Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

Sweetheart underwing in Montana!

Marty’s photo of the day #3676: This is a sweetheart underwing. Over the weekend, this moth was stuck in my garage before I convinced it to fly out the door. Then, last night, it showed up again. Sweetheart underwings are a type of sphinx moth, and, apparently, this particular species is rare in Montana. After I photographed it, I looked it up on two different websites. According to the field guide at, there has been only one other sighting in Montana, and that was in 2015. So later today, I plan to go to and report a second sighting.

Why is it that cool insects always seem so rare, and the obnoxious ones, like yellow jackets, mosquitos, and anti-vaxxers always seem so plentiful?

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