After two years of talking about it, Rich and I finally made it to Callaway Gardens…and thanks to Tropical Storm Fay, it rained the whole time we were there! But I saw my first hummingbirds, we were pleasantly surprised to run into some of our FL winter bird friends, and two of the butterflies in the butterfly center liked my backpack so much that they tried to come home with me! So it was a good trip overall, and we’re looking forward to going back to see the fall colors (and more hummers!!) :)
I had never seen hummingbirds up close before, so I was content to stand at the flowerbeds in front of the Day Butterfly Center for a long time, just observing the little guys zipping around. I think I was able to get some pretty good pictures, too.
At first, when Rich wanted to go to Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden, I groaned and thought, “I don’t want to spend hours looking at peppers and carrots!” Boy did my opinion of the place change as soon as I walked in and saw all the songbirds! The garden is a certified bird habitat.
It was fun to see the goldfinches, in their bright yellow plumage, living year-round in Georgia (they only winter in Florida). This guy was pigging out on sunflower seeds and this is one of my favorite pictures ever.
This scruffy-looking cardinal enjoyed the sunflowers, too.
Another Florida winter-only visitor greeted us with its distinct “Phoebe” call.
In Florida, the Carolina wrens hang out in the underbrush, and you rarely see them. At Callaway Gardens, you tend to see them more.
There were brown thrashers everywhere.
We spent several hours in the Day Butterfly Center. There are tons of butterflies there, and they fly all around you.
Want to learn more about nature photography at Callaway Gardens?
Check out my Callaway Gardens page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!