The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday October 16th, 2013
Episode 15
Previous episode: 2013-10-14
Next episode: 2013-10-18


Today the Walleye Copper Mine opened. It is also the day that that Thaddeus Mackelwhite caught a fish. It is the Feast Day of St. Xavier, and in the garden, leaves are falling, so take care. Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord. Today is October 16th, 2013.

On this day in 1731, the Walleye Copper Mine was opened on the Hardenaw Peninsula. It was the largest and most productive mine in the region and was the focal point of several small regional conflicts and multiple miners' strikes. The most famous strike spawned several folk songs including “The Blackleg Miner’s Lament” and “Tear the Filthy Scabs a New One.” That last was banned from public performance for many years and later became the fight song for Hardenaw University. The Walleye Copper Mine still remains in production, though with greatly lessened output, to this day.

It was on this day, in 1899, that Thaddeus Mackelwhite landed a seventy-two pound steelhead while fishing on a tributary of the Echo River. This record-breaking fish was later confirmed by the Echo Fisheries Association. Mr. Mackelwhite received a small certificate and a beer.

And today is the Feast Day of Saint Xavier Bacchus. All that is known about Saint Xavier derives from a 14th century document entitled “The Trials of Saint Xavier.” In it, the hero has many improbable adventures and meets with a number of historical figures. Scholars have suggested that this was nothing more than hagiographic fan fiction and that Saint Xavier never existed. He is nevertheless revered as the patron of elephants and barrel-makers.

In the garden this month, leaves are beginning to turn, although it looks like a poor year for fall color locally. If you are raking your leaves, leave several piles under the trees to allow fall caterpillars a safe place to overwinter. Leaf burning burns millions of chrysalises every year and causes severe damage to butterfly and moth populations. It is also extremely hard on hedgehogs, who routinely burrow under leaf piles to stay warm. Hedgehogs are not fireproof, except for the rare Phoenix Hedgehog, which is found only in the extreme south. If you suspect that you have located a Phoenix Hedgehog, try offering it a slug. If it cooks the slug before eating, it is a Phoenix Hedgehog. Treat it with respect, as it is an endangered species and more importantly, fully capable of burning your house down if you anger it.

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 Bob’s Discount Cars. Bob has returned from the grave, bearing an unholy thirst for vengeance and low, low prices. “You should have known, Steve, that death could not contain me!” Dealer financing available. Look for Bob wherever Steve is hiding.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for October 16th, 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.