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Grandfather Mountain is well on the road to full fall color, as this photo shot near Scheer Bluff colorfully demonstrates. The overlook is named for the late Julian Scheer, a close friend of Grandfather Mountain’s founder, the late Hugh Morton. Scheer was best known for his work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), where he served as a publicist from 1962 to 1971. (Photo by Skip Sickler)

Back on Earth, the pace of seasonal leaf change is accelerating rapidly. Within the last few days, more patches of hardwoods have begun to be clothed in red, orange and yellow, especially at elevations above 4,000 feet.