If you are a birdwatcher or a landscape photographer, you will love living and taking photos in Citrus County, Florida and Black Diamond Ranch. Citrus County is part of the 30,843 acres Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge (and therefore part of the United States National Wildlife Refuge System). Black Diamond Ranch is named for a premier grapefruit and was once the site for limestone mining. The former mine site: the Quarry Lake, affords awesome nature watching (as well as awesome views of nature while golfing).
The county has a total area of 773 square miles of which 582 square miles is land and 192 square miles (24.8%) is water. Citrus County is home to almost 400 manatees in the winter months. See Leesa Glazier’s (Leesa Glazier Photography), Chris Kubiak and Diana Storek’s Citrus County pictures on the link provided later in this article.
–Did you know: Citrus County was created in 1887? The Citrus County area was formerly part of Hernando County. It was named for the county’s citrus groves. Citrus production declined dramatically after the “Big Freeze” of 1894-1895. Today, citrus is grown on one large grove, Bellamy Grove. Additionally, some people do have trees on their personal property.—
And did you know that the Washington Post reported that US Department of Agriculture ranked Citrus 254 out of 3111 US Counties as one of the best places to live? (Thank you Bill Williams for this article)
According to the Washington Post every county in the country is ranked: By scenery and climate. In the late 1990’s, the Federal government devised a measure of the best and worst places to live in America, from the standpoint of scenery and climate. The natural amenities index is intended as a “measure of the physical characteristics of a county area that enhance the location as a place to live.” The index combines “six measures of climate, topography, and water area that reflect environmental qualities most people prefer.” Those qualities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, include mild, sunny winters, temperate summers, low humidity, topographic variation, and access to a body of water-and do not change over time. . You can read about the report by going to the website listed.
Black Diamond Ranch is a community set on 1320 acres (just over 500 homes in the gated community). Five golf holes surround two quarries (one dry and one is the “Quarry Lake”) and have been called by noted sports writer Dan Jenkins, “As the best five consecutive holes of golf anywhere in the world.” The community has several man-made ponds as well as the Quarry Lake that play host to a few gators, lots of turtles, fish, and bird life. There is about a two and one half mile nature trail (behind the Quarry Course) that you can easily access from Pine Valley Loop just past the Moss Creek Street. The Hidden Lake there never ceases to amaze residents with its attraction to birds (See Hylen pictures). (Art and I grabbed a cocktail and went exploring yesterday, after years of living here and hearing of this path. We never found the hidden lake—will need a guided tour Bob Hylen, but what we saw was an awesome trail and the potential for quite a nature path. Need someone to map the trails and someone—you wood creative people–to make some signs and we have some great walking/hiking trails. Amazed how much wild nature land there is on our Black Diamond property. Rains have made the trails tricky to travel but what a great future natural hiking area ! The cloud formations, sunsets, and sunrises around Black Diamond Ranch have caught many a photographer’s eye. Owls and bald eagle have chosen the trees around the courses (49 Fazio golf holes) as their nesting places. Many residents have a bluebird house-for our state’s official bird. Jim Bob Plunkett has a great slide show of a bluebird nesting :
Black Diamond Ranch is an awesome place to live, play golf and enjoy nature. Our residents and an area photographer have captured Citrus County and Black Diamond Ranch nature on “film.” (www.iloveblackdiamondranch.com)to see their favorite photos…
Go Lecanto FL Info page tab and view local pictures (Citrus pictures) taken by Black Diamond residents and friends.
Black Diamond Ranch-Where to Live if You Live for Golf, Photography and Bird Watching!
A Premiere Gated Community in Citrus County: Lecanto, Florida
Black Diamond Ranch :
Mixed Event…October 11
Classic Car Show II… November 7, noon.
Boutique Noel…November 15, 2-6 pm
Citrus County :
Citrus 20th Annual Save Our Waters Week… September 18-26
Chuck Yeager Fly-in Rainbow Field, Dunnellon…September 19, 11:30 am
Murder at the Canyon Rock Crusher…October 2