This guy has been visiting us lately … much to our visual and spiritual delight.

He is pretty shy, spotting me from over a dozen meters away, and flitting off. I had to zoom in with my magical Canon SX-710 from almost 20 meters to capture these photos.

We are all three so happy with how pretty our garden looks. It is wonderful to share it with this swallowtail, and for him to grace our garden with his beauty.

After reading a bit about their life cycle, I will be letting local milkweed and other beneficials grow a little more freely.

I was going to post interesting bits about the Monarch Butterfly, its amazing 4-stage, 4-generation annual life-cycle from Mexico and nearby SW USofA. However, closer inspection led me to conclude my recent, regular garden visitor is instead a Two-Tailed Swallowtail butterfly. Probably every bit as cool and interesting, but just a tad different.


Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata)

This large yellow and black striped butterfly is truly a gift from nature. It has two tails and beautiful blue markings scaling across the hind wings. This butterfly is lovely and graceful, yet it is so rarely enjoyed up close and personal. In 2001, the Two-tailed Swallowtail made its way into history; it officially became the State Butterfly of Arizona. If you live in the western part of the United States, this butterfly would be a wonderful addition to any garden.

Family: Swallowtail (Papilionidae)

Subfamily: Swallowtail (Papilioninae)

Average Wingspan: 3 1/2″ – 5″

Habitat: Foothill slopes and canyons, moist valleys

Similar To: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail , Western Tiger Swallowtail

Plants That Attract This Butterfly

* May not be available for purchase at your local nursery.

Note: Always check a plant’s Hardiness Zone to make sure it will grow in your area. (What Is My Hardiness Zone?)

Where To Buy Plants

Butterfly Flight Range Map

Two-tailed Swallowtail Flight Range Map

post card from Conner

Warm spring-like, rainy and sunny weather had made all but the drifts of snow disappear.

Overnight last night that changed in a big way with about 4 inches of fresh, light, fluffy powder.

Picture perfect opportunity not to be missed.

Hey, what is all this stuff?

Conner Cabin front yard

(note bird in upper left)

The Bitterroot Dwarf Penguin
(American Dipper to some)

Conner Cabin back side

Conner riverside trailhead

The Honeymoon Cabin

take a hike

Lest I be accused of failing to stop and smell the roses…. We live in a lovely vacation paradise, so it is easy to just STAY here and enjoy the nature in our own back yard. But we took a break that I share here with you.

Bear Creek

bear grass

bear grass +

Missy n Scooter on trail



paint brushes

wildflowers 1

post card from Conner

It is a different world when the snow keeps on coming and we don’t have to go anywhere. We can just relax, smile and enjoy our snug little cabin. Better still, the storm is expected to be past by the time we do have places to go and people to see.

We are seeing snow like our winter on the other side of the mountains in Grangeville. Certainly no shortage of moisture in our mountains this year.


view ‘tween Conner and Darby


Heading in to Darby from Conner today, we passed this herd of elk. I pulled over. Missy shot ’em.

From the photo I counted 67 elk, but could easily be off by quite a bit either way. Regardless, they are beautiful. It is great that there are some good, strong herds here.