Archives

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

Downtown Botany Adventures

November 25, 2019

Since beginning to work on the Nantucket Flora Update project, we have discovered more than 60 plants that are established on Nantucket, but were not included in the most recent island flora, Sorrie and Dunwiddie’s The Vascular and Non-Vascular Flora of Nantucket, Tuckernuck, and Muskeget Islands, published in 1996. While many of these “new to…

Read More

Summer Beauties

July 29, 2019

by: Karen Beattie, NCF Science and Stewardship Department Director Nantucket has experienced an uncommonly wet growing season so far this year. The abundance of rain has produced lush and verdant vegetation across the island that is persisting into the recent hot and dry weather conditions more typical of summertime on the island. Take a walk…

Read More

What’s in Your Pond?

June 14, 2019

The answer to that question might surprise you. Ponds are hotspots for insects, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. The combination of wildlife and ever-changing lush landscapes also attracts the human eye. We are fortunate on Nantucket; while sometimes we have “too much of a good thing” in terms of over-exuberant pond vegetation, most of our aquatic…

Read More

Spring Unfurls at Squam Swamp

May 10, 2019

This is a great time of year to take a walk through the winding trails of Squam Swamp and see the season spring to life. This trail loop off Wauwinet Rd. takes visitors through eerily shaped stands of hardwood forest and past freshwater bogs filled with vibrant mats of sphagnum moss. Bunches of Cinnamon Fern…

Read More

Early Spring Botany: Into the Thicket

March 14, 2019

As winter brightens into spring and we all suffer through the “spring forward” time change, the trees and shrubs in our landscape are beginning to awaken from their winter dormancy. But until bud burst, you can still get out there and learn to recognize more of our Nantucket Flora in winter condition — let’s hope,…

Read More

Winter Botany: Twigs and Buds

February 6, 2019

During the colder winter months, many of our trees are “closed for the season.” Like island businesses, trees will have an “opening date” sometime in spring when flower buds will pop and leaves will unfurl. Exploring the forest in winter can be a fun way to see another facet of island ecology and learn to…

Read More

Winter Botany: Marcescent Leaf Mysteries

December 3, 2018

If you happen to be wandering through Squam Swamp or Squam Farm as autumn gives way to winter, you may notice that while most of the trees have already shed their foliage, oaks (Quercus spp.) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia) may still retain old dried leaves rattling spookily in the wind. Some individuals seem to remain almost fully dressed, while…

Read More