The Hidden Almanac for
Monday December 9th, 2013
Episode 38
Previous episode: 2013-12-06
Next episode: 2013-12-11


Today is the birthday of ornithologist Hannah Maier. It is also the anniversary of yet another Hateful Decree, and the day it rained fish in Echo Harbor. It is the Feast Day of St. Olio, and in the garden seed catalogs have begun arriving.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord. Today is December 9th, 2013.

Today is the birthday of the great ornithologist Hannah Maier, who lobbied tirelessly against the unregulated “collection” of specimens, a practice that generally involved a gun. Ms. Maier’s crusade corresponded to great improvements in binocular technology, which allowed it to gain popular traction. Maier’s Silver-foot Plover was named in her honor.

It was on this day in the Year of Dying Bees that it rained fish for three days in the town of Echo Harbor. Somewhat unusually for this type of weather, the Piscean[1] precipitation was localized over the police station, the theatre, and the homes of several prominent citizens. Dead fish piled up in the gutters, attracting a great many raccoons. The fish were later identified as neon tetras.

And it was on this day in 1781 that the next of the Hateful Decrees was passed by the Librarian Prince. It banned numerical winners in competitions of any kind. Winning first, second or third place was now a hanging offense, and awarding such could result in having your property seized by the crown. A number of workarounds were developed, including color-coded ribbons, Honorablest Mentions, and the “We’re Extremely Glad You Participated Award.”

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Olio, patron of mustaches. Images of Saint Olio are imprinted on the handles of razors to keep them sharp, and icons of Saint Olio are worshipped by teenage boys seeking to grow non-humiliating facial hair. He is represented as a man with an enormous mustache, flanked by capybaras, or as a capybara with a mustache, carrying a straight razor.

In the garden, we are turning indoors, to the wide variety of seed catalogs that have arrived in our mailbox. Seed catalog are one of the great comforts to the gardener in winter, and we at the Hidden Almanac Test Garden have a number of favorites. Among these are the Rare Earth Catalog, featuring many unusual seeds; the Old Particular Highland Seed Co. Catalog, which specializes in heirloom varieties; and the Echo Harbor Book of the Soil, which is bound in red leather but surprisingly reasonably priced.

In the next few weeks, we’ll bring you specific descriptions of some of our favorite cultivated varieties.

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 Whipping Crow Records, announcing the first city tour of the band Slicer, with appearances in the city, Troyzantium, and Echo Harbor. Tickets go on sale next Tuesday for an eight minute window, to be determined by random drawing.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for December 9th, 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. Technically, the proper word would be 'piscine'. One wonders if this is a regional variant.