There's a long standing Appalachian Mountain region tradition of placing a bean in a jar to predict the upcoming winter. For every foggy morning in August either a big bean is used for a heavy fog, or small bean for a light fog. The total number at the end of the month is used to predict the total number of snows. As winter sets in then take a big bean out for a big snow, and a small bean for a light snow. Those that have participated in the tradition for many years advise that a “big snow” is four inches or more.
It's not exactly known how long the prediction system has been in practice, but some research indications that the method was first used by Native Americans. No matter if you believe in the tradition or not, it's a fun way to keep track of what Mother Nature may have in store for the High Country for winter 2015-16. To see how others around Watauga County are keeping tally, check out Watauga County and Boone Online Bean Jar Facebook page.