I was up and at ‘em pretty early this morning so I could get on my way to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA.
While only about 35 miles from where I’m camped, I budgeted an hour to get there. With back roads and having to go through LaGrange, it was the right amount of time. Skies were still overcast from last night’s rain, but that meant the temperatures stayed in the very pleasant range for this visit.
Once again I was able to have two very personable people give me a tour of one of their home town’s attractions. Gerri and Mike Jones have often posted about these gardens on their blog, and have included fantastic pictures of what they’ve seen. So, when I figured out I was in their neck of the woods, I sent them an email and they readily agreed to meet at the Gardens this morning.
Little did I know that Mike used to work here, so he knew how to get around to the best spots for an abbreviated visit. This place is huge, and it would take days to see everything that is available. There are miles of walking trails as well as miles of bicycle trails (all paved), a beach, fishing, golfing, tree top adventure…and the list goes on and on. The day pass for seniors is $15 for those who are interested. My hip was giving me a bit of trouble today, so we opted for the driving tour to localities and short walks to see the major features. I believe the driving route is about seven miles.
I had done some reading about the gardens and knew that first on my list was to go to the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center.
I’ve been in aviaries before, but never a butterfly center. All of the species in the large enclosed glass building are tropical varieties that are not native to the US. All species are imported, and arrive in their chrysalis stage. It was very interesting to view all of the hanging chrysalis’ (don’t know what the plural of that is) and see some of the butterflies emerging.
Butterflies are as challenging to get photos of as birds are. They seldom still still long enough for you to focus.
I’m not sure who this mature lady with all the white hair and ‘laugh lines’ is, but get a load of that exotic butterfly on her shoulder! Must be her sweet nature?? I do know that mosquitoes find her especially attractive.
After a bit, we fluttered over to see the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel. Her son had it built in her honor after searching for the perfect spot for years. Sadly, he died shortly before it was finished.
It is located next to one of the many small lakes, and in a very peaceful setting.
The stained glass windows of the chapel depict the four seasons at the Gardens.
I took more pictures than I’d want to put in one post, so I guess I’ll continue tomorrow. Another highlight was a visit to a spot that brought back many memories to me. I found it very surprising since I’ve never really been in Georgia before. Stay tuned…
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy