The Hidden Almanac for
Monday April 27th, 2015
Episode 248
Previous episode: 2015-04-24
Next episode: 2015-04-29


Today, we remember the opening of the Undercity. It is also the day a unique plover was first described. It is the Feast Day of Bergamot, and in the garden, there is rain.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is April 27th, 2015.

It was on this day that the naturalist Eland the Younger documented the extraordinary defense mechanisms of the Exploding Plover. Much like killdeer, Exploding Plovers will often try to lead predators away from the nest by feigning a broken wing. Should the predators not cooperate, however, the plover has a second trick. Running directly into the jaws of the enemy, it explodes with great force. This is rarely fatal, but certainly startling, and tends to drive off most assailants. As the plover’s young are extremely precocious upon hatching, they frequently survive loss of one of both parents without incident. The exact mechanism by which the plovers explode is unknown.

And it was on this day in 1812 that the Undercity Excavations were begun. As with any historic city, large sections have slowly subsided into the earth over the years, and new buildings have been erected on top of them. An engineer named Martha Bodner proposed that much of this ancient city was probably inhabitable, if one was only willing to dig down and find it. As the sewer systems were in dire need of repair as well, excavations were already underway, and the Undercity project merely expanded them. It was a remarkably visionary project, and Bodner’s detractors maintained that she was clearly mad. Neverthless, within ten years she had completed a section known as “the Old Neighborhood.” It became an extremely popular area and briefly the highest rent section of the city.

The entire project took over a century, and was ultimately only completed with the aid of the mole-people. The Undercity today houses nearly two hundred thousand souls and (thanks to the mole-people) an extraordinary number of parks and gardens.

It is the Feast Day of Bergamot — the herb, not the citrus. Leave offerings of mulch to appease this spreading member of the mint family, lest you and your home vanish forever into a sea of sweet-smelling green.

In the garden, constant rain has kept the CharmX people from doing anything other than glaring a lot. Their drill hole is now a small pond. The frogs are happy, if they are not.

Meanwhile, the foamflower is doing astonishingly well this spring. Foamflower, when planted, often looks exceedingly fragile and then does nothing for two or three years, leading the gardener to believe that it is probably dead. And then a spring comes along and suddenly it has rioted everywhere. Running forms are generally superior to the clump-forming varieties, which form rather sad clumps unless extremely happy with their conditions. “Running Tapestry” is the superior cultivar on the market today, although “Painted Tentacle” from Echo Harbor Seed Company is also unsettlingly healthy.

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 Undercity Tourism Board. Come down and see what’s going on under your feet!

That’s the Hidden Almanac for April 27th, 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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