March 16, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- As days get shorter and nights become chillier, the annual fall foliage show is getting under way in the Southern Appalachians.
The first colors are beginning to show in the higher elevations and Great Smoky Mountains botanist Janet Rock said autumn should be a good show all down the ridges.
Warm, sunny days and nights that don't drop to freezing produce the most vibrant colors.
From West Virginia to the north Georgia foothills, sumac is flaming red and the golds are showing in maples high up on the slopes. The colors will spread to the valleys during October and some russets could be left well into November.
Foliage specialists say the drought last summer shouldn't dull nature's display.