The Hidden Almanac for
Friday October 16th, 2015
Episode 322
Previous episode: 2015-10-14
Next episode: 2015-10-19


Today we remember the publication of a book that was not about walruses. We also commemorate a unique vintage. It is the Feast Day of the Unconscious Mind, and in the garden, there are seeds.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is October 16th, 2015.

It is the anniversary of the publication, in 1704, of “Horrors of the Ice: Being An Account of a Traveler’s Terrible Discoveries Above The Arctic Circle.” These sorts of travelers narratives were very popular at the time, but this one achieved notoriety for claiming that the far north was inhabited by vampires. The author, one A. Mallory, claimed to have been a sailor swept overboard, who was washed ashore in the north lands. His descriptions of the landscape were sufficiently precise as to lead critics to believe that Mallory had, in fact, visited the region, but they were baffled by his claims of vampires with “bloated, slug-like bodies.” “Does he mean walruses?” asked one critic. “They’re not vampires. You don’t bother them, but they are not vampires.” Mallory maintained that the vampires were hiding among the walruses and was eventually dismissed as a crank, but his books sold as well as ever.

And it was on this day in 1888, that the vineyard in the Convent of St. Megaera produced a jet black wine, so dark that it did not even reflect light. “It’s not a bad vintage,” wrote the Sister Cellarer, “but it is odd. It looks like tar in the glass. People don’t like to drink it, because it’s so odd.” Today, the convent has duplicated this phenomenon exactly four times in a century, and the wine is highly sought after by collectors for its unusual appearance.

It is the Feast Day of the Unconscious Mind. What you think of that, only a therapist will ever determine.

In the garden, it feels very much like fall. While the days eventually warm, the morning are cool and damp, and the leaves are falling. It is about time.

Sadly, the onset of cool weather has led to the growth of cool season weeds. Our old friend chickweed is here to stay, and sheep sorrel is growing enthusiastically between the pavers. The bottle gentian is flowering, as are the tea camellias. The early flowers were knocked off the plant by the strong rains, but as things dry out, it is blooming enthusiastically.

Now is an excellent time to harvest seeds. If you have seeds that may drop, but must stay on the plant, the small gauze bags with drawstrings that are sold for wedding rice can be fitted over the seedheads to catch them as they ripen. These are cheap and widely available, and useful to have around the garden.

The Hidden Almanac is brought to you by Rogue Wombat Tea Company, purveyors of fine and illegal teas. Rogue Wombat --- “You’ll Never Take Us Alive.”

Also brought to you by the Snugglebug Sleepwear Factory. Sleep snug, with Snugglebug. Now available for pets, including dog, cat, and cucumber.

That’s the Hidden Almanac for October 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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