Newsletter Archive

On July 4th we celebrate Independence Day, the birth of our nation, with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.  Hope you have a happy and safe celebration!

We would like to celebrate the July birth of two of our past presidents who share many similarities.  On July 11, 1767 John Quincy Adams was born in Braintree, Massachusetts.  George W. Bush was born on July 6, 1946 in New Haven, Connecticut. Both men graduated from Harvard University, Adams with a Bachelor's and  a Master's in Art degree and Bush with a Master of Business Administration, the only president with that degree.  Adams was the 6th United States president and served a single term from 1825 to 1829.  Bush was the 43rd. president from 2001 to 2009, having served 2 terms.  Both men are the only United States presidents to have had a father that was a United States president.  They were both in their 50's  when they went into office, Adams at 58 years and Bush at 54 years.  Both men won the presidential election without winning the popular vote.    There were 5 presidents accomplishing this feat: John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000, and Donald J. Trump in 2016. 

Both men had animals during their time in the White House.  Adams had an alligator, given to him by the Marquis de Lafayette.  The gator was housed in the unfinished East Room and its nearby bathtub.  Much to the dismay of many visitors, he delighted in showing off his reptile!  He also had silkworms living in the Mulberry trees on the White House grounds.  This was a project mainly of interest to his wife, Louisa.  She would harvest the silk and use it in her sewing projects and her gowns.  Bush had dogs and cats; 2 Scottish Terriers, an English Springer Spaniel and a jet-black cat named India. 

Both men had fitness habits.  Adams would regularly go for a brisk nude swim in the Washington Potomac River at 5a.m. for 20 minutes to an hour.  If it was too cold to swim he would take a 2 to 6 mile walk around Washington.  Bush enjoyed jogging and before becoming President ran the Houston Marathon, a 5 Km run, in 3:44:52, the fastest ever run by a US President.  He also ran the NYC Marathon, a 42.195 Km run, in just before the 5 hour mark.  During his time in office he ran 6 times a week and it was reported that he could run 3 miles at a 6 minute pace.  He even had a tread mill on Air Force One.

Adams enjoyed billiards, swimming and walking, while Bush enjoyed running, fishing and painting.

Adams:  "In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress".

Bush:  "Some folks look at me and see a certain swagger, which in Texas is called walking".

On the 4th Sunday of July we celebrate "National Parents' Day."  This year it falls on July 22nd.  This celebration  was created in 1994 when  President Bill Clinton signed a Congressional Resolution for recognizing, uplifting and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.  While your parents are still within reach  or  just a phone call away, never pass up the chance to tell them how much you appreciate them.  Don't wait till it's too late!  As Ezra Taft Benson said, "Our parents deserve our honor and respect for giving us life itself.  Beyond this they almost always made countless sacrifices as they cared and nurtured us through our infancy and childhood, provided us with the necessities of life, and nursed us through physical illnesses and the emotional stresses of growing up." 

In recognition of Parents' Day,  we give you "Air Meal".   This family of osprey was captured in Bonita Springs, Florida.  I was drawn to the nest by the loud, continuous  squawking of the mother bird.  I decided she must be sending a message to her spouse, so I set up my camera and waited about 45 minutes. Finally, the errant father showed up with dinner, having had a snack on the way(note the missing fish head)!  Mama finally hushed as father delivered his catch.   The mother became busy tearing up the pieces and feeding her two youngsters, while father quietly observed.  Occasionally the father would try to sneak a piece of the fish, and the mother would loudly object and flap her wings in disapproval.  Mother ruled the roost!

"Air Meal" is available in table top to wall size, triple matted and with or without a frame.  The matted versions are yours at a 10% discount and the framed matted versions in sizes 11x14 and larger can be yours at a 15% discount.

Visit our website, www.throughthelensoflee-margaret.com for available sizes and prices.

Stop by and see us on Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30p.m. to 5p.m.

The gallery is open for arranged Saturday appointments.  Call us at 904-387-8710 to schedule your special visit.  Come see us and order now.

"We never know the love of a parent till we become parents ourselves".

— Henry Ward Beecher                 
    

I would like to share with you a new accomplishment.  The Gallery recently submitted images to the Cultural Center of Cape Cod for consideration in their "Fauna" online photography competition.  We received the following notice:

Lee-Margaret:

Congratulations!  Your work has been selected to be a part of our FAUNA online gallery.  We received entries from all over the world, the quality of work was incredible, including you own.

