A Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) on knotweed in the Boston area.
I uploaded this photo to use as my User Profile image for a while. It's not mountain-related but it was popular enough that I haven't deleted it even though I have a new profile image.
The Sphex genus is part of the family of "digger wasps", best known for burying paralyzed insects on which they lay their eggs - the larvae eat the insects. As you can see, the adults' diet includes nectar or pollen.
Knotweeds (also known as lady's-thumb, smartweed, and redshank) are edible, in fact one species of knotweed was among the first plants to be domesticated north of the Rio Grande. (This is probably not that species, but one of several that was introduced from Europe.) the stems can be boiled and eaten (though they're said to be somewhat bitter, like rhubarb) and the roots can be boiled or roasted; "very young tender" leaves can be eaten too.
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