|Nature on the Ranch|
The Natural Beauty of the Flying L Guest Ranch
by Martin Hagne
I have spent all my life visiting the outdoors as often as I can. I was lucky to have grown up in an undeveloped area of Sweden, full of nature’s intricate ways. Foxes would visit my grandparent’s yard, White-tailed Sea Eagles flew over the coastline, and Polecats scurried along basement rocks. Nature has always been a part of me, and me of nature! I seek out natural spots to explore.
I often find such spots by accident. When my parents retired and built a home in Bandera, Texas many years ago, I found several natural areas that were tucked away here and there. They built their retirement home on the Flying L Guest Ranch in Bandera… a wonderful Hill Country Resort full of amenities from singing Cowboys to horseback trail riding, and golfing 18 holes! The resort sits on 500 some acres of Texas Hill Country land. Over 100 acres are undeveloped on the “other side of the creek”. Besides that large area, several smaller spots are also “more natural than not”, like the Ghost Town, and Creekside.
I have spent countless hours down by San Julian Creek bird watching and enjoying the personal rejuvenation that nature brings. Here you can feel at one with nature. Cross the creek and walk the horse trails on the south side and your surroundings are transformed into a natural environment. Here you walk a typical Texas Hill Country limestone hillside covered in grasses and native trees. Birds flit around you, deer scurry to safety, and life is good!
Over the years I have accumulated quite a good bird and animal list from the resort property. Since I now live on the property, and work here, I hope to share “our” nature with you. Plans include a labeled nature trail, bird feeding stations, and who knows… maybe a rope bridge across the creek! Come enjoy all the fun activities, the Water Park, S’mores by the fire, horseshoe toss … but don’t forget the natural side of the resort. Let nature take you away from the hustle and bustle for a bit!
Some of the Wildlife on the Ranch
White-tailed Deer buck keeps an eye on visitors. They are found in good numbers across the ranch.
Axis Deer are non-native to the area, but have established a large herd.
Blackbucks, exotic antelopes native to India, also roam the ranch.
Black-tailed Jackrabbits can be found scurrying across the open grass fields.
Some of the Birds on the Ranch
Black-Crested Titmouse loves the large Live Oaks, and frequents the bird feeders.
The plaintiff call of the Lesser Goldfinch can be heard in most places on the ranch.
Belted Kingfishers are frequent visitors along San Julian Creek and Creekside.
Natural Areas on the Ranch
San Julian Creek runs through the natural area of the resort.
100 acres remains natural on the Ranch across from the San Julian Creek, and includes impressive outcroppings and woods.
Texas Bluebonnets in spring on the hills across San Julian Creek.
Brush lines along the Ranch fences makes great spots to find birds.
Open spaces create good habitat for Eastern Bluebirds and White-tailed Deer.
The Ghost Town area is a fun spot for birding.