I found a field of elecampane up on Telfer Hill Road this summer and I want some. John and I returned to to the field to chase butterflies that afternoon. I don't know why I didn't dig up some of these wildflowers then, but I will next summer. The field was alive with the buzzing of insects. We think the bug in the photo above is a bee mimic fly of some sort but aren't sure. It could be a type of hover fly. In the days to come, you'll see the photos of the other bugs we captured there.
Elecampane looks like a tall, frilly sunflower. It is actually an aster, though. In France they use elecampane to make absinthe. The scientific name helenium is because legend says that where Helen of Troy's tears fell, elecampane sprung up. It is also, I learned on that marvelous afternoon, a butterfly magnet.