The Alps are an exceptional region be it weather, wildlife or botanic phenomenons. In this section we will show some insights, talk about special plants from flowers, bushes, moss to trees and animals.
The subjects are extensive, als the alpine region has different rock massives from high mountains to valleys and covers various European countries from France, to Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany and Slovenia.
The german word "Altweibersommer" signifies "old woman summer".
It is a meteorologic phenomenon. Starting in the middle of september, lasting until the end of of september, with exceptions even until the end of November.
The "Altweibersommer" is a stable weather condition in the Alpine area, a warm ending of the summer, a fading out. The days are pleasantly warm, the nights already cold.
The trees discolour in the most beautiful autumn colours, in the morning the fog hangs in the valleys, cobwebs on the meadows are sprinkled with dew drops, silk of spider flying in the air during the day. Young spiders swarm through these flying spiderwebs.
To answer where this term is from, we can offer several propaple and some improbable theories:
1. "weiben" means in old German "to weave" and could refer to the weaving of the cobweb, or the floating of the silk, whisch was not only attributed to spiders, but also faires, dwarves and other mystical creatures.
2. the sillk of spider, flying in the air and landing on hedges and meadows reminded of grey shedding of hair of older women, who lost these combing.
3. the silver hair derives from Nornen, destiny goddesses, who lost life threads when weaving destinies.
4. The threads, flying in the air derive from the coat of the Virgin Mary, which she carried on Ascension. There is partly also today the designation to “Marienfäden” (Threads of Mary) or "Unserer Lieben Frauen Gespinst" (Our Belopved Lady Threads)
5. The term could also designate to a second sprin, new falling in love for the elderly.
6. In former times there was not the concept autumn, therefore this late summer period was designated in such a way.
Cob Web in Alpine Autmun Sun
There are several sayings what these flying silk of spider means:
- for the eldery: luck if they are caught by silk of spider
- For unmarried girls these threads in the hair mean - as symbol of a bridal veil - that their wedding will soon take place.
This special weather phenomenon is well-known in several countries:
- Switzerland, is called “Witwensömmerli”, summer of widows
- North America wher it is referred to as “Indian buzzer” in the USA or “été indien” French Canada
- France: Été de la Saint Martin, the holiday of the holy Martin is November, 11th
- Poland “babie lato” what means women summer
- Russia “babje leto” denotes women summer
- Sweden: “brittsommar” Brigitte summer
- Finland: “ruska aika” - the time of the brown colouring
At some places this time is contemplated as fifth season. A notice: In Munich the fifth season at the end of of september, beginning of october is referred to something not so much meaningfull concercning the weather: the Octoberfest.
The special autumn sun of the Altweibersommer reflects perfectly in our garnet jewllery, have you already had a look at:
Catch the autmun sun and the warm glow of fire with wonderful garnet jewellery