The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday December 4th, 2013
Episode 36
Previous episode: 2013-12-02
Next episode: 2013-12-06


Today Sir Augustus Hamforth made a discovery of some note. It is also the day the glutton whale was first identified, under unusual conditions. It is the the Feast Day of St. Golden, and in the garden temperatures are dropping.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord. Today is December 4th, 2013.

It was on this day in 1693 that Sir Augustus Hamforth spotted a small island chain, far beyond the Coriander Isles. These islands were little more than a series of rocks sticking out of the water and were covered in seabird guano and bird lice. Sir Hamforth named them “The Blessed Islands of the Rising Moon” and they were so noted on the ship’s chart.[1]

Today is the birthday of the competitive distance swimmer Magnus Olafson, who swam the Straits of Dovekie, the Fjord of Azureheim, and the Wobbly Channel. In 1977, he set out to swim from the mainland to the Coriander Isles, a distance so extraordinary that no one had even attempted it before. He made it twenty-five miles and was eaten by a glutton whale.

And it was on this day in 1977 that the glutton whale species was first identified and described by science. This unusual species of baleen whale does gulp large quantities of water and strain it through its baleen, but it has a very large throat and grinding teeth, allowing it to swallow significantly larger prey than krill. Glutton whales are still largely mysterious, and their total numbers are unknown.

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Golden, patron of sheep diseases. An icon of Saint Golden placed on each support pole of a sheep-shed will prevent against scapie, tenderfoot, worm-tail and spontaneous combustion.

In the garden this week, daytime temperatures are above freezing but nights can become extremely chilly. This freezing and thawing cycle can cause significant soil erosion and what is known as “frost-heaving” where the root balls of plants are pushed above the surrounding earth. Mulch heavily to avoid this.

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 Bob’s Used Cars! Come. Come to Bob’s. Come to the dark hole in the pit on the site that used to be Bob’s. There is no longer a hybrid dealer to trouble you. Come. Bob... hungers... for bargains.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for December 4th, 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.

[approximately 90 seconds of silence]

"Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble." See how that one sounds.


  1. Describing this as "a discovery of some note" is not necessarily as facetious as it may appear; historically, islands covered in seabird guano have been economically valuable as a source of fertilizer