Friday, July 07, 2023

Friday Ramble - Sticky

Sticky is a fine word for July, for "toing and froings" in this part of the world in steamy, almost rainforest weather conditions. Summer here tends to be a glue pot or a very "sticky wicket" at the best of times, more so than ever thanks to global warming.

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 or adhere, to point or be pointed". There we have it, a piece of wood to poke things with or a gluey substance binding stuff together.

Early mornings here are lovely times for walks or hanging out in the garden, but by ten, 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 ripening plums, walnuts and little green acorns, for wildflowers blooming unseen in the leafy depths of hedgerows like diffident summer jewels. 

On early walks, hedgerows are festooned with circular spider webs, and the strands of silk are strung with beads of pearly dew, looking for all the world like gossamer neck ornaments. The webs are, for the most part, the fabulous, sticky work of an 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 fragile things, and they are beautiful. No two webs are the same, and they sometimes measure three feet from one edge to the other, their trembling, strands radiating outward like the spokes of a wheel.

Peering at a web one morning this week, I remembered an elderly friend in the village (now moved away) who used to "do" web walks with me. Dale occasionally rang the doorbell in the early hours when she was out and about with her dogs, discovered a real whopper in a hedgerow 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...

Definitely stuck on you!