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Horseshoe Crabs on Nantucket – Ancient and Fascinating

May 7, 2013

Spring on Nantucket means the arrival of peepers, daffodils blooming and American oystercatchers on the beach.  It also means the arrival of one of our more interesting marine species – the horseshoe crab, which begins showing up on protected and sheltered beaches to mate and spawn in May and June. These prehistoric looking animals aren’t…

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Bud Burst and Egg Time

April 22, 2013

At this point in the year, we are all hungry for signs of spring. As Danielle wrote in a recent NCF Science and Stewardship blog post, peepers are singing spring songs in the marshes and ponds, and spotted turtles and snakes are emerging to bask in the sun. Otherwise, the landscape remains mainly a study…

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When Why and How We Shear the Sheep

April 12, 2013

Some of the most popular questions I receive are:  Do we shear the sheep?  Why do we shear the sheep?  When do we shear the sheep?  How do we shear the sheep? And what do we do with the fleeces? Most sheep do not have the ability to shed like your dog.  If they are…

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Spring is finally here!

April 8, 2013

Nothing says spring like evening choruses of spring peepers! With all the rain earlier this spring, these little trillers were reported peeping away on Nantucket in early March. But for me, spring doesn’t truly arrive until I find my first spotted turtle basking after a long winter hibernation. On Friday, March 29th, the weather finally…

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They’re Back!

March 22, 2013

An American Oystercatcher in Flight (photo courtesy of Vernon Laux). In our last blog post, we discussed the many preparations currently underway in our Science and Stewardship Department for the arrival of our seasonal field assistants and the start of the 2013 field season. Although many of our vegetation-related projects do not get underway until…

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How to Plan a Successful Field Season

March 15, 2013

March always sneaks up on me each year.  In the Science and Stewardship Department at NCF, our work year is divided up into two very different parts: our Field Season (~April-October) when we are actively involved in collecting data and conducting our numerous research and monitoring projects, and the Off-Season(~November-March) which really isn’t an off-season…

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Forests at Sea: Visiting Squam Swamp in Winter

March 5, 2013

You might never guess that the tail end of winter would be a great time to explore the forests of Nantucket, but it is! On February 21st, a group of warmly dressed visitors met in the Squam Swamp Trailhead Parking Lot on Wauwinet Road. The objective: to explore the forest of Squam Swamp in winter. Kelly Omand,…

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Wild Cats on Nantucket!

February 22, 2013

There are few issues in wildlife biology that are as contentious and emotional as that of feral cats. It’s akin to modern politics, it seems that you are on one side or the other and there is no in between. For instance, the front cover of a recent issue of the Wildlife Professional produced by…

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Searching for a Certain “Some Bunny”

February 8, 2013

This winter, our science department is attempting to document if a rare and elusive species of cottontail rabbit is still present on Nantucket. The New England Cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) is the only cottontail rabbit that is native to the northeastern United States. It prefers dense shrubland habitats where it can effectively hide from predators, and…

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Where do the NCF Sheep Spend the Winter?

January 31, 2013

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation maintains a flock of sheep at Squam Farm as part of our conservation efforts.  You can read more about how effective sheep can be as a grassland management tool in our previous blog.  During the growing season our sheep are rotated around Squam Farm, browsing on native growing vegetation but what…

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