Visiting the Western North Carolina Nature Center for the first time (encouraged by the seasonal butterfly house), we enjoyed an up-close view of some native mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that we normally don't see.
Bobcats, red wolves, gray wolves, gray fox, and coyotes were among them, but our favorites included a very lively male bear (he splashed and played in a large pool with a rope toy, climbed a tree, rolled a log, and clambered up a tree stump).
A river otter, waiting for dinner, posed on a rock.
And these turtles, in an attractive turtle pond, basked quite close on several logs, strategically placed. (I wish we had a small pond like this in the Children's Garden at the SC Botanical Garden!)