The Hidden Almanac for
Friday October 11th, 2013
Episode 13
Previous episode: 2013-10-09
Next episode: 2013-10-14


Today a cloud of mayflies achieved sentience. We will also celebrate the birthday of Heinrich, mark the Feast Day of St. Skote, and plan for spring bulbs. Be Safe, and Stay out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac. I'm Reverend Mord. Today is October 11th, 2013.

On this day, an unknown number of years ago, a cloud of mayflies achieved sentience. As evening neared, they channeled all their remaining energy into a dance that expressed everything they had learned in the course of their civilization’s single day. The only witness to this was a solitary female badger, who spent the next few months carving the record of this dance into the stones of her den. So far as we know, that record is still there, unexcavated, waiting for someone to find it.[1]

And it’s the birthday of Heinreich, the faithful manservant of naturalist Eland the Younger, who accompanied him on his many research trips. Little is known of Heinreich’s origins, although Eland’s writings praise his level-headedness, and cooking abilities. In Book of the Gear, Eland's great incomplete work, he writes:

"Heinreich's primary response to stress is to cook. He is clearly under stress now, as he has covered every flat surface in camp with something delicious. He is baking a pie now, and I fear that means we're in the gravest of danger."

Today also marks the passage, in 1891, of the Obsidian Laws. These laws restricted the sales of black mirrors of all varieties.[2] When pressed for reasons, the Prime Minister of the time declined to comment. An official statement indicated that it was to ban the import of black mirrors from Troyzantine due to possible public safety concerns. The Obsidian Laws remain on the books to this day.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Skote, represented as an onion wearing a halo. Its blessing is invoked to drive away fleas and stinging flies. The saint was unearthed in a small plot of land near Lake Always, and performed several miracles before eventually being martyred in a shepherd's pie.

Thinking about planting bulbs in the garden for spring? There's a wide array to choose from, including crocus, narcissus, tulips, and alliums. Saffron, one of our rarest and most delicate spices, is derived from the fall-blooming saffron crocus. The bright red flower stigmas are harvested to make this lovely yellow spice. Just don't confuse it with the nearly identical autumn crocus, which is deadly poisonous and will cause drooling, vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, diarrhea, liver and kidney failure, seizures, and eventually death.[3] Enjoy your bulbs.

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

Also sponsored by Jim's Jerky Marks. Lost in a book? Already eaten your shoes? Now you can use your bookmark as a handy source of protein. Jim's Jerky Marks: Something to chew on, until help arrives.

That's the Hidden Almanac for October 11th, 2013. Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, written by Ursula Vernon and performed and produced by Kevin Sonney. Our theme music is Moon Valley and our exit music is Red in Black, both by Kosta T. You can hear more from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. All other content is copyright 2013, Ursula Vernon.


  1. One wonders then, how we know about it.
  2. Black obsidian mirrors are used for scrying and have been for hundreds of years.
  3. This is all true. Autumn crocuses are not actually crocuses, and is also called meadow saffron. It's poisonous due to its colchicine content, which can be used as a medication to treat gout and other conditions