classic hill country beauty
A breath-taking vista of the valley below greets you upon entering the Ranch. The road winds down into the valley where you might glimpse white tail deer, wild turkey, boar, armadillo and an occasional jackrabbit darting across your path. Cattle and horses graze in the pastures. Red fox, coyotes, ringtail cats and roadrunners, raccoon, possum and porcupine are also in residence.
Flora Because of the elevation changes and microclimates, this secluded ranch has Eastern hardwoods, including red oak, walnut, and the rare big tooth maples. The equally rare madrones, a Mediterranean species found only in the Hill Country and the Pacific Coast, also grows to specimen size on the ranch. On the same 5000 acres grow desert and tropical plants including palmettos, agaves and century plants. Over 300 plant species have been identified on the ranch, including Engelmann daisies, fragrant damianita, mountain mahogany, and many types of cactus. Unique!
Working Ranch Amidst all of this beauty the Ranch is also home to a herd of cattle and numerous horses. We raise grain crops and grow a prolific "kitchen garden" from which you are welcome to pick when in season.
One of the most precious resources in the Hill Country is water. Discover natural springs flowing deep in almost every canyon on the ranch, forming sparkling creeks that meander throughout the property and converge to form Pipe Creek from which the Ranch takes its name.
butterflies and bats
Butterflies and Bats Spring and fall are particularly exciting at the Ranch as the Monarch butterflies make their way to and from their winter habitat in the jungles of Mexico. The Ranch hosts millions of these delicate creatures, hanging off the trees as they rest and feed on the milkweed that sustains them during their journey. Cameras are a must to capture the remarkable sight of entire trees turning orange with their wings. Ask about the months that provide the best viewing. The Ranch is also on the flyway for the Mexican Free Tail Bats, with one of the largest colonies in the world less than 15 miles away.