Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Thursday at Callaway Gardens

Ten days ago I wrote in a post about the two days we spent at Callaway Gardens and explained our first day there, Wednesday 23 January.  This is to describe the following day, Thursday 24 January, 2013.  It was again a very sunny day and did get into the 70 F (21C) in the afternoon.  We went into the gardens soon after they open at 9:30 am.  The roads in the garden were empty of traffic apart from some workers taking Christmas lights off trees.  There were still some large electric insects along the way.  (Click on collage twice to enlarge.)
I had read that Cason Callaway, the founder of the gardens, had a small chapel built next to a natural waterfall as a tribute to his late mother, Ida Cason Callaway (1872-1936.)  We followed the sign to the chapel which stands on the banks of lovely Falls Creek Lake.  There were no other visitors there and it was very peaceful.
 We walked to the little stream cascading onto rocks creating small waterfalls.
The Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel has an English Gothic design, reminiscent of chapels from the 16th and 17th centuries and is built of native material such as field-stone quartz.  It was dedicated in 1962 by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.  As we entered the chapel we were greeted by warm multicolor lights dancing from the stain glass windows and reflecting on the tile floor.  It is a very simple sanctuary with just the colorful windows and a painting of Mrs. Callaway.
Atlanta artist Joel Reeves designed the six stained glass windows.  They illustrate the seasons in a Southern forest.  I took many photographs with my three cameras - my husband took pictures as well.
This memorial chapel is a beautiful setting for weddings and small ceremonies.  Regularly scheduled concerts on the custom-built Moller pipe organ can be heard inside and outside the chapel.  It is a small but elegant chapel.  We went out but stopped in the doorway to admire the view.
Then we walked around the lake to a bench facing the chapel.  We sat for a moment enjoying the serene setting.  We could have spent many hours there for quiet reflection.  It is quite an enchanting place. 
Next we drove to the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center (pictured on my top photo.)  The wife of the founder of Days Inn of America provided the initial funding for this center.  It is the largest glass enclosed butterfly conservatory in the US with over 1,000 butterflies representing more than 50 species.  Inside the center there is a gift shop with more butterfly decorated gifts that you could ever imagine.  After walking by displays of cocoons of butterflies in several stages of transformation we entered the octagonal glass conservatory (made of 854 panes of glass.)  A small group of amateur photographers holding cameras with huge lenses were snapping close-ups of the butterflies.  I don't have a micro-lens but I took many pictures with my cameras as I watched my steps since many butterflies were landing on the ground.
The photo enthusiasts left and we were then alone in this tropical center with butterflies fluttering all around us.
The climate-controlled center recreates a rain forest environment with tropical plants, flowers
and a waterfall cascading 12 feet into a two feet deep square pool.
Information panels educate visitors on butterfly life and lore.
There are benches in the 4 1/2 acre center where one can wait for the next butterfly sighting.
I jumped up as I saw a nice specimen land on a large leaf.
Then I spied several white butterflies landing on nearby flowers.  I snapped and snapped as they moved around the flowers hoping by getting a quantity of photos I might get some quality...
One butterfly was close to a pretty red flower but as I got closer it fluttered away.  I still got a good shot of the flower with my new little Olympus camera.
As we left the butterfly center we saw a frame photograph of a Victorian house.  This was the 1895 childhood home of Virginia Hand Callaway, (shown on the left of the picture,) wife of Cason Callaway and co-founder of the gardens.  Only the cupola could be salvaged from the old house and now stands on the roof of the butterfly center.  Inside the center is a large chandelier featuring... butterflies, of course!
As we left we drove by some flowering Star Magnolia shrubs.
Then we reached the Sibley Horticultural Center.  It is a very advanced garden/greenhouse complex with five acres of native and exotic plants and a 22 foot indoor waterfall.
A rock wall garden had attractive flowers and orchids hanging from it.
Flowers, succulents - everything was healthy, vibrant and green.
As we walked it felt like summer with all the floral display.  It did not feel like January but very far away from winter and the heavy snow which is falling in some parts of the Northeast.
Outdoors there was a shining sun and it was a treat to walk around the impeccably kept grounds.
In the middle of a pond is a bronze sculpture.  The American artist is Margery Godwin and it is named "Partners in Time."  Isn't that a lovely evocative name for this pair of trumpeter swans?  The female is seated in front of the male and the male has its wings spread in a protective stance.
My husband snapped a picture of me with the Olympus camera as I had stopped to take a picture of something.  We then left Callaway Gardens.  But I am not finished taking pictures at Callaway Gardens.  I read that there are more than 700 varieties of hybrid azaleas in the 40 acre Callaway Azalea Bowl - so we'll have to make a return trip in the spring!


47 comments:

Cloudia said...

you have been in HEAVEN!


