Smokey, one of Grandfather Mountain’s resident bears, takes in the autumn sights, sounds and weather from the mountain’s bear habitat. Smokey is somewhat shy for a bear and prefers not to be the center of attention. Instead, she loves lounging in sun beams, harassing her neighbor — Aspen the cougar — and hanging out with her sister, Flower. During the colder months, Smokey and Flower are inseparable and even den together over the winter. (Photo by Frank Ruggiero)
Autumn color continues to spread throughout Grandfather Mountain. While the mountain’s more prominent peaks feature the (mountain) lion’s share of vibrant foliage, other locations, including the animal habitats, are also showing colorful signs of the times.