Archives

Going Wild in Our Landscape: Season 2

September 30, 2021

Last November I reported on the beginning stages of a big “Landscaping Makeover” at the NCF office at 118 Cliff Road. This long-awaited renovation allowed us to incorporate areas with more formal plantings hosting a variety of native shrubs and grasses around the entrance to our office, designed by NCF board member, Dave Champoux. Nursery…

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It’s Harvest Time!

September 17, 2021

Although the calendar says that we still have a few days of summer left, fall is definitely in the air. The days are shorter, the nights are cooler, the humidity is lower, there is a touch of fall color in the foliage and the stores are full of apples, pumpkins and other fall produce. It’s…

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Madequecham Valley Wetland Biodiversity

September 9, 2021

In 2013, NCF’s Science and Stewardship Department started down the road of a wetland restoration project in Madequecham Valley that at the time seemed incredibly daunting. We idealistically set out to eradicate a 0.6 acre patch of an incredibly invasive plant, Phragmites australis, the common reed. Phragmites australis is a large, perennial grass, that has…

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Nantucket Grasses in the Limelight

June 24, 2021

With wildflowers distracting the eye with bursts of bright color, it’s often easy to overlook some of the island’s most common plants, grasses, many of which are blooming right now. While most grass species lack brilliant colors and have small flowers, they are an important part of the ecosystem, feeding many familiar herbivores, from voles…

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Sassafras in Springtime

May 7, 2021

At home colonizing old fields transitioning to woods, sassafras (Sassafras albidum) can be found around Nantucket, from the maturing forests of Squam to small, scattered stands in the Serengeti area of the Middle Moors, and miniature thicket forests in Tom Nevers, where they endure harsh winds and salt spray directly off the Atlantic. Perhaps best…

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Winter Botany: Sneaky Photosynthesis

February 19, 2021

One of the complaints people make during winter and early spring in New England is how much they miss the color of foliage and flowers from the warmer months. In past NCF Science blog articles we’ve explored some of Nantucket’s evergreens (such as pine, cedar, and American holly), looked at the underlying architecture and details…

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Asters and Goldenrods: Fall Fireworks

October 2, 2020

Summer may have officially ended, but there is still plenty to see in bloom around Nantucket. August through mid-October bring a roster of newly emerging late bloomers, with the fall asters and goldenrods taking center stage. These members of the Aster Family (Asteraceae, or Compositae), have flower heads that are composed of several to many…

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A Bounty of Blooms and Summer Wings

August 6, 2020

The hot and humid summer season is flying by. Sweltering days spent in social distance are blending together, leaving some of us to scramble for a moment of quiet and peace. We can all use an excuse for a walk on a breezy day, realign our nature connection, and take in the color and diversity…

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Meet the Mosses

April 24, 2020

There are different ways to go about enjoying mosses: from a distance they form a richly textured background in a forest, or a carpet across an abandoned sandy area, mixed with reindeer lichen. The color spectrum of mosses is heavy in the greens, but you can also find red or coral tinged mosses, or ones…

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Nantucket Winter Botany: The Little Green Guys

February 3, 2020

While Nantucket can’t usually lay claim to epic snowfalls and frigid temperatures, the colder months bring a chilly dormancy to most plants. Rather than expose their leaves to the freezing temperatures and desiccating salty winds, most of our plants and trees shed their leaves. Conifers such as pitch and Japanese pine, and red cedar with…

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