The Hidden Almanac for
Monday September 15th, 2014
Episode 158
Previous episode: 2014-09-12
Next episode: 2014-09-17


Today we are uplifted by a caterpillar. It is also the day Thaddeus Mackelwhite made another record-breaking catch. It is the Feast Day of St. Clarice, and in the garden, it is time for fall planting.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord.

Today is September 15th, 2014.

It was on this day that Eland the Younger described the Burning Eyespot Caterpillar, a large caterpillar with gigantic black eyespots on the tail end, designed to frighten birds. In the event that birds are not sufficiently frightened, the eyespots are iridescent and flash in the sunlight, resembling burning eyes. As the Burning Eyespot caterpillar lives in the area near modern-day Echo Harbor, birds are understandably concerned.

Unfortunately, the Burning Eyespot Caterpillar feeds only on a type of willow much used in making giant wicker men. The willow is badly overharvested, and populations of the caterpillar have declined in response. Surviving populations are closely monitored by the Horrowitz Trust.

And it was on this day that in 1908 that Thaddeus Mackelwhite caught a thermos while fly-fishing in a tributary of the Echo River. The thermos was three-quarters full of cold coffee. “It was pretty good coffee,” he said. “I only took a sip, though. I practice catch and release, you know.” Mr. Mackelwhite’s catch was confirmed by the Echo Fisheries Association, as the fullest thermos ever caught in the river. He received a small certificate and a beer.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Clarice, patron of sauerkraut. Clarice was martyred by pagans in an enormous vat of fermented cabbage, and it is probably unkind that her likeness now graces the vast majority of jars of sauerkraut. Still, that is sainthood for you.

In the garden…more about chickens? Really? Very well. Chickens. They continue to exist. Roosters are banned in many towns, owing to noise. Your options are to avoid roosters, or to get a Hardenaw Red rooster. Hardenaw Reds are completely voiceless. Rather than crow, they drum like woodpeckers. This is still extremely annoying, but blame is easy to shift away from the rooster.

It is also time to begin planting the fall garden. Some root vegetables respond well to fall planting, particularly beets and radishes, which can be stored in the ground through light frost.

The difficulty with fall gardening is that it proceeds immediately after summer gardening, which is hot, tiresome, and full of weeds. Many gardeners become exhausted at the mere thought. For these gardeners, there are always pansies and mums.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Red Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and inaccessible teas. Red Wombat --- “We Dig Tea.”

Also brought to you by this radio station! Enjoying our new format? We’re continuing to make changes to serve you better! Stay tuned! …Saints have mercy.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for September 15th, 2014. Be safe, and stay out of trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media. It is written by Ursula Vernon. The voice of Reverend Mord is Kevin Sonney. Our intro music is "Clear Blue Sky" by Chatham County Line and our exit music is "Scotland the Brave" by Shake That Little Foot. You can find more music by both groups at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013-2014, Ursula Vernon.


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