The Hidden Almanac for
Wednesday December 17th, 2014
Episode 198
Previous episode: 2014-12-15
Next episode: 2014-12-19


Today we celebrate the introduction of the Purple Dreamer. It is also the birthday of poet Marla Stonespeaker. It is the Feast Day of St. Norbert, and in the garend, we read from the Seeds of Distinction.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is December 17th, 2014.

It was On this day that the dwarf orange species known as “Purple Dreamer” was introduced. Perfectly suited to indoor container cultivation, Purple Dreamer is notable among dwarf oranges for having bright purple flowers, which give way to ordinary colored fruit. Somewhat hardier than other patio oranges, Purple Dreamer produces inferior, irregularly shaped fruit, but is worth growing for the dramatic flowers alone.

And it is the birthday, in 1964, of the poet Marla Stonespeaker, who wrote poems in the language of horses. There is not a great deal of money in this, so she worked as an insurance agent, going out on weekends to read her latest works to the herd of Highland ponies at the nearby preserve. “I don’t speak horse, so don’t know if it was any good,” said one of the rangers, “but the ponies liked it. They were always hanging around when she was doing a reading. They like being talked to though, so who knows?”

Stonespeaker passed away some years ago, and a small plaque with one of her poems stands in the parking lot of the preserve, where no one is capable of reading it.

It is the Feast Day of St. Norbert. Not to be confused with Saint Norbert of Xanten, who devoted himself to the Lord after an incident with a thunderstorm, but the lesser-known Saint Norbert of Lowing’s Ford, known today as Lake Jordania. He assisted Saint Joel the Skull-Carrier during his evacuation of the crypts, only to trip partway through and drown. St. Joel carried his body out along with the rest of the bones. There are no known worshipers of St. Norbert, but everyone agrees that he meant well.

In the garden, we read from the Seeds of Distinction catalog, from the passage regarding the annual flower known as Corn Cockle.

This old-fashioned cottage garden favorite has extravagant, dapper flowers, held on sturdy, 3-foot stems. Blooms in summer and fall. Each two-inch blossom is eye-searingly pink, with darker stripes. A good, long-lasting cut flower, though scentless. So vivid, you’ll want to wear shades! Also poisonous in all parts of the plant. Corn cockle is frequently used in folk medicine, which is a pretty bad idea, but for some reason, that never stops anyone.

This concludes our reading from the Seeds of Distinction catalog.

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 the Sacred Order of Bull Moose Men. You’ve probably heard by now that a judge has brought a temporary injunction against the annual running of the bull moose men, on the grounds that human sacrifice is illegal! Don’t worry, though, our lawyers are on it, and we fully expect a resolution before the actual run.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for December 17th, 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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