We often collect wild flowers from the roadsides when we don’t have sufficient bloom in our own yard to decorate the rooms in our house. A couple of weeks ago we were on a flower-gathering expedition when we came to a convenient pullout where Harrison County 25 meets WV 98. Lisa pointed to a pretty stand of Joe Pye Weed at the edge of the pullout and said “get that one”. Then she added, “get the butterfly, too”.
I did my best. The Joe Pye Weed bloom went home with us, into a vase in the dining room. The butterfly posed long enough for me to get this picture, then went merrily on its way.
I think this is a Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor), maybe a female.
Today I noticed that our Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) had begun producing seed pods.
Trumpet vine seed pods
I never expected Trumpet vine seed pods to look like beans.
Otherwise, they don’t look much like legumes.
Trumpet vine in flower
A red aphid (Uroleucon sp) checking out a colony of spittlebug (Cercopoidea sp.) nymphs in our yard, 10 August 2017.
Red aphid with spittlebug nymphs
The nymphs of the froghoppers, insects similar to leafhoppers, protect themselves by secreting a froth that looks a lot like spittle, thus earning the name “spittlebugs”. I don’t know what that red aphid was doing there. Maybe it was comparing sap-sucking techniques.
Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) near the old Buckhannon Run school, in Buckhannon Run, Lewis County, West Virginia, 6 August 2017.
Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)
Perhaps not as vibrant as Ironweed, but still a major bee and butterfly attractor.
Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata) along the road by Jackson’s Mill, near Weston, West Virginia, 6 August 2017.
Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata)