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2022 Jacksonville Best Nature Photographer Award

Best Nature Photographer

Lee-Margaret Borland


Award-winning naturalist photographer Lee-Margaret Borland has traveled the world seeking those split-second instances when she can seize an exquisite moment of nature.

Lee-Margaret's unretouched work chronicles nature's colors, rhythms, and relationships with creatures large and small, landscapes broad, deep and tall, and the breathtaking beauty of nature's illuminations. Her signed, limited edition nature prints are unquestionably fine art ready to grace homes and offices.



Fountain abstract

Nature in Abstract

Heavenly Stairway


Brazilian sunset


Lamps of the  Sea

August 7th is designated as National Lighthouse Day.  A lighthouse is described as a tower structure supporting the lantern room where the light operates.  It is considered a traffic sign at sea.  A light station is comprised of the lighthouse tower and all outbuildings, such as the keeper's living quarters, fuel house, boathouse and fog-signaling building.  A lightship is actually a floating lighthouse.  Their lights were on the top of their masts and in foggy areas they sounded a bell or whistle, siren or horn. They were stationed in areas where it was too dangerous to build a lighthouse.  Lightship duty was considered the most dangerous duty in the lighthouse service and Coast Guard, as the keepers were not allowed to leave their post under any circumstance no matter how severe the weather was.  The first lightship was located in the lower Chesapeake Bay in 1820.  The most stations existed in 1915 when there were 72 lightships manning 55 stations.  In 1921 lightships were being equipped with radio beacons. Lightships are no longer used having been replaced with ocean and deep water buoys.  The last lightship was removed from the Nantucket station in 1984.  Only 14 are left in existence and a few have been restored. 

Lighthouse tenders are vessels that were used to bring supplies to the lighthouses.  The lighthouse inspector used them to visit the lighthouses to make sure the keepers and family were taking good care of the lighthouse.  Towers were given special painted patterns or colors to distinguish them from each other.  This was termed a Daymark, as it aided the mariner during daylight hours in the same way the lights or reflectors aided at night.   A lighthouse keeper's job was not a 9 to 5 job.  Their salaries in the United States ranged from $26,400 to $60,350 annually.  They needed to trim the wicks, replenish fuel, wind clockworks and perform maintenance duties such as cleaning lenses and windows, painting and repair of the lighthouse and all outbuildings, and ledger and record keeping.  A typical tour of duty began before dusk and continued well past dawn.  According to the  United States Lighthouse Society, there are records of some 80 female lighthouse keepers.  Lives depended upon the light keeper.

The first lighthouse was Egypt's Pharos of Alexandria built in 285 BC on the island of Pharos.  It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1302 and was referred to as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  The oldest existing lighthouse is the Tower of Hercules on the cape of La Coruna in Spain.  It is a 2nd century Roman lighthouse that is well maintained and still provides seafarers with a beacon of light today.  It is a Spanish national treasure and a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

The first lighthouse built completely by the United States Federal Government was Montauk Point, NY in 1797.  The newest shore side lighthouse is Sullivan's Island in Charleston, SC built in 1962.  It is also the only lighthouse with an elevator.  The oldest existing lighthouse in American is in Sandy Hook, NJ.  It was built in 1763, was never rebuilt, and is still in operation.  According to the Lighthouse Directory, there are more than 18,600 lighthouses worldwide.  The United States has approximately a thousand lights as well as light towers, range lights and pier head lights.  The first American built West Coast lighthouse was built on Alcatraz Island in 1854.  There were never more than about 850 lighthouses in operation at once in America.  There were about 1500 constructed in this country over the years, with the hey-day being about 1910.  There were 267 constructed on the US shores of the Great Lakes.  The tallest lighthouse in the United States is the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse on the outer banks of North Carolina and stands 200 feet high.  Boston Lighthouse on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor, MA, is the oldest light station, but not the oldest tower.  The original tower, built in 1716 was destroyed in the Revolutionary War.  The tower that stands there today was built in 1783.  While all US lighthouses are now automated, congress declared that the Boston light must always be a staffed station, where the keepers must still turn the light on at night and turn it off at daybreak.  The state with the most light houses is Michigan, with about 150, past and present.  Maine is second with about 80 lighthouses.  The Coast Guard assumed control of all U.S. Lighthouses in 1939.

You can actually live in a lighthouse.  You can buy one, rent one, or become a volunteer or paid lighthouse keeper.  To live there you must do the following:

1.  Play tour guide to curious strangers

2.  Generate your own electricity with a generator.  Needless to say no cable or Wi-Fi!

3.  Be prepared to survive.  Many stations do not have running water or electricity,      and be prepared to use an outhouse.

