Nature As Your Neighbor
By Deborah R Allen

Did you wake up this morning to the sound of thudding bass as someone drove down the street? Perhaps you looked out the window to check the weather and instead saw...your neighbor's window. Now imagine instead waking to bird song, and opening your blinds just as a herd of deer are passing. Which scenario sounds better to you?

If you are seeking the serenity that comes from living closer to nature, it's easier to achieve than you may imagine. Living in the Texas Hill Country means that you can have peace and quiet, while still being within close driving distance to metropolitan areas like Austin and San Antonio. No need to worry about urban encroachment though, as many areas are dedicated to the preservation of wildlife. In fact, the Hill Country is known both for its role in founding the exotic animal business as well as preserving at-risk species by increasing their population on protected ranches before reintroducing them back into their native lands. With so much rich and abundant animal life, not only are you assured gorgeous scenery, but that your closest neighbors will likely include turkey or deer. And, when you build in a development that devotes much of its land as an animal preserve, you may see even more exotic creatures. Types of animals commonly seen on such Hill Country property are:

Deer: White Tail deer are the most common deer in the area. As their name implies, they are distinguished by the white underside of their tail. You might also see the beautiful Axis deer, with its black-stripped back and reddish, white-dotted coat. Originally from Asia, some preserves include the Sika, a delicate and petite deer which also has distinctive white spots on its body.

Antelope: Though not native to Texas, antelope thrive in the Hill Country environment. One unusual antelope found in area preserves is the Blackbuck. The male of the species is black and white, with beautiful long spiral-twisted horns, while the female is hornless and a more subdued tan color. This breed can reach over 40 miles per hour when running. In the Lechwe, a golden-colored antelope, the males are distinguished by their two long, u-shaped horns. If you are lucky, your home will share its land with the exotic Scimitar-horned Oryx, a beautiful white antelope with large, sweeping, curving horns.

Wild Turkey: indigenous to North America, at one time the wild turkey was nearly hunted to extinction. But due to preservation efforts, such as those in the Hill Country, the population is stronger than ever. This beautiful bird is not only smart, it is agile! Though you might picture a turkey as plump, waddling barnyard creature, the wild turkey can run very fast and even fly for short distances. You can distinguish a wild turkey from its domesticated kin by its brown-tipped tail feathers.

Elk: Many people may be surprised to find that elk are not just a cold-climate forest animal. In fact, there are elk indigenous to Texas, and many can be found in preserves around the Hill Country. It is hard to miss when this gorgeous and statuesque creature passes by with its enormous six-point horns.

These are just a few of the many species of animal that call the Hill Country home. As a resident of a Hill Country property, you enjoy not just peace and quiet, but the sight of nature at its finest.

Deborah Allen is a sales counselor at Ranches of Brushy Top, a hill country acreage real estate community. They sell some of the most remarkable, rural, hill country Texas land located near Blanco, TX. For more information please visit http://www.brushytop.com.

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