Each year, as we edge closer to the winter months, Alpine Angels begin wondering what the weather will bring this winter. Will there be a bumper snowfall or the challenge of last season's tropical winter climate? So who is the best person to ask?
Over the years we've heard an eclectic mix of old wives tales professing to predict the weather. Here is a selection of our favourites: some tried and tested, and wholly questionable methods of snow prediction:
Watch your wasps - the more wasps buzzing around in summer the snowier the winter
August is telling - if the first week in August is unusually warm the coming winter will be snowy and long
Know your onions - if your onion skins are very thin a mild winter is coming. If the onion skins are thick and tough, the coming winter will be cold and rough...
Talk to the animals (or at least watch them) as they behold many an important message:
- lots of wool on the sheep means a hard winter
- if you find lots of field mice in summer then winter will be snowy
- if your squirrels' tails are extra bushy then snow's a comin
- Squirrels Part II - if they gather their nuts in a flurry snow will gather in a hurry
Noisy November - if it thunders in November expect snow 10 days later
Check out a local caterpillar - some people believe that the wider the brown part of a caterpillar, the colder the winter. Others believe the wider the black part, the colder the weather. We thought caterpillars were green
And last but not least
Obtain the breastbone of a recently deceased local goose - Yes you read correctly. The length of the breastbone indicates the length of the coming winter while the colour of the breastbone indicates its severity. A plain white breastbone means a mild winter. A mottled breastbone means a severe winter. The more mottled the more severe.
Should a goose's breastbone be hard to come by fear not, observe the moss growing on a local tree. The more moss on the south side of the tree, the harder the coming winter. While you are there you could also check out what the squirrels are doing, count the field mice, and see if the caterpillars are wide and brown
So, now you have all the tools for prediction, the accoutrement of the Alps. Pick your favourite, make a note of the number of thunderstorms or wasps or mice and let us know if your old wives tale really works. And for those of you with a positive disposition, who assume there will be heaps of snow this winter, make sure you have a lovely Alpine retreat to warm yourself after your days on the mountain. All our currently available Alpine Property can be found here - www. alpineangels.net