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World Wetlands Day 2016

February 2, 2016 / Comments Off on World Wetlands Day 2016

February 2nd is World Wetlands Day, celebrated internationally every year since 1997 to commemorate the signing of the Convention on Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran. The Ramsar Convention represents a multi-national treaty which has facilitated work to survey, study, prioritize and conserve valuable wetland resources around the world and to promote the wise use of wetlands. World Wetlands…

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Salt Marsh Dieback and the Purple Marsh Crab on Nantucket

December 22, 2015 / Comments Off on Salt Marsh Dieback and the Purple Marsh Crab on Nantucket

Unexplained die off of salt marsh plants, particularly along creek edges and the low tide line, has become an increasing issue along the New England coast since the 1990s. Along marsh creek banks and harbor edges, salt marsh plants (particularly salt marsh cordgrass or Spartina alterniflora) began disappearing, leaving behind large swaths of exposed soil, filled…

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What’s New In Nature: Flowering Goldenrods

September 23, 2015 / Comments Off on What’s New In Nature: Flowering Goldenrods

Once the yellow of the goldenrod flowers begins popping up in Nantucket’s grasslands and through the road edges in the Middle Moors fall weather is not fall behind. Goldenrods are in the Asteraceae plant family – the largest plant family including sunflowers, daisies, thistles to name a few. On Nantucket, there are an estimated 20 different…

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What’s New in Nature: Meadow Vole

August 19, 2015 / Comments Off on What’s New in Nature: Meadow Vole

Meadow Vole, (Microtus pennsylvanicus) The meadow vole, or meadow/field mouse, is a common species of small mammal on Nantucket and across the northern United States and Canada. As the name implies, this species prefers open grassy habitats, but it can also be found in shrublands and forests. This little mammal is active during the day and night year-round.…

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What’s New in Nature: Queen Anne’s Lace

August 12, 2015 / Comments Off on What’s New in Nature: Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) Flowering July-August A colonist from Europe, Queen Anne’s Lace is a familiar sight in old fields and along roadsides and can be found throughout Nantucket.  Another name for this plant is “wild carrot”, because our garden carrots were bred from this species, which has tough white roots. The large flat…

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What’s New In Nature: Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum)

August 5, 2015 / Comments Off on What’s New In Nature: Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum)

Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium superbum) Flowering July-August Turk’s cap lily is a rare but spectacular sight in the Polpis area of Nantucket, where it grows in shrubby edge habitat. The ornate flowers are bright orange or red, tinged with yellow and spotted with dark speckles near the center, rising above the surrounding vegetation, which affords…

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What’s New in Nature: Grey Catbird

July 29, 2015 / Comments Off on What’s New in Nature: Grey Catbird

Grey Catbird (Dumetella caroliniensis) To be seen and not heard, is certainly not part of the upbringing of these feisty chatterboxes.  As soon as you near, they are sure to alert you of their presence – perhaps by launching into a melodious cascade of sounds to rival a nightingale – or going on in a…

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What’s New In Nature: Orange Milkweed

July 22, 2015 / Comments Off on What’s New In Nature: Orange Milkweed

Flowering now! Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), also known as  “Butterfly Weed,” attracts a wide variety of butterfly species with its showy flowers and abundant nectar. This gorgeous and unique plant is fairly rare on Nantucket but is a very important component of Nantucket’s sandplain grasslands.   Orange Milkweed has great wildlife value; the leaves are a…

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Controlling Phragmites with Salinity

March 20, 2015 / Comments Off on Controlling Phragmites with Salinity

*This research was recently published in the journal Wetland Science and Practice. The full article is available here: PhragmitesGreenhouseWSP Among invasive, non-native wetland plants in North America, Common reed (Phragmites australis); commonly just called Phragmites is king; forming dense monocultures and crowding out native plants. A variety of this species is native to North America, but the non-native…

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Restoring Illegally Created Trails on Foundation Properties

November 19, 2014 /

Working for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Science and Stewardship Department, we spend a large portion of our time maintaining and restoring Foundation properties as favorable habitats for rare plants and animals through prescribed fire, sheep grazing and mowing to name a few techniques. Nantucket is home to very unique sandplain grassland habitats and supports the highest percentage…

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