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The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of America’s greatest drives, passing through the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and North Carolina. I drove part of the Parkway one August, spending a full day traveling roughly from Asheville to Cherokee. Along the way, there were dozens of places to stop for short hikes and photography in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Despite it being mid-August in one of the busiest natural areas of the United States, it was surprisingly peaceful.

One of the trails I hiked in North Carolina was filled with butterflies. I believe this is a female Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor). Just above the butterfly is a wasp or bee. I think it looks like a wasp, but I am not 100% sure. If you’re a better entomologist than I am, please let me know in the comments below.

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