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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

A Dandy Dandelion Day

On April 5th., we will celebrate National Dandelion Day.  Its beginnings have neither been documented, nor who thought to celebrate the weed......or is it a vegetable? They are the only flower representing all three celestial bodies:  the yellow represents the sun, the puffy seed ball represents the moon, and the seeds represent the stars.  It is not a North American native plant.  In the mid-1600s, European settlers intentionally brought the seeds to America as they considered it a desirable plant. 

The dandelion is a tap-rooted, perennial herbaceous plant that is believed to have evolved about 30 million years ago in the Eurasian region.  It was known to be edible and full of medicinal properties.  It was known to the Egyptians, Greeks, Chinese, and Romans.  In America, it was known for its edibility whereas in China it was used for medicinal benefits.  You can use all parts of the flower including the leaves, flower and root.  Its name was derived from the French "dent de lion" which means lion's tooth from the plant's coarsely toothed leaves.  Its scientific name is Taraxacum officinale which means "official" or "sold in shops" because it was probably sold in markets.  The genus name Taraxacum was derived from the Persian term "tarashquan", meaning bitter pot herb.  In France dandelions are called pissenlit, which literally translates to "pee the bed".  This name refers to the plant's effect as a diuretic when the roots are consumed. Raw dandelion greens contain high amounts of vitamins A, B12, C, and K.

Dandelions open in the morning and close at night.  The flowering season of dandelions is one of the longest in the plant family.  They are a member of the daisy family and as most gardeners know, can grow anywhere!  Ironically, centuries ago gardeners were trying to keep the weeds out of their prized dandelion patch!  Dandelions are early spring nectar sources for over 100 species of insects, especially bees.  Wild birds will feast on dandelion seeds, chickens, and goats consider their leaves a delicacy, and hummingbirds use the dandelion seed down to line their small nests. The tap root is capable of growing 10 to 15 feet deep with 6 to 18 inches deep being the usual depth.  This is why it is hard to "pull" the dandelion in an attempt to control it. When pulling up the plant and a root is broken, that fragment can produce a new plant.  There is actually a special tool for digging up this weed...."The Dandelion Digger"! The good side of the deep roots is that they break up densely packed soil.  Wine can be made from the flower petals, roasted and ground roots are a caffeine-free coffee alternative, and the yellow flowers can be dried and ground into a yellow pigmented powder and used as a dye.  Dandelions are more of a nuisance, but in Alaska and Oregon, they are listed as invasive.

When the flower has died a round head is formed with as many as 20,000 seeds.  The plume-like forms on the seed act like a parachute making the seeds capable of traveling for miles...like 5 miles from their origin!  

Do you remember as a child picking a dandelion seed head, making a wish, and blowing the seeds to the sky in hope of the wish coming true?  Our parents in the mean times were probably cursing the nuisance plant!

We would like to share our photograph of Taraxacum arcticum, the "Arctic Dandelion".  This was taken in the Svalbard Archipelago, 600 miles south of the North Pole and 600 miles north of Norway.  It managed to grow in a very gravelly soil right up against this large rock......not a very conducive environment.  Just pointing out that the dandelion can grow anywhere!
 

This image is called "I Wish..." and is reminiscent of a childhood dream.  The seed head has sent some of its seeds to places beyond. 

The remaining seeds will eventually be sent aloft.  It was taken at Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada.

These images are 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 2:30 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.

"You fight dandelions all weekend, and late Monday afternoon there they are, pert as all get out in full and gorgeous bloom, pretty as can be, thriving as only dandelions can in the face of adversity."

-- Hal Borland