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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



December 14th is known as International Monkey Day.  It is an unofficial holiday created in 2000 by 2 artists, Casey Sorrow and Eric Millikin when they were art students at Michigan State University.  It is a day to celebrate all things simian, including non-human primates such as monkeys, apes, tarsiers and lemurs.

It started as a joke when Sorrow jokingly scribbled Monkey Day on a friend's calendar and they celebrated the day with other MSU art students.  They gained notoriety when Sorrow and Millikin included Monkey Day in their art work and alternative comics that they published and exhibited internationally along with other artists.  Since then, Monkey day has been celebrated in countries like the United States, Canada, Germany, India, Pakistan, Estonia, United Kingdom, Colombia, Thailand, Turkey and Scotland.  Hallmark Cards has even gotten in the act by describing the holiday as a "day when monkey business is actually encouraged".  The Washington Post describes it as a "day to learn something about these adorable and highly intelligent primates.  Or you could use this day to act like a monkey".  Monkey Day is popular among animal rights and environmental activists,  visual artists  and art institutions.  It is celebrated and supported by Jane Goodall, Greenpeace, National Geographic, The National Portrait Gallery in London, The Louvre Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Many zoos and animal sanctuaries hold annual Monkey Day events.  In Pakistan, the Lahore Zoo holds an annual day celebration that includes art competitions and educational events about monkeys, including over a hundred  children wearing monkey masks, poetry readings about monkeys, and performances to highlight the threats monkeys face as well as monkey evolution.  The Tallinn Zoo in Estonia celebrates the day by auctioning artwork created by chimpanzees and  performing intelligence tests on Japanese macaques.  The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park in India organizes programs to educate children about wildlife issues and encourages people to adopt monkeys.  The Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland holds events including monkey storytelling to raise awareness of the dangers that primates face worldwide.  The National Zoo and Aquarium in Australia hosts a week of activities and educational talks geared to raising awareness for all primates and raising money for conserving critically endangered species like Cotton-top Tamarins in Columbia.  

During Monkey Day in 2012, USA Weekend published "The 12 Stars of Monkey Day", a series of paintings by Millikin that were "in part inspired by the many pioneering space monkeys who rode into the stars on rockets, leading the way to human space flight".  In 2013, Millikin created a mail art series where he mailed Monkey Day cards to strangers, including Koko, the sign-language gorilla and President Barack Obama.  Since 2016 he has created the "Danger Beast" series of street art portraits of endangered animals created out of endangered plants, including a portrait of Harambe, the gorilla made from Venue Flytraps.  Harambe was the gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo that was killed when a 3 year old boy fell into the enclosure and was grabbed and dragged by the gorilla.  

Sorrow continues with his monkey-themed artwork and maintains a comprehensive "Monkeys in the News" blog with stories on topics like monkey attacks, monkey smuggling, and monkey science.  On Monkey Day, Sorrow's "Monkey in the News" blog counts down the previous year's "Top 10 Monkey and Primate News Highlights".

There are many celebrations for raising money for primate-related issues.  In 2008 there was an art show and silent auction to benefit the "Chimps Inc." animals sanctuary.  It included art by human artists as well as paintings by chimps Jackson and Kimie, residents of the sanctuary in Bend, Oregon.  Also in 2008, The Biddle Gallery in Detroit celebrated with an annual Monkey Day art sale that included a free banana with each purchase.  In 2013, the International Primate Protection League celebrated the day and raised money for conservation by offering life-drawing classes where people could learn to draw portraits of Gary the gibbon.  Greenpeace says "Monkey Day is the perfect time to swing into action and help protect primate habitat by becoming a forest defender".

The holiday is also celebrated with costume parties intended to draw attention to issues related to simians, including medical research, animal rights, and evolution.  Frequently there are competitions for the best costumes, acting like a monkey the longest and performing the most amusing impression of one. Other activities include speed knitting of monkey dolls, eating Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream and spending the day at the zoo.  In 2005, Peter Jackson's "King Kong" was released on the fifth anniversary of Monkey Day.  For Monkey Day 2014, the creators of "Night at the Museum:  Secret of the Tomb"  released a short feature starring Crystal the Monkey.  Other films such as King Kong, Plant of the Apes and Kung Fu films are popular at parties.  Major Lance's "The Monkey Time" and the Rolling Stones song "Monkey Man" are part of Monkey Day festivities.  It is said that when monkeys cause trouble, the monkey is said to be honoring the traditions of Monkey Day!

We would like to share with you our images of our simians!


We give you "Snoozing" (above).  We captured this Rhesus Macaque Monkey in Kathmandu, Nepal. 

We had to be very careful around these Old World Monkeys as they were very sly and swift.  Any unguarded food or items would be stolen by these sneaky thieves.  They would even climb on a back pack to steal an item that was exposed and unprotected!  

"The Protector" (left) is another example of an Old World Monkey. 

These Langur monkeys were captured in the Bandhavgarh National Park, India.  This mother was focused on protecting her baby who seemed quite comfortable in her mother's arms.

"Agile Gibbon" (right) was heard before he was seen in the Karizganga National Park, India.  This male Hoolock gibbon is an ape and was very vocal and loud.  They are usually found in the trees swinging from branch to branch with their very long arms.  They are on the endangered list.

 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 2p.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.

"The surest way to make a monkey of a man is to quote him"  --  Robert Benchley