One of the reasons we’d originally decided to come though the Pine Mountain area was its proximity to Callaway Gardens. Originally conceived in the 1930s after Cason J. Callaway discovered a rare azalea growing in the area, what had once been barren, eroded agricultural fields has been transformed into a 13,000 acre, diverse and beautiful combination of open-space and wooded gardens, a nature preserve, refuge for injured raptors, botanical flower gardens and recreational destination.
Callaway Gardens opened on May 21, 1952 as the Ida Cason Gardens, with a number of lakes, a golf course, and scenic drives. The gardens were named for the mother of founder Cason J. Callaway. Robin Lake Beach and the Overlook Azalea Garden opened the following year in 1953. In 1955, the gardens were renamed Ida Cason Callaway Gardens.
Our arrival timing was propitious as the “Birds of Prey” show was just about to start. It proved very informative and fun to watch as the birds swooped low over heads of the audience.
Will eat almost anything and can be found in many climates
Red Tail Hawk
Eats mainly mammals
Found around riparian areas and eats mainly fish and animals living around lakes and ponds
where over 1,000 tropical butterflies from more than 50 countries flutter freely among a lush rainforest environment maintained in a glass-enclosed conservatory. Unfortunately, we have no idea of the actual identities of the many butterflies we saw and photographed. However, they were an incredible sight. Just a few …
A half-mile walk through the woods next took us past an old pioneer cabin (circa 1830) which had been constructed of hand-hewn yellow pine.
Set among peaceful woodlands on the shore of Falls Creek Lake,
this Gothic-style, non-denominational chapel was constructed as a tribute to Cason Callaway’s mother of fieldstone quartz and features a stone altar and spectacular stain-glass windows depicting
the area hardwoods behind the altar
regional pines at the rear of the church
and the four seasons along the side.
After lunch we went to the Horticultural Center
and hundreds more!