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Picture of the day
Papilio machaon

Papilio machaon is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae and the type species of the genus Papilio. Despite its common name Old World swallowtail, this species is not restricted to the Old World, as populations can be found in North America.

The butterfly has a strong and fast flight, but frequently pauses to hover over flowering herbs and sip nectar. It frequents alpine meadows and hillsides, and males are fond of congregating near summits to compete for passing females. The species feeds mostly on plants of family Umbelliferae.

Photograph: Werner Pichler
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A circa 1827 ukiyo-e print by Yashima Gakutei showing a woman playing a tsuri-daiko hanging drum. The tsuri-daiko are a type of taiko drum that produce a low sound, and are commonly used in ensembles accompanying bugaku court dances. They are suspended on a small stand, and are played while sitting.

Painting: Yashima Gakutei

George Catlin

George Catlin (1796–1872) was an American painter, author and traveler who specialized in portraits of Native Americans in the Old West. Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Catlin was fascinated with Native American culture from a young age. He began depicting them in art in the 1820s, and between 1830 and 1836 he visited almost fifty Plains Indians tribes in the American west. From his experiences, he produced a collection of over five hundred paintings which he exhibited on tour. These works are now housed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Painting: William Fisk

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