics discussed by you about this situation. Entirely was a very difficult problem for me, however , seeing a specialized strategy you handled that took me to cry for joy. Now i’m grateful for the service and as well , wish you realize what an amazing job you happen to be carrying out instructing the rest with the aid of your blog. I’m certain you haven’t got to know all of us.

The linguist in me can’t help wondering what language that was translated from. At the same time, the comment is superfluous: modest me already knew the amazing job I happen to be carrying out instructing the rest of you, and I’m sure many of my posts have taken you to cry for joy.

Here’s another recent bit of spam:

That is a beneficial viewpoint, however isn’t make every sence whatsoever dealing with which mather. Any method thanks in addition to i had make an effort to share your current post straight into delicius but it surely is apparently an issue using your websites is it possible to you should recheck this. many thanks again.

In dealing with the mather, I hope you’ll share this current post straight into delicius.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 14, 2021 at 4:35 AM

45 Responses

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  1. Pretty little flowers! I’m not surprised that you didn’t see the spider at first – bet it was hoping for a fly rather than a photographer, hehe! I get daft spam like that too – can’t understand what makes them think it will get posted. (Though I suppose they’re hoping that comments will be unmoderated, which would be very unwise of the blogger!)

    Ann Mackay

    October 14, 2021 at 5:56 AM

    • Pretty little flowers, and small—I’m guessing maybe a third of an inch across (unfortunately I couldn’t find the size stated in any of my wildflower books). As for spiders on plants, I’m sure I’ve annoyed many of them over the years. Fortunately they haven’t annoyed me, and have sometimes provided good pictures. In fact I’ll have a portrait of a colorful one coming up soon.

      I’ve set this blog to what I find a happy medium: commenters get moderated the first time they post, but not thereafter if I approve the first comment.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 14, 2021 at 6:17 AM

  2. I enjoyed the Euphorbia photos, Steve, both the flower and crab, as well as the pink stem.

    Jet Eliot

    October 14, 2021 at 5:59 AM

    • Have you found any Euphorbia-family plants with colorful stems near you or on your travels?

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 14, 2021 at 6:19 AM

  3. I sometimes turn spam into poems. Spametry. Some of it is quite Dada. Some surreal. Some frighteningly thought provoking.

    J. Alex Pan

    October 14, 2021 at 7:33 AM

    • As a fan of trigonometry, I like your term “spametry.” You could invoke an adage and say you’re turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 14, 2021 at 7:53 AM

      • Or making lemonade, to invoke another adage?

        Which, as someone involved in the culinary field for most of my life, I never could quite understand the “problem” of life giving one lemons. Where would we be without them?!
        We are never without them in our fridge, though we never actually make lemonade…..

        J. Alex Pan

        October 17, 2021 at 4:22 PM

        • Most people apparently relate to the sourness of lemons rather than the sweetness that the sourness masks. If there’s a problem, it’s in not recognizing and valuing the sweetness.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 17, 2021 at 9:33 PM

  4. I would have overlooked the crab spider if you hadn’t mentioned it, tiny and well camouflaged. The red stem after some magnification impresses me with its hairy appearance.

    Peter Klopp

    October 14, 2021 at 8:44 AM

    • In addition to the red, it was all those little white hairs that drew my attention and made me eager to photograph this stalk.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 14, 2021 at 11:49 AM

  5. Great pair of photos. Love that little crab spider who’s waiting patiently for something smaller than itself to happen by…

    Tina

    October 14, 2021 at 11:41 AM

    • I wait for smaller things than me to pass by, too. I’d hate to meet a spider that was the same ratio to me as I was to this crab spider.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 14, 2021 at 11:52 AM

  6. In truth, you have not made me cry for joy – yet. But your photography is beautiful and that comment certainly made me giggle.

    susurrus

    October 14, 2021 at 2:59 PM

  7. That spider is easily overlooked in the field, especially as it blends in with the plant material. I’ve made my share of overlooked discoveries while processing.

    I think most of the spam is computer generated although I’d expect a computer to have Grammarly in its database for such and make more sense. I can’t help but wonder exactly what purpose the spam serves for the majority of what we receive as it is just a collection of nonsense. I’ll needle you a bit and say I cried for joy a few posts ago when there was no politics involved.

    Steve Gingold

    October 14, 2021 at 4:39 PM

    • Fortunately, based on past finds, we’ll never run out of discoveries when looking at our photographs on a large monitor.

      Your last sentence is funny. Now I know who to pin the needling on.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 14, 2021 at 6:30 PM

      • We get tunnel vision often and zone in on a specific subject or feature to the exclusion of all or most else. Surprises are usually a gift…unless it’s a beer can or cigarette butt..

        I am happy to be the blogging donkey.

