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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…

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Windswept Bog Unicorn root

July 18, 2019

This summer, with reduced mowing at the Windswept Cranberry Bog on Polpis Road, you may have noticed a field of towering white flowers in the fields surrounding the cranberry bogs near Stump Pond. The white spikes are the flower stalks of an unusual native wildflower called “colic-root,” “stargrass,” or “unicorn root” (Aletris farinosa). This is…

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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…

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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…

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It Takes a Village to Understand and Manage Our Sandplain Grasslands

April 5, 2019

Nantucket’s sandplain grasslands are upland plant communities unique to this region of North America. Once common along the northeastern seaboard, residential, and commercial development and succession to shrublands has all but eliminated these habitats from other coastal areas from Long Island, New York to coastal Maine. It is currently estimated that between 85-98% of the…

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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,…

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Family Stay-cation Scavenger Hunt is a Success!

February 28, 2019

For February break Nantucket Conservation Foundation put together a fun family scavenger hunt for those who didn’t travel for vacation. We are happy to say this was extremely successful having almost 100 kids sign up! This free scavenger hunt was designed to get families outside and to explore six different properties owned by Nantucket Conservation…

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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…

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A Little Winter Color

January 4, 2019

Even in winter, when browns, greys or sage greens of lichens dominate the island color palette, you can still find some vivid evergreens while walking the trails of conservation properties around the island. Several species have red berries to add even more visual interest. The crimson/dark green color scheme is apparently a successful evolutionary trait…

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Nantucket Leaf Peeping…We DO Have Fall Color

November 2, 2018

Seeing the social media posts of family and friends off island in the autumn, it’s easy to think that Nantucket has drawn the short end of the stick when it comes to Fall Color. There was an instagram post earlier this week taken in Town on Nantucket under a pale yellow tree with the sad…

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