Well if all the experts are to be believed, this summer in Sweden is going to be a scorcher!
Yep, according to the butterflies it is going to be hot, hot, hot. Folk-lore reckons that the very first butterfly you see in the year can predict the weather.
Not literally, obviously; but apparently if the butterfly you spot first is light-coloured, then the summer will be good: if you set eyes on a dark-coloured butterfly, then the prospect is gloomy and a bad summer is on the cards.
So, if Swedish butterfly intuition is to be believed, things are looking good; as the first two butterflies I saw yesterday, busy checking out my newly planted pansies, were creamy white. http://wp.me/p4kEQ0-9F
Like most predictions, the butterflies and I have a 50/50 chance of accuracy. Though I am a bit inclined to hedge my bets, as there is another piece of Swedish folk-lore regarding the Rowan (or Mountain Ash) which is not exactly foolproof. Tradition has it that, if the Rowan tree is full of red berries in the autumn, the ensuing winter will be hard. Last October, the Rowan here were heaving with berries; so much so that bird-lovers were busy picking and freezing them as winter bird food (great idea if you can be bothered).
By that reckoning, we should have had an awful winter: it was, however, one of the mildest on record.
Still, ever the optimist, I’m busy digging out my sun cream, mosquito repellent and sunglasses in the hope that we get a butterfly summer.