        Steve Gingold

        October 14, 2021 at 6:42 PM

        • A person on a television program that we were watching the other day mentioned pinning the tail on something, and I had to explain to Eve that that was a reference to a children’s game.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 14, 2021 at 7:36 PM

          • Cultural exchange. To be fair though, I am sure there are some folks native to this country who never heard of that just like we each share cultural examples the other hasn’t heard of although I would say the ones you share most often a little more highbrow than those of mine.

            Steve Gingold

            October 15, 2021 at 3:12 AM

  8. The first bit of spam precisely reminds me of Thomson & Thompson, the detectives in Tintin, to be precise, I am reminded all over again good sir

    Robert Parker

    October 14, 2021 at 5:27 PM

    • As a child I watched Rin Tin Tin on television but Tintin escaped me, even as a French major in college. I’m glad you have happy memories.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 14, 2021 at 6:35 PM

      • The Tintin stories had a dog, Snowy, a fox terrier, pretty smart.

        Robert Parker

        October 14, 2021 at 8:37 PM

        • And Poe had:

          “the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
          From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
          Bells, bells, bells —
          From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.”

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 15, 2021 at 5:31 AM

  9. Ha, spam is annoying, but certainly entertaining at times.

    Eliza Waters

    October 14, 2021 at 5:40 PM

    • I often forget to check WordPress’s spam folder. Once in a while I find a legitimate comment in there, along with some fun to poke fun at, as I did here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 14, 2021 at 6:36 PM

  10. Thank you for pointing out the crab spider. It blends in well on that beautiful euphorbia.

    Lavinia Ross

    October 15, 2021 at 11:37 AM

    • That blending in contributed to my not seeing the spider through the camera’s viewfinder at the time I composed the photograph. The camouflage may also have fooled critters more interested in pouncing than in pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2021 at 11:52 AM

  11. I love little discoveries like the crab spider. It really does blend in well in this photo so I can see why you didn’t notice it right away. I doubt I would have either.

    Todd Henson

    October 15, 2021 at 3:09 PM

    • I’ve often wondered how many times I missed something altogether, meaning that I never even took a picture that I could discover it in later. In this case the coloring worked well as camouflage.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2021 at 3:57 PM

  12. Maybe that first comment isn’t spam. It sounds as though it could have been written by a non-English speaker who’d been hard at work absorbing the tips on your ‘techniques’ page!

    Thinking about my sighting of E. corollata in the Sandylands Preserve in east Texas, it occurred to me that Sandylands, Bastrop, and Illinois Beach State Park have at least one thing in common: more or less sandy soil. Beyond that, the Black Oak savanna in Illinois is much like Sandylands; the trees differ, but the same sort of open canopy allows for the emergence of grassland plants. Sandylands sometimes is described as ‘a prairie with trees,’ and it sounds as though that would fit in Illinois, too.

    That spider certainly was well camouflaged. At first I thought it was a malformed flower; even after your mention, it took me a minute to see all its tiny parts. The flower helped me grasp the spider’s size; the Illinois Wildflower site says “Individual flowers span about ¼” across (including their petaloid bracts).”

    shoreacres

    October 15, 2021 at 9:27 PM

    • I precisely have to thank you for your optimistic take on spam.

      Till I started photographing native plants two decades ago, I never realized how much the kind of soil in a region determines what will grow there. It seems obvious now.

      The spider here is differently patterned from the crab spiders I’m used to seeing. I realize now that I never even sent it to bugguide to try to find out what it is. Speaking of which, had it not been for Melissa, I probably wouldn’t have identified many of the plants I photographed at Illinois Beach State Park.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 16, 2021 at 4:47 AM

  13. Yes, I get those comments too. What is the purpose I wonder? Regarding your second image … I thought you might like to know I shaved my legs today! 😀

    denisebushphoto

    October 18, 2021 at 1:17 PM

    • Now that last sentence is unlike any comment I’ve ever gotten here. At the very least, I’m assuming the colors don’t match.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2021 at 2:13 PM

    • And yes, I’ve never understood what spammers expect to accomplish by posting non-sensical, ungrammatical commments.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 18, 2021 at 2:15 PM

  14. Crab spiders are very interesting and I would have totally looked right past it. lmao!

    MARY NEELY

    October 20, 2021 at 12:58 PM

    • I did look right past it while I took my pictures. Only later, on my large monitor, did I see it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 20, 2021 at 6:34 PM

  15. And a very handsome little crab spider too! Thanks for the spam giggle ..

    Julie@frogpondfarm

    October 21, 2021 at 11:03 PM

    • You’re welcome for the giggle.
      Most crab spiders I see are pale, whereas this one had some dark markings that set it apart from what I’m used to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 22, 2021 at 4:48 AM


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