‘Words have personality.’

Or words to that effect. So said a famous wordsmith named Willard R. Espy, who wrote a great deal of delightful stuff about words, and remains highly unquoted.

51b1dqao1gl._sx361_bo1,204,203,200_One word that definitely has personality is caper, which is today’s word suggestion from the good folks at WP.

I wouldn’t call myself a word expert, by any means, (terms like uvular fricative make my brain hurt) but I do love to savor a word curiosity now and then. And just like a good wine, there are certain pairings that are immediately suggested by the palate. Like a good pinot and soft goat cheese, or a full-flavored port with a dark chocolate truffle.

So therefore, with caper (though it is also a pungent little berry that goes well with seafood and a crisp, chilled chardonnay) we have a word that suggests, inevitably, frolic.

You could even pair the two as frolicsome caper, and further suggest the word antics, and at the risk of sounding octogenarian, cavort.  This brings me to my red squirrels, which, quite unfortunately, were drunk this morning on summer wine, and doing all of the above.


Summer wine not only goes well with capers, it causes them (the cavorting sort). The wine referred to here is what we like to call the Morello cherries from our tree that have fallen to the ground, now sweetly fermenting. They grow too high for us to actually make them useful for human consumption, but the squirrels and birds are having entirely too much fun up there in the back corner of the yard.

Gambol and tumble are good side dishes, as it were. If fact, if you look up ‘gambol’, you will find the following synonyms:

‘frolic, frisk, cavort, caper, skip, dance, romp, prance, leap, hop, jump, spring, bound, bounce; play; (dated, sport)’

To which I might add “see: tippling“.

All of those definitions sound quite athletic, even for a squirrel drunk on Morello cherries, so occasionally one tumbles down the rockery and causes concern.

So far I have witnessed no injuries, and the merriment continues.


As you can see from the picture below, the lawn is slightly elevated from the patio, giving a stage-like appearance, which the squirrels use to good effect.


(this beautiful quilt made by a dear friend)

Other than that, the garden is (usually) a peaceful place for reading. Perhaps even sipping a bit of Morello summer wine, if the squirrels will share.


7 thoughts on “Summer Wine and Word Savor

  1. Oh how beautiful and serene your garden is.. I would spend all day admiring that quilt and going through my stack of books – it is truly an unwieldy pile of books at the moment. I hear Autumn and I am ready.

    • Ooh…There is something about a waiting stack of books that is both reassuring, and makes my pulse race with excitement, as well! Enjoy your reading, and thank you for your lovely comments. I have taken many pictures of the outdoors this summer, and my garden, though simple, is one of my greatest joys.

      • It is the simplest of things but a garden and stack of books brings me so much joy. I have just sent a link of your blog to my friend who is a gardener and writer, she will love your photos and your voice as much as I do. Your posts are comforting right now as we are in the midst of fires here in Northern California and our community is so horribly affected. Thousands upon thousands with no place to go, homes destroyed.

      • Oh, that is awful. Thank you for giving me that frame of reference–I can certainly see why you would need a soothing respite to retreat to. Up here (Portland) we suffered emotionally through the Gorge fires–such a terrible wreckage of so much scenic wonder–but I was just telling my husband last night that these fires in Santa Rosa…Napa… are like hitting the heart of California. And such terrible loss of life. So many are stunned by it. Truly tragic. Stay safe. And hopefully…oh hopefully… there are rains coming, right?

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