The summer’s drenching rains which swelled creeks and rivers across the area will most likely contribute to an extended leaf-looking season in the Southern Appalachians. That’s the prediction of Donald’s Hagan, Clemson University Forest Ecologist. Hagan says the wet soil means that trees should hold their leaves longer and fall colors will unfold more slowly. Hagan says leaf-lookers should observe the weather closely in the next few weeks because crisp nights followed by clear mild days will cause color change to accelerate. He says the timing and quality of color depends on many environmental factors such as rainfall, temperature, and duration of daylight, which trigger a series of chemical processes in the leaves.