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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


Getting Even With the Swans in July

For five days during the month of July in England, an annual ceremony called "SWAN UPPING" takes place.  This year it occurs from July 18th to the 22nd. and mute swans on the River Thames are rounded up, caught, ringed, and then released.  Late July was chosen because the parents were in molt and the cygnets were too small to fly.  A swan brood is made up of the male called a "cob", his mate a "pen" and their young birds called "cygnets".

Swans were brought to London from Cyprus in the 12th or 13th century.  Since then, the British Monarch has had the honorary title of "The Lord of the swans" and has ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water. According to a legend, the existence and well-being of London and all of England depends on the swans...London will thrive while swans swim across the Thames!  This ownership was exercised on certain stretches of the river Thames and its surrounding tributaries.  Rights over swans may be granted to a British subject by the crown.  Rights may also be claimed by prescription. (Prescription is the acquisition of a right through long use or enjoyment:  the law presumes that the right was lawfully granted.)

By prerogative right, the crown has ownership of the swans.  However, during the 16th century, the ownership of swans in a given body of water was commonly granted to landowners.  The only bodies that still exercise these rights are two livery companies in London.  This means the ownership of the swans on the Thames is shared equally among the Crown, the Vintners' Company, and the Dyers' Company.  There are 110 livery companies in London, comprising ancient and modern trade associations and guilds of their respective craft, trade, or profession.  They play a significant role in the life of London in its financial and historic heart by providing charitable-giving and networking opportunities. Liverymen retain voting rights for senior civic offices such as the Lord Mayor, Sheriff, and corporation,

The practical purpose of swan upping is to conduct a census of swans and check on their health and education.  The swan uppers row up the river in skiffs, a total of six...two for each from Sunbury to Abingdon, a distance of 79 miles.  When a skiff finds a brood, it shouts "All-up!"  All the boats converge on the brood, closing in until the birds can be lifted from the water.  They are taken to shore where they are examined and marked with the company's own rings.  The Crown swans are left unmarked. They are checked for injuries, with fishing tackle the most common cause of injury.

 The mute swan is native to Europe and Asia.  "Mute" is derived from it being less vocal than other swan species.  It was introduced to North America in the mid-1800s through the early 1900s.  It is completely white in plumage with an orange beak bordered by black.  It has a pronounced knob atop the beak which is larger in males. They range in size from 55 to 63 inches long with a 79-to-94-inch wingspan.  It weighs from 19 to 26 pounds, which makes it one of the heaviest flying birds.  Its topflight speed is 50 to 56 mph.  The average lifespan in the wild is about 7 years and are known to have lived 30 to 40 years in captivity.  They eat aquatic vegetation, insects, fish, and frogs.  They form a monogamous pair that last for many years to live.  Breeding begins in March or early April.  The female lays 4 to 10 eggs which are incubated for 36 to 38 days.  The chicks are brownish-grey turning white in 12 months.  They are able to fly in about 60 days.  They can ride on the back of their parents or under their wings.  By the following breeding season, the parents drive the young away. Swans are usually considered symbols of grace and beauty.  However, they have an ugly side and are mean.  During the nesting season, they will chase you from their nest area and can inflict bodily harm.  In 2012 a 37-year-old Illinois man drowned when a swan tipped over his canoe and prevented him from swimming to safety.  

The mute swan has been the national bird of Denmark since 1984.  A mute swan was shown on the 2004 commemorative Irish coin to mark the accession of the 10 new member states which occurred during the Irish Presidency of the European Union.

We would like to share our image of a mute swan.  We call it "I Am Pretty".  It took a bit of waiting, but then she flaunted.  This was captured in the Sydney and Walda Bestoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans, Louisiana.


This swan image above is available in tabletop 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 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 p.m. to 5 p.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.

"Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan's egg"

                    Hans Christian Anderson