20 March 2019

Spring Equinox 2019

The Vernal (Spring) equinox occurs today at 5:58 pm EDT, a few hours before the full moon crests at 9:42 pm. It's the closest coincidence of a full moon with the March equinox since 2000.

The idea that there are equinoctal gales was widely believed by our ancestors — embedded in the culture of earlier generations:

There began the sea, the tumult of which could be distinctly heard during the equinoctial gales.

"The Underground City" by Jules Verne
It was in the latter days of September, and the equinoctial gales had set in with exceptional violence.
"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle
Part of the cliff had been partially beaten down, no doubt, by the sea in some equinoctial gale.
"In Search of the Castaways" by Jules Verne

1 comment:

Bryan Douglas Cook said...

A haiku for you along with a Masefield poem....wonderful assonance and alliteration...cheers, Bryan

full moon
lights the vernal equinox
mad march gales

'Cargoes' by John Masefield
Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amethysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.