The Hidden Almanac for
Monday August 4th, 2014
Episode 140
Previous episode: 2014-08-01
Next episode: 2014-08-06


Today marks the Founding of the War Flamingos. It is also the anniversary of the Pepperoni Riots, and the day Eland the Younger found a plant. It is the Feast Day of St. Beauregard, and in the garden, there are scarlet runner bean flowers.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


Welcome to the Hidden Almanac, I’m Reverend Mord.

Today is August 5th, 2014.

It was on this day in 1942 that the War Flamingos were formed. This elite tank unit rode in tanks that had been painted hot pink, owing to a mix up at the manufacturer. The War Flamingos, realizing that the small odds of getting anyone to admit that there had been a mistake, made a virtue of necessity. In the great battles that followed, the War Flamingos took surprisingly light casualties and were considered supernaturally lucky by the infantry. At war’s end, the tanks which had survived were scrapped, but the surviving troops each took small pink pieces of the vehicles, which most of them kept until the ends of their lives. The War Flamingos were heavily decorated and the subject of a number of movies and documentaries.

It is the anniversary of the Pepperoni Riots in 1877, which occurred in response to a sudden shocking rise in the price of hard salamis and other meats. With pepperoni suddenly costing almost as much as gold, the population began looting bodegas and delis, trying to stock up on pepperoni in preparation for the coming salami apocalypse. Chaos reigned for eight days, until emergency supplies were brought in, and peace was again restored to the city. The reason for the price rise was eventually tracked to a particularly destructive infestation of the pepperoni weevil.

And it was on this day that the naturalist Eland the Younger discovered the Dwarf Weeping Cedar, a form of miniature cedar with downturned branches. Compared to many other species discovered by Eland, this one could not be considered scientifically significant. Nevertheless, the Dwarf Weeping Cedar has proved so profoundly useful to gardeners and landscapers, spawning over two hundred cultivars, that it seems appropriate to take note.

It is the Feast Day of Saint Beauregard, patron of the ripening of difficult fruits. St. Beauregard is often invoked in the matter of melons, which sometimes seem to go from green to rotten without any intermediate stages. He is also invoked to ward off sunscald and blossom end rot in tomatoes. There are several saints for tomatoes, which arguably need all the divine intervention they can get. He is portrayed as a bulldog wearing green robes and carrying a slice of cantaloupe.

In the garden the scarlet runner beans are finally flowering. These brilliantly colored flowers normally begin much earlier in the year, but when placed in partial shade, they can delay flowering for quite a long time. Scarlet runners are much beloved of hummingbirds and produce attractive black beans spotted with purple. There are several varieties, but few of them manage to improve on an already impeccable plant.

If the standing stone is still here next year, we will plant scarlet runner beans to cover it. Hopefully this will keep the interns focused on their work. They have been trying to build a wicker man lately, which sets an unfortunate precedent, particularly because they keep stealing the office pencils to use in 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 brought to you by Binglight Nursery, which carries an enormous selection of Dwarf Weeping Cedars, including the varieties “Golden Tears” “Soggy Branches” and “Mrs. Wingtip’s Delight.”

That’s the Hidden Almanac for August 5th, 2014. Be safe, and stay out of trouble.


Out of Character

The Hidden Almanac is a production of Dark Canvas Media, and is written by Ursula Vernon. Our exit music is Red in Black and our into music is Moon Valley, both by Kosta T. You can hear more music from Kosta T at the Free Music Archive. The Hidden Almanac is copyright 2013-2014, Ursula Vernon.

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