Linville Bluffs Oct 14

Heavy fog and rain greets visitors to the High Country today, but the autumn colors provide a cheery glow in moments when the veil lifts briefly. (Photo by Skip Sickler)

While visitors and locals alike hope the storms will spare our autumn beauties for a couple more weeks, days like this remind us that trees are not just “lookers” but also workers. They help prevent soil erosion and act like sponges, filtering pollutants from the water. Fallen leaves also provide food and shelter for insects and provide nutrients essential for plant growth.