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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


August: A Time to Roar

SimbaAugust 10th marks World Lion Day and always falls in the Leo zodiac sign.  It was started in 2013 by Dereck and Beverly Joubert, who are passionate about preserving wild cats.  They sought National Geographic for help, and their partnership resulted in the Big Cat Initiative (B.C.I.) in 2009.  The prime aim of B.C.I. was to preserve these wild cats and prevent them from going extinct. 

In a survey in 2020, it was determined that 20,000 lions existed worldwide.  A century ago, there were 200,000 in Africa.  However, since many cats live outside the conservation areas, a true count cannot be made.  They are classified as "Vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List (IUCN Red List).  Habitat loss and conflicts with humans are the greatest causes for concern.  It is estimated that African lions could be extinct by 2050. The Asian lion was listed as "Endangered" in 2008 when only 300 breeding adults were counted in the Gir Forest National Park. 

The scientific name of the lion is Panthera Leo.  Lion in Swahili is "Simba".  In Africa, most lions are believed to live in Tanzania and inhabit grasslands, savanna, and shrublands.  The lion is the second largest member of the cat family behind the tiger.  Females range in size from 63 to 72 inches long (head and body length) and weigh from 240 to 316 pounds.  Males range in size from 74 to 82 inches long and weigh 350 to 496 pounds. 

They are the only cats that live in groups which are called pride.  A typical pride consists of 10 to 15 adult females and up to 4 males but can vary up to 40 members.  The females do most of the hunting and cub raising while the males defend the pride territory.  The females live with pride for life, whereas the males may be superseded by younger males.  Male cubs are excluded when they are 2 to 3 years old. 

Lions can go up to 4 days without drinking water, but they must eat daily.  Females require about 11 pounds of meat daily while males need about 15 pounds daily.  They can gorge and eat up to 66 pounds.  As apex predators and carnivores, they prefer blue wildebeest, plains zebras, African Buffalo, gemsbok, and giraffe.  They are not known for their stamina, running quickly in short bursts at about 30 to 50 mph, and can leap up to 36 feet.  Therefore, they need to be close to their prey by taking advantage of some form of cover and reduced visibility at night.  They usually pull down their prey by the rump and kill by a strangling bite to the neck.

Communication during socialization is done by head rubbing and licking.  Vocalizations are varied and consist of growling, snarling, meowing and roaring.  They roar to advertise their presence and is done mostly at night.  The roar can be heard for 5 miles!  A fair warning!

The lion is the only cat family member with obvious sexual dimorphism.  Males have broader heads and a prominent mane typically brownish and tinged with yellow, rust, and black hairs.  It starts growing when the lion is about a year old.  The hormone testosterone has been linked to mane growth.  Mane length apparently means successful fighting and darker-maned males indicate a longer reproductive life and higher offspring survival.  It seems that a darker, fuller mane indicates a healthier lion.

Lions do a lot of resting......about 20 hours a day!  Their activity peaks after dusk, when most often hunting takes place.  They average about 2 hours a day walking and 50 minutes eating.

A newborn cub has dark spots, which fade with age.  Up to 80% of lion cubs will die before the age of 2 years.  Deaths occur due to male infanticide by a new male in the pride, starvation, and abandonment by the mother, and predation by leopards, hyenas, and wild dogs.

Lions live from 12 to 16 years in the wild.  Females live from 10 to 15 years and males from 8 to 12 years.

We would like to share our image of a lion we call "SIMBA."   It was taken in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Africa.  We were returning to camp when we came upon this resting lion.  His gaze never left whatever he was looking at.  We circled him multiple times, but his concentration never wavered.  We had to leave him as we had a way to go to our campsite and dusk was approaching.  Considering the other lions we saw, he was well fed and unmarked, and it looks like his mane was recently coiffed!  

This image as seen 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 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.

A lion sleeps in the heart of every brave man.

                   ---   Turkish Proverb