The selected images are now on our website,  http://www.cultural-center.org/fauna/

We were inspired by the variety of the submissions and strength of the work and look forward to supporting the creative community for years to come.

On behalf of the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, thank you again for allowing us to consider your work for the online exhibition.  We wish you continuing success in your artistic endeavors.

The Cultural Center was opened in 2007 and is located in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts.  Their motto is "All The Art for All of Us". Please visit their website. These images will be online indefinitely. 

Sunny Side Up  is our winning image!  The photograph is an adult sea lion captured on Santiago Island in the Galapagos.  She was just stretching and chilling out while enjoying the warming sunrays.

Our "Sunny Side Up" is available in table top to wall size, triple matted and with or without a frame.  The matted versions are yours at a 10% discount and the framed matted versions in sizes 11x14 and larger can be yours at a 15% discount.

Visit our website, www.throughthelensoflee-margaret.com for available sizes and prices.

Stop by and see us on Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30p.m. to 5p.m.

The gallery is open for Saturday appointments.  Call us at 904-387-8710 to schedule your special visit.  Come see us and order now.

Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.

—  Bruno Barbey

September is National Honey Month.  Honey is a blend of sugar, trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins and amino acids that has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antitoxin properties. It is one of the oldest food sources we know.  The oldest remains of honey were found in the country of Georgia.  Archaeologists found honey remains on the inside surfaces of clay vessels in an ancient tomb dating back some 4,700 to 5,500 years.  Ancient Egyptians left hieroglyphics about honey  and beekeeping in an ancient Sun Temple near Cairo.  Jars of edible honey were  found in King Tut's  tomb.  Honey is as old as written history, dating back to 2100BC where it was mentioned in Sumerian and Babylonian cuneiform writings, the Hittite code and the sacred writings of India and Egypt.  Around 2000BC the ancient Chinese used honey for medicinal purposes.  A thin coat of honey can be applied to the skin to disinfect and heal minor skin wounds and chapped lips. Honey was highly valued and often used as a form of currency, tribute or offering.  In the 11th. century AD, German peasants paid their feudal lords in honey and beeswax.  It was also used to make cement and in furniture polishes and varnishes. The name "honey" comes from the English "hunig", and was the first and most widespread sweetener used by man. "Honey" pops up in the Bible 61 times.  In the old testament, Israel was often referred to as "the land of milk and honey".  There are more than 300 distinct varieties of honey.  The taste, color and consistency of honey depends upon the flowers the bees use as their source of nectar and pollen. 

Most honeys will crystallize over time.  The rate of crystallization depends upon the specific levels of water and the two sugars in honey, fructose and glucose.  Crystallization actually preserves the flavor and quality characteristics of honey. Many honey users prefer it in this stage as it is easier to spread on bread and toast.  Honey contains 20%  water and 70% carbohydrates, which means the water contains a much greater amount of sugars that it can naturally dissolve, resulting in an unstable super-saturated sugar solution.  Glucose is the underlying cause of crystallization because of its lower solubility compared with that of fructose which has a high solubility rate. Honey can be re-liquefied by warming the container in moderately hot water, not above 140 degrees,  as higher temperatures will destroy the flavor and color of the honey.  It will not spoil so refrigeration is not necessary or desired.  Store it in a dry place at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Acacia and Tupelo honeys take a long time, if ever, to crystallize.  Biologists estimate it takes 2 million Tupelo tree flowers to produce 1 pound of honey and one honeybee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon in its lifetime! WOW!!  Tupelo trees, found in Northwest Florida and Southern Georgia, blossom for 3 to 4 weeks in late April to May.  A film, directed by Victor Nunez in 1977, called "Ulee's Gold" starring Peter Fonda,  depicted the harvesting of Tupelo honey in Wewahitchka, Florida.  Nunez used the Lanier family, a 3rd. generation beekeeping family,  as "bee consultants" and their swamp lands and bee yards as filming locations.  The film was the "Centerpiece Premiere" at the 1977 Sundance Film Festival.  Fonda won a Golden Globe for his performance and was also nominated for an Academy Award for best actor and a Screen Actors Guild award. 

