After almost a week of traveling through the arid and hot South Texas, I arrived in Fredericksburg, Texas on my way to Block Creek Natural Area. Wow, what a difference a day makes. No more deserts, no more dust and way more relaxed. One thing that wasn’t missing was the charm and friendly nature of my hosts. As was the norm on my trip, the people were really terrific.

Block Creek Natural Area is about 400 acres of pristine Texas Hill Country that has been in the Langford family for 6 generations now. Their stewardship of the land has kept this area untouched and undeveloped. A remarkable feat considering it is only an hour drive from San Antonio!

David Langford and Larry Jay are photographers and very good ones at that. This made my all too short visit very productive. They know about light and they know about backgrounds and all of the birding setups are perfectly positioned. Not only are they in perfect position, but also they have been used for years and so all of the local birds know they are perfect too!

There is more to Block Creek than just birds. Although I do need to point out that this is one of the few places that can boast a reliable ability to photograph Green Kingfishers!  The landscape is stunning with meandering creeks, waterfalls, massive oaks, giant boulders and rock face. Did I mention the wildflowers? Oh yeah, some of the most famous displays of native wildflowers bloom in the hill country. Imagine acres and acres aglow with a carpet of wildflowers and then imagine them being even better than you can imagine and you might be close.

You can be sure that you will be reading more about the ranch as PAW will be offering a Spring in the Texas Hill Country Workshop in 2010.

Here is a sampling of the birds that I was able to photograph in couple of hours one morning…Imagine your portfolio after 3 or 4 days of Block Creek Natural Area!

Theses images and more from Block Creek Natural Area are available for purchase here.