Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Ramble - Sticky

Sticky is a fine word for late July and early August days, for late summer's puckish "toing and froing" between sunshine and rain, steamy heat and pleasantly cool temperatures, weather moderate and weather extreme. This summer is turning out to be a particularly unpredictable state of affairs, and it is a glue pot or  "sticky wicket" at the best of times.

This week’s mucilaginous word offering hails from the Old English stician  meaning “to pierce, stab, transfix”" as well as “to adhere, be embedded, stay fixed or be fastened”. Then there are the Proto-Germanic stik, Old Saxon stekan, Dutch stecken, Old High German stehhan and German stechen all meaning much the same thing.  Most of this week's word kin are rooted in the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) form steig meaning "to affix, point or be pointed".  The Latin instigare (to goad) and stinguere (to incite or impel), the Greek stizein (to prick or puncture) and Old Persian tigra (sharp or pointed) are cognates, and for some strange reason, so is the Russian stegati (to quilt).

Mornings here are cool and shady, and they are lovely times for walks or hanging out in the garden.  By ten, we three (Himself, Beau and I) are happy to be indoors and looking out, rather than actually being out. At twilight, off we go again, and we potter around the village, peering into trees for little green acorns, ripening plums and flowers blooming unseen in leafy depths like late summer jewels.

On early walks, hedgerows are festooned with spider webs, and the strands of silk are strung with beads of pearly dew, looking for all the world like fabulous neck ornaments. Summer webs here are, for the most part, the work of the orb weaver known as the writing spider, corn spider or common garden spider (Argiope aurantia). Artfully spun from twig to twig, the spider's creations are sublime.  No two are the same, and they are often several feet from one edge to the other.

As I peered at a web one morning this week, I remembered the friend (now moved away) who used to "do" web walks with me and occasionally rang the doorbell at sunrise when she discovered a real whopper and just had to share it. I thought too of the metaphor of Indra's jeweled web and how we are all connected in the greater scheme of things. Emaho! Sticky or not, it's all good.

1 comment:

Barbara Rogers said...

Thanks again for word-smithing to go with the beauty. Yes, summer is heavy with humidity at times! Thanks for your comment on my blog yesterday. I'll answer it now!