The famous Scottish liquor Drambuie is made with honey.  Also made from honey is Mead, AKA "honey wine", believed to be the world's oldest  alcoholic libation.  It was called "nectar of the God's", and is featured in many Germanic myths and folktales such as Beowulf. Mead's flavor depends on the type of honey used in its production.  Traditional Mead often uses a mild honey such as orange blossom, clover or acacia.  Wildflower, blackberry and buckwheat honeys produce great results with sturdier, spiced Meads.  They all can be sweet, dry, still or sparkling.  Sweet Mead is the original aphrodisiac. The origin of "honeymoon" harks back to the medieval tradition of drinking honey wine for a full moon cycle after a new marriage.  It was thought to insure a fruitful union bearing plenty of children.  This Mead based "insurance policy" was taken so seriously that a bride's father included a month's worth of Mead in her dowry.  Queen Elizabeth has been known to throw back a golden goblet or two of her favorite Mead made with rosemary, thyme, bay leaves and sweet briar.  King Midas' tomb revealed ancient drinking cups with a sweet Mead residue.  Currently there is a resurgence of Mead craft.  There are now almost 250 Meaderies in America. 

Honey can contain Clostridium botulinum.  This is not harmful to adults and children over a year old, whose gastrointestinal tract is developed enough to deal with the spores.  But children under one year should never be given honey, as they are at risk of contracting infant botulism!

Lovely Meadow was taken in Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, Canada.  The local bees were having a wonderful time collecting nectar and pollen in these colorful wildflower fields.  The many clover blooms were loaded with bee visitors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Endless Color was taken in the Flower Fields of Carlsbad Ranch in Carlsbad, California. The flowers are Giant Ranunculus.  About 20% of the flowers are cut and sold as bouquets. The rest are harvested and sold as bulbs for future flowers. We were standing in the middle of the fields.  This scene was duplicated on the other side of the road with another mass of flowers. The bees were having a heyday!!   

These images are available in table top to wall size, triple matted and with or without a frame.  The matted versions are yours at a 10% discount and the framed matted versions in sizes 11x14 and larger can be yours at a 15% discount.

Visit our website, www.throughthelensoflee-margaret.com for available sizes and prices.

Stop by and see us on Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30p.m. to 5p.m.

The gallery is open for arranged Saturday appointments.  Call us at 904-387-8710 to schedule your special visit.  Come see us and order now.

Tart words make no friends; a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar

—  Benjamin Franklin
    

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing,
the birds are singing and the lawn mower is broken.
—  James Dent

August is our hottest month of the year. We prefer to stay in the air conditioning, going from air conditioned house to air conditioned car to air conditioned office. We view yard work at an arm's length through the window.  But Hans Christian Andersen said, "Just living is not enough...one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower." We are going to suggest a big flower, the sunflower.

According to Greek mythology, a water nymph, Cyltia, was so madly in love with the God of Sun, Apollo, that she never stopped staring up at the sun continuously. But he did not return the love. Taking pity on her, the other Gods turned her into a sunflower that could always follow the path of the sun. Therefore, the sunflower has been following the sun ever since.

Sunflowers are the only flowers with "flower" in their name. They are symbols of faith, loyalty and adoration. They are heliotropic, meaning the young sunflowers follow the movement of the sun across the sky, turning their faces 180 degrees from east to west. They reorient at night in anticipation of dawn in the east. Mature sunflowers are stationary and always face east. It is one of the fastest growing plants, requiring only 90 to 100 days from planting to maturity. The scientific name for sunflower is Helianthus.  In Greek, Helios means sun and anthos means flower. There are about 70 species and sunflowers are native to North America.  A carbon dating test was done on some sunflower seeds found in North American clay, and it was dated back almost 3,000 years. The tallest sunflower was recorded on August 28, 2014 and was grown by Hans-Peter Schiffer in Nordrhein Westfalen, Germany. Guinness recorded it as 30 feet 1 inch tall. Schiffer is a veteran of growing tall sunflowers, as he has held the record twice previously. The largest sunflower head on record measured 32 1/4 inches in diameter, measured from the outer tip of the petal on one side to the outer tip of the petal on the opposite side. It was grown by Emily Martin in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada in 1983. The sunflower is the national flower of the Ukraine and the state flower of Kansas.  The Ukraine grows the most sunflowers, followed by Russia, and the U.S. is the 11th. producer.

