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

become an amateur radio operator

Thursdays 4:30-6:30pm
Darby Library meeting room
July 13th – September 7th

Handy in many situations, radio communications can be life saving when phones and Internet are down or out of reach

Ham radios start where walkie-talkies leave off, with licensed radio operators communicating around the corner and around the world.

ARRL License Manual costs $29.95
includes chapters on every aspect of the licensing exam and numerous practice tests

Darby Thursday study sessions are FREE
YOU can be an amateur radio operator
No electronics background required

Click this link for a .pdf poster advertising the class:Ham-radio-class-poster-7-2017

Below is a .jpg image of the class advertisement.


For those ready to test for Technician, General or Amateur Extra licenses, there is a test session coming up next Monday from 1630-1800 local time. If that time reference seems a bit odd, you probably are not ready for testing.

The test session will be held in Hamilton Montana BJ’s restaurant, south west banquet room.

The regular monthly Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club (BARC) meeting starts immediately after with casual dinner, radio amateurs socializing. The formal meeting begins at 1900 and typically runs for an hour.

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

Twins Daughters Reunited

I’ve been thinking about doing the DNA test to see if I can find my father or a connection to his family. Maybe because that is in the back of my mind, this closer tie has surfaced.

I always said that if God ever gave me more than one baby at a time that I would keep one and give one away.

Well, it turns out that is what happened, Sara, you have a twin and I just found her. I have brought her home so you can meet her. She’s grown up, too, like you and has a reputation.

Apparently, she’s your “evil twin” because her name is Naughty Natalie. I was leaning toward the names “Nicole and Natalie” when you were born, well apparently, Natalie is the one I gave away. She is a fiery red head, making the cause of her troubles genetic, maybe, if there is anything to the “red hair” temperament theory.

I am posting pictures of both of you so you can see the resemblance. Uncanny, isn’t it???

I know it shows Natalie’s birthday as September 28, but you will remember that you were born a month early, August 28. Natalie probably uses the date you’d have been born had I not been rearranging the furniture getting ready for your arrival.

When you visit, next, we must get a photo of you with your twin, Naughty Natalie. Love, Mom