The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday November 20th, 2013
Episode 30
Previous episode: 2013-11-18
Next episode: 2013-11-22


On this day, an apple was found. Not that one, but another one. It is also the birthday of the poet Ebon Lake, and we remember the debut of Lady Herringbone. It is the Feast Day of Saint Castor, and in the garden, it is time for pumpkin seeds.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord. Today is November 20th, 2013.

It was on this day in 1901 that a particularly flavorful apple was found. This apple, described varyingly as “creamy” and “custard-like” was in a mixed barrel delivered to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Unfortunately no one had any idea where the original tree was located, and apples do not come true from seed.

A hunt began for the parent tree. It lasted three years and involved a sizeable reward. The tree was eventually located on the property of one Widow Hernandez, and the apple was named “Sweet Henry” after her grandson. Cuttings were taken from the parent tree, and Sweet Henrys now account for over a third of apples sold in the empire.

Today is the birthday of the poet Ebon Lake, who wrote the epic poem “The Hollows of the Moon” while living in an unheated garret in the Glass Quarter of the city. The poem enjoyed wild success, but Lake died of hypothermia while working on its sequel.

It was on this day in 1833 that the Lady Agatha Herringbone made her operatic debut. Her range was described as “extraordinary” and “beyond reproach.” As the singer herself was a great gray albatross, the scandal magazines of the day found her difficult to criticize. A few half-hearted attempts were made to link her romantically to various married lords, but these fell flat on the grounds that she was a large sea bird.

Lady Herringbone went on to a long and glorious career and eventually retired to a small cottage by the sea, where she lived peacefully and received twice-daily deliveries of caviar.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Castor, represented as a beaver with a priest’s collar and halo. Saint Castor supposedly ministered to fur trappers, appearing in their camps and absolving them of their sins before vanishing again. There is some doubt as to whether Saint Castor actually existed or was a manifestation of guilt among members of this occasionally ruthless profession.

In the garden this week, it’s time to save pumpkin seeds. The seeds should be washed in room-temperature water, patted dry, and placed in a cool, dry location. In addition, if you have not already removed dead jack-o-lanterns from the porch, it is time to do so. Jack-o-lanterns only work to ward off evil spirits when reasonably fresh. These are starting to smell and the mold blotches are not festive, no matter what you may have been telling yourself.

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 Winnie’s Page-Climbing Crampons. If you’re lost in a book and the only way out is a sheer cliff of text, strap on Winnie’s Page-Climbing Crampons and climb your way to literary freedom!

That’s the Hidden Almanac for November 20th, 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.