Fields, Knapweed and Insect Visitors


Old fields, forest edges and road corridors harbor an impressive variety of summer flowers, many of them alien. Knapweed is one that I have grown to appreciate due to the tremendous insect activity associated with its flowers.  On a hot, muggy summer afternoon it is possible to hear a field of knapweed in full bloom before you see it….bees! I liken the sound to that of the faint hum of traffic on a distant highway.


I appreciate the importance of this bloom as a food source for bees, and couldn’t walk away from a serving of knapweed honey. However, the main reason I trudge through the matted, thigh-high tangles of knapweed in the mid day heat is butterflies.






Painted Lady


Tiger Swallowtail



Photos by NB Hunter (late July, 2017). ©All Rights Reserved.

7 thoughts on “Fields, Knapweed and Insect Visitors

    • Thanks Shawn. I’ve been fascinated with butterflies since I was a kid and really enjoy the challenge of photographing them. I think of them as the “canary in the cage” with respect to environmental health.

  1. I just love wildlife….insects of all kinds, “weeds” of all kinds and of course your photography of the same. Thanks 🙂

  2. I agree with your analogy of butterflies to ‘canaries in a cage’ and feel so privileged when our garden hosts a variety of them. Your photographs are a wonderful way of indentifying them too!

  3. We have Viceroys and Tigertails who seem to enjoy our blackberry blossoms, but am not familiar with any of the others. Lovely shots! I know only too well how difficult it is to catch them flutterbyes.

  4. Thanks for taking us with you through the knapweed, Nick. Your photos are stunning, such a fantastic gallery of so many different butterflies. I like that you can hear the bees on the knapweed. And that grasshopper is so very cool.

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