The sunflower was an important source of food for the Native Americans.  They used yellow pigment from the flowers to paint their bodies during spiritual rituals.  They also used the flower for medical purposes and in the production of bread. There was a superstition among Indians that the brave warriors could overcome long distance travel without any food other than a bag of milled sunflower seeds. The greatest medicinal use was for pulmonary afflictions.  The Indians used it to treat lung infections, bronchitis, and pleurisy.  A concoction was made of the petals  which they then consumed.  They also placed bowls of sunflower seeds on their dead's graves.

The seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals, and are either black or striped.  The smaller black seeds produce oil used in cooking, margarine, cosmetics and animal feed. They are the best sunflower seeds for attracting the greatest variety of song birds.  The bigger, striped seeds are grown for snacking and as an ingredient in bread and health foods.  They are also used for feeding larger bird species such as jays and mourning doves . A single sunflower can have up to 2000 seeds. The large petals around the edge of the head are individual ray flowers which do not develop into seeds.  These petals are usually yellow, orange or red in color.  Some heads have striped petals. The dried stems can be used for fuel and composted for fertilization. The Chinese have used the fiber from the stems for fabrics and paper. The pith, the interior of the stalk, is one of the lightest substances known and is used in the scientific labs.

The beauty of sunflowers was a great inspiration for the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh, who painted two series of paintings dedicated to sunflowers, one while in Paris and another in Aries in southwestern France.  "Sunflower", the fourth version with a yellow background and painted in Aries, is one of the most popular paintings in the National Gallery in London.  It was painted in 1888, during a rare period of optimism. It is the painting that is most often reproduced on cards, posters, stationary, etc. It is also the picture that Van Gogh was most proud of.  The Yasada Insurance Company in Japan paid over $39 million in 1987 for another version of this painting that was done in 1889, also in Aries.  Van Gogh said, "The sunflower is mine, in a way" and "I find comfort in contemplating sunflowers". Indeed, sunflowers are associated with Van Gogh.

Sunflower I was taken in the Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay.  It is located near Victoria  on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.  The gardens were started over 100 years ago and remain privately owned by the family. Since 2001 the Butchart's  great-granddaughter Robin-Lee Clarke is the owner and managing director.  The gardens are open

daily year round and receive over a million visitors each year.  It is a designated National Historic Site of Canada.

Sunflower II was captured in the New Orleans Botanical Gardens located in The City Park, New Orleans, Louisiana. It was unveiled in 1936 as the first classical garden in New Orleans with funding from the WPA(Works Progress Administration), a federal agency created as a Great Depression relief program. When the WPA's funding dried up, the garden's upkeep became lagging, vandalism was common and attendance was down. In the 1980's The Friends of City Park was founded and the gardens were renovated. 

Growth continued in the 90's only to be severely destroyed by Katrina in 2005. Three feet of water remained for about two weeks, killing nearly 90% of the plant life in the gardens. The gardens reopened on March 2006, just nearly half a year after the storm. Due to the combined efforts of many, few costs to the visitor have been made, except for a dollar rise in the admission price.. 

These images are available in table top to wall size, triple matted and with or without a frame.  The matted versions are yours at a 10% discount and the framed matted versions in sizes 11x14 and larger can be yours at a 15% discount.

Visit our website, www.throughthelensoflee-margaret.com for available sizes and prices.

Stop by and see us on Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30p.m. to 5p.m.

The gallery is open for arranged Saturday appointments.  Call us at 904-387-8710 to schedule your special visit.  Come see us and order now.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It's what sunflowers do.

— Helen Keller     
    

The Final Countdown

My Shelter Days are numbered ten.
Ten more days until my end.
My Shelter Days are numbered eight.
Please adopt me. Change my fate.
My Shelter Days are numbered six.
Adopt a pet week, still no one's pick.
My Shelter Days are numbered four.
Four more days and then no more.
My Shelter Days are numbered two.
Someone will take me, I just don't know who.
My Shelter Days are numbered none.
I know I'm finished, then you come.
My Shelter Days are over, done,
Because you, my master, took me home.

