During the five years I’ve been blogging I’ve posted hundreds of photos. Here are just a few of my all-time favorites .
I’ve been digging in the dirt a lot lately trying to get my butterfly garden in shape after flooding from Hurricane Irma killed most of the plants last fall.
A few of the new plants are starting to bloom. The zinnias I planted from seed this winter are bursting with color.
The new milkweed plants attracted their first Monarch of the season this week.
The hummingbirds and Painted Buntings have been stopping by the feeders.
This lizard was trying to drink the hummingbird nectar.
Our latest wandering took us on a short trip that was full of excitement. Our first stop was F. D. Roosevelt State Park, Georgia’s largest state park, in Pine Mountain. It was the perfect place for us to use as home base for exploring both Callaway Gardens and F.D.R.’s Little White House in Warm Springs.
After driving in the rain on the winding road through the park we arrived at the Visitor’s Center to check in just after a tornado warning had been lifted. Everything was fine in the campground and we set up camp just before another rain shower began.
“Connecting man and nature in a way that benefits both.” – Callaway Gardens Mission
With the sun shining the next morning we drove about 15 minutes from our campsite to Callaway Gardens. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Callaway Gardens opened in 1952. Today, there are many different gardens to explore, a lodge, golf course, swimming beach, and even a zip-line adventure.
Our tour of the gardens began with a stop at the Pioneer Log Cabin. From there we strolled along the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Trail with many Georgia native plants. The Flowering Dogwoods and many other wildflowers displayed their brilliant spring colors.
Next we walked on the trails to the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center for a look at some tropical butterflies. Butterflies of all sizes, shapes and colors fed on the colorful blossoms and sailed by our heads as they flew from flower to flower.
We learned about some of Georgia’s birds of prey at the Discovery Center. As our guide gave a very informative presentation, two different species of owl and a red tailed hawk flew over our heads during the program.
We must have just missed the Azaleas at their peak because most of the Azaleas on the Overlook Azalea trail had finished blooming. The Flowering Dogwoods and other trees added color to the landscape.
Our visit to Callaway Gardens included only a few of the many gardens there. It is a wonderful family destination and bicycles are a popular way to get around the park. There are several restaurants to choose from or you can have a picnic in one of the picnic areas.
I’ve been so busy lately with Thanksgiving, cleaning up after Hurricane Matthew, and getting ready for Christmas I haven’t had much time to look at my butterfly garden.
With all our Christmas packages and cards in the mail, I could finally catch my breath this morning so I went out to our porch to enjoy my second cup of tea. As soon as I sat down I saw a Monarch butterfly flitting around our milkweed. I abandoned my tea, grabbed my camera and rushed downstairs to get a picture. The butterfly took off but when I began to examine the milkweed I was excited to find several caterpillars munching away on the leaves.
I never know what I might see when I walk out my back door.
One day a juvenile horned owl stopped to search for a tasty morsel in the marsh.
Another day this diamond back terrapin took a wrong turn into our back yard.
The ruby throated hummingbirds come by for a drink every day.
It’s been a constant battle keeping the aphids off my milkweed but I have had an occasional Monarch stop by.
I spotted my first caterpillar of the summer on August 24!
All the butterflies love the Mexican Sunflowers I planted this year.
And the bees love it, too.