Sending YOU Aloha
from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
~ > < } } ( ° >

CrazyCris said...

Simply beautiful!!!

I can't believe how big that place is! You guys drove from one part to another... Definitely a place to vist and revisit time and again!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

This is such a fantastic place! The Chapel alone is such a gorgeous place---I can see going there often just to be "st peace"...there is so much beauty there....
And, the Butterfly House....oh my!!! I think I could spend every afternoon there...It is a Treasure Trove of these Gorgeous Exotic Creatures! I LOVE BUTTERFLY'S!!
Once again, you have taken me on a journey to a pace I would otherwise NEVER see...This was such a treat! It did my heart good, my dear Vagabonde.....I hope you live close enough to go there often!

This is Belgium said...

Bonjour Vagabonde
we spent a week in Callaway gardens in the summer of 1992.. your post is particularly poignant and much appreciated... all the memories it brings home
bon dimanche
anni

Fennie said...

Oh les beaux papillons! What a wonderful place and isn't the chapel serene and restful: the lake so tranquil. Far from the madding crowd indeed, though I am still wrestling with who they breed and feed all those butterflies. They are not carnivorous (I imagine) but their caterpillars probably are. Still they make for a wonderful display and complement the stained glass windows of the chapel. Could you have a chapel decorated with butterfly wings? I suppose so. It would look just as beautiful.

Jojo said...

Isn't Callaway Gardens a treasure! Growing up we went every summer so when my children came along we kept an annual family pass. We have so many memories of the beach, watching the circus in the summer and so much more. Sadly, like you, when we've visited in recent years, the traffic has slowed down and fewer people seem to be making their way to Callaway. Earlier in the year I heard they had to sell a piece of property to help keep the land which says we need to do more to support this beautiful place.

Thank you for sharing your visit.

DJan said...

It is a very beautiful place indeed. I love the pictures of the chapel and the stained glass. And the butterflies! If I make it to your part of the country I will definitely need to visit these places, but for now I am quite content to see your wonderful pictures. :-)

rosaria williams said...

Fascinating! Your pictures are so marvelous!

Miss_Yves said...

Quel billet enchanteur, avec ces magnifiques photos de fleurs, de papillons, d'eaux et de sculptures!
Les vitraux sont superbes!

Miss_Yves said...

J'admire le jeu d'ombre et de lumière devant le portail de la chapelle!

Nadezda said...

You had a very pretty trip, vagabonde! I love this small chapel and stain glass windows there. Nice sculpture in a pond: swans look like natural.

David said...

Vagabonde, We'll definitely have to check out Callaway Gardens in the near future. Beautiful Photos! There is another beautiful butterfly house in St. Louis County MO...in the town of Chesterfield. Butterflys are so beautiful...and peaceful too. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Molly said...

Lovely picture of the chapel door from inside! I especially like how the curve of the door continues down and around in the shadow.....Thank you for your visit to my blog. It's always nice to meet new bloggers!

Your husband and my new granddaughter share the same birthday....His cake looks divine!

Emm in London said...

Oh my, what a beautiful chapel and I love the lake too. What a wonderful tribute to Mrs Callaway. It certainly looks warm and sunny there, but it is the bare trees and yellow terrain that betrays the season. What a lovely post.

Ann said...

a lovely post that brought back fond memories!!
my mother loved Callaway Gardens..it was a favorite place of hers,my aunt and my grandmothers!!

Al said...

Beautiful photos - I love that chapel.

.•♫•. Nancy .•♫•. said...

•✰ •✰ •✰ •✰ •✰ •✰
Bonjour Chère Vagabonde :o)

merci pour ce splendide partage !!!!

Les vitraux, les beaux papillons, les fleurs, les chutes d'eau, le parc, les sculptures, et toute cette nature ... c'est UNE VRAIE MERVEILLE !!!!!

Encore merci !!!!
Bon début de semaine à toi
et GROS BISOUS !!!!
•✰ •✰ •✰ •✰ •✰ •✰

Retired English Teacher said...

This place is amazing. I love the chapel and the stained glass windows. Thanks for sharing all this beauty with us.

Richard Moisan said...

Grandiose, magnifique.
J'aimerais y aller en amoureux.

ELFI said...

un billet pour mettre du baume au coeur.. superbe!

Reader Wil said...

Comme Cloudia disait: Vous avez été au ciel! Les photos sont très, très belles, mieux que les miennes!
Merci de votre visite!

Viola said...

Such lovely and many photos! what a lovely chapel! :)

I start looking forward to spring.. but still I want the snowy landscape to stay..:)

Have a lovely time! :)

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Oh wow, if I got in there with my camera you would never get me out. What a beautiful place and the butterflies are amazing. Bonne journée Diane

Friko said...

