Sunday, 31 August 2008

What have you got up your sleeve?

Here's a moth which sounds like a supporting character in a Thomas Hardy novel. The Rosy Rustic. I imagine my ancestors were like this, given the meaning of my surname. Rustics can get a lot rosier than this one, but isn't the patterning fine, even if the palette is like something from Laura Ashley's autumn collection in a year favouring beige? I think I'll add a picture of the other sort of rosy rustic just for comparison.
The other thing that happened yesterday was that I came in from the garden with a friend on the arm of my jumper - see below. I think it may be one of the pesky 'cabbage white' caterpillars I mentioned yesterday, but please put me right if I'm wrong.


christine said...

Originally I tried to comment on your earlier piece about caterpillars, but being inept I lost the comment in the ether somewhere. But it seems as appropriate to your caterpillar today, so here goes again.
Joseph Wright, in his great Dialect Dictionary (every home should have a set) found that caterpillar, written as caddypiller was actually a term for the cockchafer, mostly in south-west England, thus "When bats da creype the'r holes vrem out, An caddypillers vlies about" - which obviously has to be spoken in a Mummerset accent not Yorkshire, to sound right.
Then he adds Caterpillar as a verb, in 'Hrf'- which is Herefordshire rather than some remote Viking outpost in the north - meaning to plague or torment or render helpless, thus "I was never so caterpillared in my life", which brings us back to the caterpillar on your sleeve, or that period in spring when you can't walk in woodlands without being bedecked by little caterpillars which hang by threads from oaks and beeches, waiting for the unsuspecting walker to pass by, preferably with a gap between clothing and neck. True torment. Calvin, FoBW

Anonymous said...

Whoops, sorry, I've only just come across your fascinating comment, cos I seldom look back. Forward! is my motto. Excelsior! Anyway many thanks for these excellent references. They're like the ones my wife Penny gets every day in her free word emailed from the Oxford English Dictionary. Joseph Wright was the Saltaire weaver who became Porfessor of Philology or similar at Oxford - am I right? Or Wright? Anyway, here's to his dictionary.