The Hidden Almanac for
Monday November 16th, 2015
Episode 335
Previous episode: 2015-11-13
Next episode: 2015-11-18


Today we remember the author Madeline Hines. It is also the day a fish found something curious. Is is the Feast Day of Blue Lanterns, and in the garden, there is fatsia.

Be Safe, and Stay Out of Trouble.


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

Today is November 16th, 2015.

It is the birthday, in 1902, of famed romance author Madeline Hines, who wrote more than forty novels set in high society during the early 1800s. While she achieved notable fame for her novels, she was also less than skilled at money management, and poured vast sums into the upkeep of her half ruined family estate. Biographers have suggested that her extraordinary productivity derived in part from this, as she would frequently find herself having to write another novel to secure an advance to pay the taxes on the previous one. “She was a prickly woman,” said one biographer, “not the sort you’d expect to turn out happy ending after happy ending.” She died in 1983. Her last novel, “Love in the Marshlands,” was published posthumously.

And it was on this day in 1901 that a fish came across a perfectly preserved seahorse skeleton. Seahorses have exoskeletons, so it was not unusual, but what was unusual was that the fish was a small freshwater guppy several hundred miles from the ocean. The guppy watched the skeleton carefully for some weeks, until it was covered with mud, and came back occasionally to make sure it wasn’t doing anything suspicious.

It is the Feast Day of Blue Lanterns. This falls every fifth year, and will not occur again until 2020. Blue lanterns are lit in the evenings on this day, particularly in churchyards. The reason for this is unknown, but feels urgent. Sometimes it is best to yield to these feelings.

In the garden, everything is damp and ragged. Most plants are dried stems with a few half-heated leaves attached. The autumn bulbs have largely given up. Of the perennials, only the asters remain. Only a few enthusiastic annuals, like cigar plant and blood sage, continue to flower freely.

The shrub known as fatsia has flowered. Fatsia has broad, attractive leaves, and is grown primarily for foliage. The flowers are round white balls, pollinated extensively by flies. These give way eventually to round black fruit, assuming that frost holds off long enough. It is largely free of pests, but dislikes being transplanted.

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 Rackety Tam’s Family Dining! Come for our bottomless fry pit, stay for our epic barbecue ribs!

That’s the Hidden Almanac for November 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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