By Courtney Bailey

October is National Adopt A Shelter Dog Month.  The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, established in 1866) and the AHA (American Humane Association, established in 1877) have sponsored this event since 1981.  The ASPCA estimates that 670,000 dogs are euthanized each year in the nation's shelters.

Should you decide to adopt a dog from your local shelters, you need to do some homework.  Take the time to visit each of the shelters in your area.  Talk with the staff about their adoption policies and assess each shelter facility for cleanliness.  By carefully choosing your dog's temporary home, you are likely to bring home a healthy, happy new family member.  Let the shelter staff help find the best match for you.  They can help guide you in choosing a pet that best matches your life style.  Arrange a "meet and greet" with perspective pets outside of the confines of the kennel.  Visit "TrainMyPet.net"  for lots of great advice on working with your new family member to help him/her become settled in and adjusted to life beyond the animal shelter.  Jim Tedford, President and CEO of the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, says "A shelter is one of the few places where you can find a friend who will love you unconditionally. All you have to do is love him back!"

When describing a dog, Dave Barry said, "Dogs need to sniff the ground;  it's how they keep abreast of the current events.  The ground is a giant dog newspaper, containing all kinds of late-breaking dog news items, which, if they are especially urgent, are often continued into the next yard."  He continues to explain that  "The object is not so much to walk your dog, as it is to empty him."

We give you "Alarmer", who was captured in Trinidad, Cuba.  Our walk down the street was announced by this scrappy little Dachshund.

Dachshund:  Heart of a lion, Brain of a fox, Body of a sausage, Bark of a Doberman!  Robert Benchley said, "Dachshunds are ideal dogs for small children, as they are already stretched and pulled to such a length that the child cannot do much harm one way or the other". H. L. Mencken described them as, "Dachshund:  A half-a-dog high and a dog-and-a-half long".  They are described as being clever, stubborn, lively, devoted, playful and courageous.  They are scent hounds, controlled by their nose and their belly!  Being close to the ground, they are not keen about going for a walk in the rain.  Too much splash on their bellies. A waterproof jacket made to fit a Dachshund helps overcome this problem.  It is often said that potty training is ongoing for their entire life!  They are loyal to their people and are very social.  Their clownish antics and silly looks will melt your heart!

"Teasing Terrier" was taken in a dog park in Chicago, Illinois.  The Schnoodle, on the left, caught the red ball thrown by his master.  The West Highland White Terrier, being a typical "Westie"  came to investigate this red object.  Westies are Scottish Terriers.  They came into historical focus in the 1700's when the Malcom clan began breeding the little "earthdogs" to find and dispatch the rats that were pillaging the grain stores and spreading disease.  They are described by the AKC (American Kennel Club) as being "possessed with no small amount of self-esteem".  They are sturdy, spunky and bold.  They will pursue with tenacity anything that moves.  Assertive but cheerful, they may become demanding and testy when they don't get their way.  They are determined diggers and barkers.

The Schnoodle, developed in the 1980's as a low-shedding, low-dander family dog, is a "designer" dog, a cross between a Poodle and a Schnauzer.  They are companion dogs and need to live in a house, never outdoors.  Opening your heart and home to a crossbreed is like opening a beautifully wrapped package on your birthday:  you never know what's going to be inside.  It's often assumed that a crossbreed will combine the best of two or more breeds, but genetics don't always work that way.  The way genes combine and express themselves is not always subject to a breeder's control, even less so when two different breeds are crossed.  A cross between a Miniature Schnauzer and a Miniature Poodle can be a charmer.  It combines their intelligence with the boldness of the Schnauzer and friendliness and vanity of the Poodle.  Generally, they are said to be excellent watchdogs, clever, devoted, obedient, intelligent, strong-willed, protective, funny and loving with a life span of 13 to 17 years.

These images are available in table top to wall size, triple matted and with or without a frame.  The matted versions are yours at a 10% discount and the framed matted versions in sizes 11x14 and larger can be yours at a 15% discount.

Visit our website, www.throughthelensoflee-margaret.com for available sizes and prices.

Stop by and see us on Monday through Friday from 10a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30p.m. to 5p.m.

The gallery is open for arranged Saturday appointments.  Call us at 904-387-8710 to schedule your special visit.  Come see us and order now.

If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around!

— Will Rogers
    

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