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2022 Jacksonville Best Nature Photographer Award

2023
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.

Waterfall

EARTH'S RHYTHMS

Fountain abstract

Nature in Abstract

Heavenly Stairway

MAN'S CREATIVITY

Brazilian sunset

FOND MEMORIES

Even Reptiles Have a National Awareness day

On October 21st. people across our nation will observe National Reptile Awareness Day.  This is not to be celebrated  by just reptile lovers, but also used to promote education, conservation and appreciation of reptiles.  The exact history of National Reptile Awareness Day is unknown.  However, we do know that this celebration  dates back to the Endangered Species Act passed in 1966.  More than 4.5 million American households have reptile pets.  The classification of reptiles include turtles, terrapins, tortoises, lizards, snakes, legless worm lizards, the tuatara of New Zealand, crocodiles, alligators, gavials (Asian crocodilian), and caimans.  There are 6,500-10,000 species of reptiles which live on every continent except Antarctica.  They have a few advantages over dogs and cats as a pet.....they don't bark, shed fur or scratch or chew furniture or shoes!  There are over 9 million pet reptiles in the United States, but not every type is legal to own.  Check with your state and local laws to see if a specific reptile is allowed as a pet.

Reptiles are dry-skinned vertebrates that are cold-blooded, have scales or scutes(bony external plate), and with a few exceptions(about 20%), lay eggs on land. They have lungs to breathe.  Snakes and lizards smell with their tongues.  Reptiles are ectotherms, which means their body temperatures and metabolic processes are entirely dependent on external temperatures.  Since our planetary temperatures are dependent upon the sun, these animals are incredibly sensitive to light and temperature.  They move slower than usual in cold weather.


(Left) We give you "Getting Warm." We captured this marine iguana on the North Seymore Island in the Galapagos. 


Owning a pet is s life-long commitment.  Reptiles can live a long time.  Depending on the species, in captivity lizards can live from  3 to 30 years, frogs for 10 and some tortoise lifespans exceed 50 years.  They must be given a healthy habitat.  Reptiles can be carriers of bacteria that can lead to illness in humans, so proper handling is essential.  Specific dietary needs means special foods for specific reptiles.  As a species, reptiles are very important to the ecosystem.  Releasing a reptile into an area where it's not supposed to be according to nature can create a big imbalance between nature and the way it functions.  The amount of Iguana found in the southern part of Florida is a perfect example!  So on National Awareness Day visit your zoo and learn about the many kinds of reptiles.

"Sunbathing"  was taken on Santiago Island in the Galapagos. 

These marine iguanas live only on the Galapagos Islands.  Charles Darwin described them as "hideous-looking" and "most disgusting, clumsy lizards".  Since they cannot swim to other islands in the area, each island has its own subspecies. 

They are the only marine lizard species in the world.  It is believed that around 4.5 million years ago, marine iguanas evolved from land iguanas that were brought to the Galapagos.  An adult marine iguana will measure 20 to 40 inches long and weigh between 2.25-24 lbs.  Males are usually twice as large as females and size varies between islands.  Their long body is colored grey and patterned with green or red.  The colors come from pigments of the seaweed and algae they eat and varies from island to island. Their long oar-like flattened laterally tail helps to push them through the water.  Their claws help them to hold on to rocks in strong currents while they feed. They can dive more than 65 feet underwater, typically spend only a few minutes underwater eating the algae, but can spend up to an hour at a time submerged. 

Because they eat underwater, they ingest a large amount of saltwater.  In order to prevent dehydration, they must expel salt without expelling water and have specialized glands to remove salt from their blood.  They are known for their very efficient salt glands, where they "sneeze" out salt.  We  were often surprised by a stream of salt hitting our legs as we walked by a group of resting iguanas.   

Early mornings found us stepping over the iguanas lying around and on each other soaking up the morning sun rays for warmth.  They weren't afraid of us and did not threaten us.

"Bonaire Iguana" was captured on the island of Bonaire in the Southern Caribbean Sea. 

It is the only iguana species on the island and is known as the Green Iguana, or Common Iguana.  It is one of the largest lizards in the Americas, reaching up to 6.5 feet and weighing 20 pounds. It is an herbivore and likes fruit, leaves, new shoots and flowers.  It is especially fond of bananas and we were able to carefully feed the wild guys on our walks around the island. The jaw of the Green Lizard is very strong and filled with razor sharp teeth.  It is also a great swimmer, can run pretty fast, and even survive falls on hard rock from as high as 40 feet! 

Like other lizards, this  species can detach its tail when it is caught and grow back a new tail.  Their tail makes up half their total body length.  The color of the iguanas on Bonaire can range from green to lavender, black and even reddish brown.  The dewlap, the piece of skin hanging under their chins, is used to regulate body temperature and used in courtships and territorial displays. 

In the wild, iguanas are expected to live for 10-15 years, if they don't end up on a local or tourist's menu.  Under the right circumstances, they may live for 20 years.

 

"Galapagos Tortoise I" was taken on the Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. 

It is a domed giant tortoise and is one of the most famous animals of the islands. The Archipelago is named after them as Galapago is an old Spanish word for tortoise.  They arrived from mainland South America some 2 to 3 million years ago and underwent diversification into 14 species. 

After the death of Lonesome George in 2012, the last Pina island tortoise, 12 living species are thought to remain in Galapagos across ten islands.  There are 2 main shell types, domed and saddle-backed.   

Dome-shelled tortoises lack an upward angle of the front of the carapace(shell),  whereas the saddle-back tortoises have an upward curve to the front of the carapace, which allows them to stretch up to reach higher growing plants. 

The tortoise spends an average of 16 hours a day resting.  The rest of the time is spent eating grasses, fruits, and cactus pads.  They enjoy bathing in water, and can survive for up to a year without water or food.  Small birds, such as the Galapagos finches, can be seen sitting on the backs of the tortoises. 

There is s symbiotic relationship between these two, as the birds peck the ticks out of the folds of the tortoises' skin.


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.

"When you see a snake, never mind where he came from."

-- Unknown