This is a new hummingbird feeder I received on Mother's Day. Shaped rather like a Ferris Wheel, it looks lovely with the bright red cups. It's a work of art even if the hummingbirds don't use it. Obviously, the hummingbirds DO like it as well. This one perched the very afternoon I put it out.
The best news of all: As of last week, drought conditions no longer exist in any part of North Carolina. For the past two years and through much of this winter, our county was categorized as D4, exceptional drought, the worst possible category. Thanks to some welcome spring rains, we are listed as D0, abnormally dry. The yellow parts of the map indicate a D0 category and the white areas have no drought designation at all. After two consecutive years of drought, being "abnormally dry" feels pretty good. It is wonderful to see the rivers and streams once again flowing normally.
This little map shows our county in red. We are in the south-western part of the state and our county borders Greenville County in South Carolina. The Eastern Continental Divide runs through our county and the French Broad River Basin forms here. We have mountains as high as 6,000 feet in elevation. In a "normal" year, we receive 70-80 inches of rain, the highest in the state and one of the highest in the eastern US. There are areas within our county designated as temperate rain forests.
With more than 250 named waterfalls, we are called the "Land of the Waterfalls." Or as locals used before the drought, "Land Where the Water Falls." With any luck, we can use that term again.
LATER ENTRY: I should probably have mentioned that while we are not in official drought category, we are several feet behind normal rainfall for the past two years. That means that the ground-water acquifers are still lower and the danger is not past. But we are delighted to have had this much rain so far. We still have a ways to go to make up for the severe nature of the drought.