The Hidden Almanac for
Monday March 16th, 2015
Episode 236
Previous episode: 2015-03-13
Next episode: 2015-03-18


Today we recall the introduction of the Sunkiller Sunhat. We also celebrate the donation of a succulent to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It is the Feast Day of the Madonna of the Desert, and in the garden, there is peeping.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is March 16th, 2015.

It was on this day in 1981 that the Sunkiller Sunhat was introduced. This was a wide-brimmed straw hat which, owing to some combination of materials and possible witchcraft, blocked 70% of even ambient light. The end result was a hat that left the wearer wandering around in deep gloom. It was billed as the solution to sunburn, but it proved so difficult for hat-owners to read, drive, or walk while wearing it, that it rapidly fell out of favor. Sunkillers are still used now by a few people in very specialized lines of work and members of those youth subcultures who think it looks cool.

And it was on this day in 1899 that Madame Geraldine Tick presented a rare slow-growing succulent to the Royal Botanical Gardens. It was a sample of Quotidius floribunda, which had been known from only three locations in the world, and which she had successfully raised from seed. The secret to growing this rare succulent turned out to be having the seeds pass through the digestive tract of a horned toad. The digestive enzymes in the lizard’s belly broke down the thick seed casing and allowed the plant to germinate. Her specimen remains at the garden today, where it has reached nearly fourteen inches in diameter and produced thousands of scarlet flowers in early spring each year.

It is the Feast Day of the Madonna of the Desert. Lesser known than the Madonna of Leaves, this figure inhabits the Glass Wastes and is seen occasionally, where she leads the thirsty to hidden springs. There is much speculation as to her identity — a spirit? A kindly djinn? The ghost of Sister Isabella, who was lost in the wastes on one of the high holy days? — but no one knows for certain. The few who have seen her report that she vanishes as soon as they have reached the water. It is probably best to respectful, grateful, and not dwell too much upon the matter.

In the garden, the spring peepers have begun calling and the peas are considering sprouting. Bronze frogs are singing all night long and spring is in the air. The snowdrops, however, are a complete wash. I had planted a new variety last fall, called “Reliable,” but it is has proven to be otherwise. Some strappy leaves are visible from the other varieties, but all have declined under the confusing weather and Reliable appears to died completely.

Such is gardening. Sometimes planting a bulb is only digging a small and hopeful grave.

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 Akashic Mystical Society, who have paid us a great deal of money for this spot, which we will be returning to them tomorrow because they are blithering idiots and you should not listen to any of their ridiculous pseudoscience.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for March 16th, 2015. 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 through 2015, Ursula Vernon.

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