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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


Tug ofWar

FEBRUARY: The Month of Tug-of-War

February 2022 is the month that we will be cheering for our athletes who are competing in the winter Olympics.  With that in mind, we are going to explore the sport of Tug-of-War.  Did you know it was a sport in the Olympics?  It was a part of the Olympic games from 1900 to 1920.  In 1920 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made a decision to reduce the number of participants and deleted a number of team spots.  These included croquet, cricket, Jeu de Paume, Pelote, polo, roque, rackets, lacrosse, motor boating and tug-of-war.  It is a recognized sport by the IOC and the Tug of War International Federation (TWIF) and has been in the World Games from 1981 to present day.  Overall, Tug of War sport is still one of the most playful games today. 

Uncertainty remains for the origin of the tug of war sport; however, evidence shows that India has archeological roots for its beginning. There is evidence of the sport being found in 1000AD in Greece and Western Europe.  The sport was mostly practiced in Cambodia, ancient Egypt, Greece, India and China. Today, the sport is played in almost every part of India.  It is a game for all ages, genders, and species of people.......even Canadian Eskimos who call it "arsaaraq"!  It is played by kids and youngsters and old people and handicapped people.

The game is played with a rope, two teams and a few game officials.  The official game is made up of 2 teams of eight who's combined weight must not exceed that determined by the category that they are placed in, and with a rope approximately 4.3 inches in circumference.  The rope is marked with a "center line" and two markings 13 feet on either side of the center line. Before the game starts, the rope must align with the center point marked on the ground.   The judge can blow a whistle or say "pull" to start a game.  In competition, there are three things a judge says to start the game; pick up the rope, take the string, and pull.  There are fouls and cautions called by the referee or judge.  Sitting down while pulling is not allowed and the player will be given a caution.  Each team is allowed 2 cautions before getting disqualified. Loops, knots wrapping the rope around the hand, waist and other body parts and other types of holdings are not allowed and considered a foul.  Lowering one's elbow below the knee during a pull, known as "locking", is a foul.  Touching the ground for extended periods of time is also a foul.  The rope must go under the arms.  Pulling the rope over the shoulders is considered a foul. The referee has the power to eliminate the fouler from a particular round.  Generally, there are 4 rounds with the side winning the most rounds winning the game. 

Custom made tug of war ropes are manila 3 strand rope and Polydac 3 strand polyester.   The polyethylene rope is the best as it is generally water resistant with a reduced level of friction. However, a manila rope absorbs sweat and has less recoil than the nylon ropes.  Care of the rope is important.  It should be kept dry, away from sunlight, and avoid abrasion.  Whichever type of rope is used, participants should only test about 20% of any rope's tensile strength, as safety is all in the rope! The length can be from 50 feet to 100 feet with a diameter of 1.25 to 1.5cm. 

The type of shoes is also regulated.  Cleats, sandals, flip-flops or dress shoes, or boots with metal soles are not allowed.  Sneakers, tug of war shoes and tug of war boots are allowed.  Players are also not allowed to put tape or glue on their hands.

Tug of war is a technical sport.  The rhythm of the team members is an important role in victory.  There is a "driver" who moves up and down next to their team giving them orders to pull and rest (called "hanging").  If the driver sees the opposing team trying to pull, he gives his team a "hang" command.  When the opponents are played out, the driver shouts "pull".  Another game affecting factor is the players' weights.  The heavier the player, the more static friction their feet have to the ground.  Lighter players' feet will slide along the ground despite their pulling on the rope.  The heavier players are put in the back of the line with the lighter ones up front.   

There are injuries with the more common ones being rope burns, scrapes and bruises.  However, there have been serious injuries and deaths.  In Minnesota in 2008 a girl lost 4 fingers when the rope was wrapped around her hand.  In 1997 in Tawain, two men had their arms severed and 40 other people were hurt in a tug of war involving more than 1600 people.  In June of 1995 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a man had the rope wrapped around his hand.... a no-no.  When the other team suddenly exerted a tremendous pull, the loop tightened and tore off his hand.  A day later in Frankfort, Germany several troops of boy scouts attempted to try and set a Guinness World Record with a 650-person match.  The thumb-thick nylon rope, which was inadequate for the force of hundreds of people snapped.  One end of the rope whipped back, instantly killing a 9-year-old boy on impact.  Over 100 other boys were severely injured, and another boy passed away as a result of being crushed when everybody fell.                                                                                                    

Guinness World Records certifies Japan's Naha Great Tug-of-war as the world's largest ever tug of war.  There were 15,000 participants on each side, and the rope was 656 feet long and weighed 43 tons!  While lacking official records, Guinness' Book of World Records says the longest match was 2 hours and 41 minutes held between 2 British companies of a British army regiment in India in 1889.  Tug of war is a daily practice in our army. 

We give you our TUG-OF-WAR.

These Magellenic Penguins are part of a penguin colony on the Otway Sound.  The two penguins involved in the tug of war, are teenagers, as they have not gotten their adult colorings and striping's.  Like all kids, they are having a friendly tussle!

This image 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 this 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.

"If you are losing a tug-of-war with a tiger, give it the rope.  You can always buy a new one"

                    -- Max Gunther