Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hill Country Ranches

I had a wonderful time today inspite of the rain from Tropical Storm Erin. I got to tour some wonderful ranches in the Texas Hill Country. The Petersen Ranch is located just west of Blanco. Bob Petersen has done a beautiful job creating a place where people can enjoy nature. He has allowed the land to restore itself - so you can see recovering blue stem native grass. He has set up a wonderful place for both nature photographers and nature observers to come and see and photograph wild birds and other wild critters.

He has been very involved with the Images for Conservation Fund which pairs nature photographers with land owners to provide funding to conserve private lands for wildlife.

I also got to visit the Block Creek Natural Area another ranch area whose owners the Langfords and the Jays are working hard to provide both habitat for wildlife but also areas where people can enjoy watching and photographing them. They love their land and are proud of its family history as well as its scenic beauty.

I was very impressed with the amount of effort that has gone into restoring natural areas, attracting various birds, and providing habitat for some of the Hill Country's endangered species. The natural beauty of these ranches with the hills, cliffs, clear streams, waterfalls, wooded areas, and open meadows is an artist or photographer's dream. Even in August, there were flowering plants and abundant wildlife.

And the owners are true examples of the best of Texas hospitality not only with their friendliess, but also with the facilities they have for their guests.

I am looking forward to a time when I can go and spend time at the blinds and at the creeks with my camera! Truly heaven on earth.

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