This garden is like a little paradise. I would visit it at every season.

Down by the sea said...

The garden you visited looks amazing and the chapel is wonderful with the doorway and stained glass.
Sarah x

Elaine said...

Gorgeous gardens! The chapel is very beautiful, as are the scenes in the collage around the lake. We went to a butterfly house on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and it was very similar. What a wonderful experience. It looks like you could spend a lot of time at Calloway Gardens. You've given me another destination to put on my bucket list!

Ginnie said...

I KNEW I'd see the butterfly pavillion through your eyes, Vagabonde! Thank you. To be honest, it's the only thing I remember about Callaway Gardens when we took my parents over 20 years ago. I very much want to return. I had no idea about the chapel there...a must to see, of course. THANK YOU for this appetizer!

Jeanie said...

That chapel is stunning and your butterfly pix are just the best. They're so darned hard to do. I'm thinking if we ever get to GA to visit Rick's son, we need to take a little while to tour the state!

Fripouille said...

This is a really spectacular collection of photos by any, even your, standards. And what a gorgeous place Callaway Gardens is! Thanks very much indeed for a sumptuous post.

Unfortunately however I only discovered it today. Is there any way to subscribe to your posts Vagabonde? I don't seem to be able to find one so I always turn up late to the party! :)

...Tabiboo... said...

What an amazing place and all those beautiful butterflies.

Kay said...

What an incredible place. Those butterflies are absolutely gorgeous! I love the stained glass windows too. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful place with us.

She Who Carries Camera said...

Hello and thank you for stopping by my place and introducing yourself! I believe we might be neighbors! In all the years I've lived in the Atlanta area, I still have not gotten to Callaway. After seeing all your lovely photos, I really do need to go!

snowwhite said...

Vagabonde,
How gorgeous it is that both of you seem to have monopolized this amazingly beautiful place!
The window and entrance of the chapel have the shape of lotus flower petal. Beautiful curves!!
In a tranquil atmosphere, the sound of cascades can be heard. Walking here is something like practicing meditation!!
Have a great week.
keiko

Jenny Woolf said...

There is something extra special about a lakeside chapel - the combination of spiritual atmosphere and lapping water

And I don't know how you managed to take those gorgeous butterfly photos. (I'm sure I would have been ruining the peaceful atmosphere by getting hot and bothered because they kept coming out blurred!)

Dee said...

Dear Vagabonde, this was all so interesting--the chapel quite beautiful as were the butterflies as were the flowers. Both the butterfly pavilion and the horticultural building and surrounding landscape and trumpeter swan statue are breathtaking.

Close to where I live is Powell Gardens. It has a butterfly pavilion also and walking through it is magical. Thank you for sharing all this. Peace.

rhymeswithplague said...

Callaway Gardens! One of my favorite places. We've been there a couple of times. You will love it at azalea time!

Vicki Lane said...

What an amazing place! The chapel is lovely but the butterflies are my favorites!

Jocelyn said...

Your camera is more than doing the place justice, from the dragonfly on the tree to the trees themselves to all that stained glass to the butterflies! I feel as though I've just had a quiet Sunday morning stroll, thanks to this post.

Ruth said...

These are lovely places. I prefer the chapel by the lake, being outdoors and seeing the natural beauty. It's nice to see the butterflies and exotic flowers, because otherwise we would never see most of them though.

joyce said...

Wow, love the chapel and the stained glass, you're so lucky you were the only ones there and could enjoy it in thorough peace.

Carola Bartz said...

What a beautiful place to visit! This is a place I'd certainly enjoy a lot myself (and best without my family). I would have sat on that bench as well... the little memorial chapel looks very peaceful to me, and those stained glass windows are amazing. Such brilliant colors! Thank you for taking my with you to this magnificent place (I simply love the butterflies!).

claude said...

Magnifique endroit ! Je n'ai regardé que les images mais je repasserai lundi pour lire le texte et jeté un oeil à ton précédent post.
Passe un bon week-end !

Perpetua said...

Vagabonde does it again! Not only do take the most beautiful photos and pay careful attention to the wonderful places you visit, but you then spend so much time and care presenting it all so exquisitely in words and images.

Like so many of your posts, this is a work of art in its own right.

Arti said...

Fantastic place! And you're one good photographer with the Olympus. Great photos, I particularly love the stained glass and the butterflies. What kinds of bird were there?

Une Angevine said...

super ce papillon sur l'arbre....

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

You have packed much for me to enjoy in this post. It's a lot for one day. I'm surprised you were able to do so much.
The chapel being part of the nature setting was unusual.

Pinto Peanut said...

The Callaway Garden is so beautiful. Everything, everypart of this garden is really so beautiful. You took some great pictures of this garden. Thank you so much for every shot.

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