The Hidden Almanac for
Monday September 21st, 2015
Episode 311
Previous episode: 2015-09-18
Next episode: 2015-09-23


Today we remember the the introduction of the Highland Crisper. It is also the day the Dyed Poison Frog. It is the Feast Day of Grandparents, and in the garden, there are tomatillos for all eternity.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is September 21st, 2015.

It was on this day in 1998 that the apple variety “Highland Crisper” was introduced to the market. Crisper, unlike many varieties before it, was tightly controlled by the breeders at the University of the Northern Highlands. Grafts were regulated and of course the variability of apple seeds meant that they could not be bred from seed. Crisper was an extraordinary commercial success, not least of which because there were never enough on the market to drive the prices down.

The apples were wildly popular and bounties were offered by other growers for grafts. The orchard where the Crispers grew was patrolled by dogs. It took nearly ten years before someone managed to hijack a shipment of Crisper saplings and smuggle them to a clandestine grow operation. Black market apples began to appear, under the name “Crisperfree.” Fortunes were made and lost. Plants are complicated. People more so.

And it was on this day that naturalist Eland the Younger first described the Dyed Poison Frog, a gorgeous royal blue frog sufficiently toxic to kill cows. I am not entirely certain how they determined this, as cows are not usually predators of the Dyed Poison Frog. Nor, since the frog dwells in the upper rainforest canopy, do the cows often graze them by accident. It is a mystery.

I have visited the Shrike parochial school. There was a pageant of small children singing. This was alarming, but probably not sinister. I have sent off for more reference books.

It is the Feast Day of Grandparents. One is supposed to honor one’s grandparents today, if they are still alive, and if not, small offerings at family shrines are considered tactful. For those who have fond memories of their immediate ancestors, this is a day of joyous remembrance. For the rest of us, it is Monday.

In the garden, the tomatillos harvest continues unabated. There were tomatillos yesterday and will be more tomatillos tomorrow, on and on, salsa without end.

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 Sister Mary Thomas, who would like to know if Miss Drom ever returned that library book to the school library.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for September 21st, 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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