Snow, superstition and giant spiders.
It’s that time of year. The time of year when people start the first rumours and generally turn their thoughts towards winter.
Now, there are a few of us – the slightly more cantankerous sort – who deliberately start rumours. Then there are the old wizened ski bums and guides who quote all sorts of natural phenomenon to indicate the coming winter.
Then still there are the (actually, more sensible) scientific minded ones who point out that the weather system is a chaotic system, a system not accurately predictable more than three or four days in advance. They sometimes talk about the butterfly effect, but by then I’ve usually zoned out.
Finally there are people who talk about sun spots. The less said the better.
But this season it seems the volume of berries on the trees and the size and quantity of spiders in your sink are to be the key indexes of the snow levels next winter.
Yes, I was surprised too.
You see, Verbier is inundated with spiders this autumn (the giant house spider I think you’ll find – Tegenaria duellica) and I might be guilty of exacerbating the situation with hysterical mutterings on facebook and twitter. But the fact remains there are some hefty arachnids floating about.
And the combination of eight-legged monsters and berries on the trees means everyone’s predicting a bumper season for snow. I don’t know about the science of the prediction, but it’s a prediction I like and I’d like to give it momentum by showing you the kind of beasties we’re dealing with…
It’s one of those competitions I already know who will win, but at the moment I think I know who’s got the best photo in terms of artistic merit, and also who’s got the best one in terms of making their spider look like something out of a special effects cupboard. But please let us know your thoughts by commenting. I might be wrong.
And if you want to know why I’m typing this at 6.30 am, it’s because at about 5.30 I woke up convinced there was a spider crawling over me and now can’t get back to sleep. Oh, the irony – still, if you live by the spider…