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The Seco Valley Ranch consists of a combination of open, level terrain and rocky undulating hills. This area had an island surrounded by sea in the Cretaceous period. Fossils of clam steinkerns (bivalves) and snails are common in the caliche areas on the property and crystalline petrified wood is in the central area between the House Pasture and guest cabin, indicating there was an island covered in vegetation. A hill in the South Pasture is littered with unusual rocks of chert embedded in limestone, sometimes with a third fossiliferous sedimentary component. This hill must have been a shallow lagoon. The Balcones Fault traverses the property east to west from the Rattlesnake Pasture through Deadman's Creek Pasture. Upheavals of rock are visible along the wet-weather creek bed revealing ≈155 million years difference in eras. This area is a Geology student's playground. Surface collection of rocks is allowed but we do not permit digging for fossils or Native American artifacts due to damage caused to the pastures. Karsts are present in this area with phreatic openings to passages of unexplored branches of the Edwards recharge system. Located less than two miles from the Valdina Farms Sinkhole is such an opening in our Rattlesnake Pasture.
Ranch roads provide ample opportunities for hiking, equestrian and mountain bike trails. Photographers, birdwatchers and plein air painters will discover natural wonders while quietly exploring the native rangeland.
"Whatever attitude to human existence you fashion for yourself, know that it is valid only if it be the shadow of an attitude to nature. A human life, so often likened to a spectacle upon a stage, is more justly a ritual. The ancient values of dignity, beauty, and poetry, which sustain it, are of nature's inspiration; they are born of the mystery and beauty of the world. Do no dishonour to the earth lest you dishonour the spirit of man. Hold your hands out over the earth as over a flame. To all who love her, who open to her the doors of their veins, she gives to her strength, sustaining them with her own measureless tremor of dark life. Touch the earth, love the earth, honour the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places. For the gifts of life are the earth's and they are given to all, and they are the songs of birds at daybreak. Orion and the Bear, and dawn seen over ocean from the beach." Henry Beston (1928) The Outermost House