Calloway Gardens – Special Time with a New friend

Calloway Gardens – Special Time with a New friend

Saturday, April 28, 2012, Charlotte and I hopped in her turquoise Miata convertible and visited Calloway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA. The trip was glorious in traveling sites, company and the gardens and its inhabitants. We first went into the huge butterfly house which features all varieties of butterflies freely flying and perching at will. They have orange slices hanging here and there to attract and feed them. The colors, sizes, shapes, geometrical designs and stillness of the animals is amazing. We stayed a long time but became very warm. It is humid in the house as well as over 90 degrees outside.

From there we drove the curvy roads around the azaleas, pines, beaches, ducks, Canadian geese, etc. It was amazing. After a few hours, we were hot and hungry so began checking on restaurants on the grounds.  Everything was open beginning at 1530! It was 1430. After a delicious pulled pork sandwhich at the discovery center in air conditioning, we walked to the birds of prey demonstration area for a 1530 show.

Birds of Prey

We found seats down front in the shade!!  Praise God. It was very HOT!!! The start time came and went. One of the trainers explained that the birds are free during the show, there is no way to control them. They fly freely. So, during the 1230 showing, the peregrine falcon had refused to go back into its mew – house. They coaxed and pleaded but he refused. They explained the show could not go on as the birds were not only hunters of mice, etc. but of each other in some cases. The hawk would attack the falcon and with its 300 pounds of pressure in its giant claws it would do it damage. So we waited. The crowd was large and several children ranging from about 2 to 16. Everyone was polite and some very good questions were answered during the wait. Finally, the trainer said, “we may have to cancel this show’. The crowd did not complain, or move. She said, ‘shall we give them another 5 minutes’. The agreement was made and during that last minute the falcon went into its house. The issue as she explained was that they fly for us not to entertain us, but because they get fed. Well the falcon was full and wanted to play.

The show itself was the best I have ever seen. Usually the birds are damaged and cannot fly. These fly, squawk, etc. They flew deliberately just above the audience’s head. One skimmed my hair as it went by. I was not afraid at all but one man behind me was terrified. He kept dropping to the ground. Now, these birds flew back and forth many times during their feeding activities. So, it was beautiful, we gained knowledge and this poor man was hilarious. The trainer entertained us with details about each species while truly introducing us to them as well. For example, the bald head black vulture is his favorite. It is clumsy and not graceful at all, but…. it does not need to be as it is never after anything that can run away. It was a gross yet elegant description of this bird created by Father God.

After the show, we walked back at a much slower speed, it was over 90 still. We were blessed to be mostly under tree cover; we took the shorter route back to the discovery center. There we sat in rockers looking out at the majestic creation of our Lord. We saw turtles, small if compared to the sea turtles off Jekyll Island, but fun to see. Children everywhere were playing, laughing, running, etc. The parents were relaxing but with an eye on each one. Great family area and fun to sit and watch.

After we were cooled we decided to skip the horticultural center, though it would have been fun; we were both tired. And…. Charlotte still had a drive to get us back home. She decided to go the back much longer way so we could go past the little family owned restaurant I found my first Saturday in Thomaston. It is Charlies’s Country Restaurant. Daisy, Charlie’s wife does most of the cooking. I immediately connected with her and could see her pain. I have prayed for her; but not tried to minister at all. She knows I love her and was so excited to see me again. I gave menus to Pleasant Valley Church; Peggy and a friend went to lunch. I have not heard how that was but did speak with a couple who went through the program the week before; they said it was very good. It is truly country. The menu includes turkey necks, chittlings, pigs ears, ox tails, etc. along with pinto beans, collards, turnip greens, pork chops and catfish to name a few items.  Lunch is an amazing $4.99 for one meat, 2 vegetables and cornbread!

Upon arrival home, we both went into our air-conditioned rooms and rested. LOL

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