4. Perform lightkeeping duties, raise the flag first thing in the morning, turn on the generator, make repairs, maintenance, conduct tours.....plus your beauty sleep will be interrupted by a flashing light that goes off every 15 seconds and frequent fog horn noises.  It is not a vacation, it is a job!

"Old Point Loma Lighthouse"  is located in Cabrillo National Park, San Diego, CA.  Construction of the California lighthouse began in April 1854 and was completed in October 1855 when it's Fresnel lens from Paris was illuminated by the lighting of the oil  lamp.  While in operation the lighthouse had the highest elevation of any lighthouse in the United States.  However, the location on top of a 400 foot cliff meant that fog and low clouds often obscured the light from view of ships. 

On foggy nights the lighthouse keeper would discharge a shotgun  to warn ships away.  On March 23, 1891 the flame was permanently extinguished and the light was replaced by the New Point Loma lighthouse at  a lower elevation.  It is currently maintained by the Coast Guard.  In 1984, the old light was re-lit by the National Park Service for the first time in 93 years in the celebration of the site's 130th birthday. More than 3,000 people attended the celebration, including more than 100 descendants of former lighthouse keepers Robert and Maria Israel.  Robert Israel, a San Diego pioneer from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania was the lighthouse keeper for the longest period of time, 18 years. 

His wife Maria was the assistant keeper, typical of most lighthouse keeper wives. They lived alone on the Point, watching their children and grandchildren grow up.  One of their grandsons was born at the lighthouse.  Some of his descendants now serve as volunteer re-enactors at the lighthouse.  Today the lighthouse stands as a landmark and museum.


The "(New) Point Loma Light Station" was first lit by Robert Israel on March 23, 1891 as it sat on Pelican Point.  By the spring of 1890, 2 Victorian cottages, each flanked by its own cistern and privy, along with a concrete foundation for the lighthouse were completed. The tubular lighthouse tower, manufactured in New Jersey, rolled into San Diego on 2 flatcars of the Southern California Railroad on July 5, 1890.

During the month of August the spiral staircase, central tube, and supporting framework were assembled to support the two-story lantern room. The seventy foot tall pyramidal tower is the only one of its kind on the west coast. During World War II, a black out order was imposed on the station. The light in the tower was extinguished and to make the station less visible during the day, the station was painted olive drab--the dwellings, the lighthouse, the outbuildings and even the sidewalks. 

The lighthouse was fully automated in 1973.  Rust and warping plagued the rotating Fresnel lens.  It was removed and a beacon was installed. In 2013, an LED light array replaced the beacon.  It turned on automatically at dusk and off at dawn. Daily cost for operation went from $4.60 to just 48 cents!  However, its range went from 24 miles to 14 miles.  Today the keepers' quarters house the fortunate Coast Guard officers who can enjoy prime oceanfront property. 

The station was the setting for a scene in the movie, "Top Gun".  When Maverick, played by Tom Cruise, visits Viper, played by Tom Skerritt,  seeking advice, their walk in the garden gives us a view of the keeper's house and the Pacific ocean.


The "Kilauea Lighthouse" was built in 1913 as a navigational aid for commercial shipping between Hawaii and the Orient.  The tower was built using a then-experimental technique, structural reinforced concrete, now a standard in the industry.  The metal work was fabricated in Ohio.  All materials, including the Fresnel lens from France, were offloaded from ships in the inlet surrounded by steep rocky cliffs. In 1927, the light station played a role in aiding aviation.  The first flight from the mainland to Hawaii overshot its intended destination to Oahu in bad weather. Lost in the night, the pilots finally spotted the double flash of Kilauea Point, realizing they were over Kauai.  They circled the tower for an hour and a half, waiting for daylight.  Then they made the 100 mile trip to Oahu. 

In 1930, two 80 foot radio towers were added to the station to broadcast a signal for ships and airplanes to use as direction finding devices.  "Condition One" was declared after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, causing the light station to go dark until the end of the war.  In 1976 the Coast Guard shut down the double flash of Kilauea Point. 

After 63 years serving marine and air transportation, the massive beam of Kilauea Point Lighthouse was replaced by an unmanned automated beacon.  In 1979, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Dedicated volunteers keep the lighthouse functional, and on rare and special occasions, the Kilauea Lighthouse's signature double-flash lights the sky above Kauai's north shore. Restoration of the deteriorating lighthouse was completed in the spring of 2013.

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

"I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse.  They were built only to serve."

                                                                  —    George Bernard Shaw