As most of you know, the High Country of North Carolina has two main seasons - summer and ski season. Residents have an old wives tale that every morning fog is August means a winter snow event. Many will say that is hogwash, but there are quite a few of us that take this seriously. Those the most seriously are involved with snow sports.
Sitting here on this cold foggy morning, I couldn't help but rejoice. There are still a few days left in August, but my count right now is at 15! My little jar sits on the window sill with white and black beans in it. The white beans are very foggy mornings, which mean a more significant snow event. The black beans are just your average snow. My first year collecting beans, my husband threw them into the pot of cooking beans.
On top of that, Farmer's Almanac is predicting a cold and snowy winter for Western North Carolina, a polar coaster. The polar coaster means temperature swings of highs and lows that will resemble The Fury of Carowinds.
The polar coaster will help Beech Mountain Resort during the cold swings, but all the new upgrades to snowmaking will give it all the help it needs after milder temperatures. Upgrading water lines means more territory open at the beginning of the season to supplementing current coverage after a string of warm temperatures. Last year we had 22 inches in one storm, it was all gone in two weeks! Here's where you can get your Farmer's Almanac https://www.farmersalmanac.com
Look also to the Wooly Worm Festival of Banner Elk for winter's forecast. A Wooly Worm or Wooly Bear is a black and brown caterpillar. During the Wooly Worm Festival, Wooly Worms race it out in heats all day Saturday, the winning caterpillar collecting 500 dollars and providing the winter forecast. There are 13 segments on a Wooly Worm for13 weeks, the brown segments mean warmer, the black more severe weather. For me, the perfect caterpillar would be all black! Here is last year's winner named Montgomery County's Best. "black, black, black, flick, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, dark brown, flick, flick, flick. Black: below average, snow/ Dark Brown: below average/ Light Brown: above-average/ Flick: black and brown, below average, frost or light snow. The average temperature is 27 degrees F." For more information on the festival visit http://www.woollyworm.com
So if you are collecting beans, let me know your tally. As the weather turns colder, be on the lookout for Wooly Worms and let them race. Last year even with strings of warm temperatures, I still skied 118 days. This year my goal is 121, one-third of the year. Time to get those skis out and start prepping for winter, only 11 weeks to go!