Last Updated on January 5, 2020 7:25 pm
The Appalachian Mountain region August tradition of placing a bean in a jar to predict the number of winter snows, for 2019-2020, is set to get underway once again.
Here's how it works. For every foggy morning in August a bean (many folks use coins or buttons too) is placed in a jar. A big bean is used for a heavy fog and a small bean for a light fog. Use the same location and as close to the same time every morning as possible when recording your observation.
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. Folklore says that if you can “track a rabbit in it” then consider that a light snow.
It's not exactly known how long the prediction system has been in practice, but some research indicates 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 2019-2020.
To see how others around Watauga County are keeping tally, check out Watauga County and Boone Online Bean Jar Facebook page.