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Poor Will's Almanack: May 10 - 16, 2022

Partial eclipse in Ohio.
Mark Altmeyer
Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the third week of late Spring, the third week of the Warbler Migration Moon, the third week of the sun in Taurus.

This week, the Warbler Migration moon waxes through its second quarter and becomes completely full on May 15 at 11:14 p.m. at night.

Right about that time, the Earth will move between the Moon and the Sun. And as the Moon enters the Earth's shadow, it causes a full lunar eclipse. Thirty-five hours later, the Moon reaches perigee, its position closest to Earth.

So what will happen because of all that?

Throughout history, eclipses have been associated with negative events. Often, the eclipsed moon appears red, which my grandfather always said was a sign someone would die that night.

Lunar eclipses are sometimes said to be dangerous for pregnant women, a belief probably linked to a rise in animal abortions after full moon - and eclipses occur at full moon time.

The Incas of South America believed that a Jaguar attacked the moon at the time of an eclipse. And the Christian feast of Easter is always timed so that it does not fall on the inauspicious day of an eclipse.

According to a number of studies, hospitals get more obstreperous patients, and crime rises at the full of the moon.

Usually, however, the full moon and lunar perigee in May just bring cold weather and frost, eclipse or no eclipse.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the first third week of late spring. In the meantime, be ready to cover your tender plants and emotions against the powerful moon. And be out close to midnight on the 15th, of course, to see the eclipse.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.