Archives

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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Meet Our 2019 Seasonal Field Assistants

July 5, 2019

Meet Brendan Connolly By Brendan Connolly: The natural world has filled me with awe and has been a constant driving force throughout my life. In particular, botany has been a large passion of mine, one that I have focused on through my undergraduate education, previous work experience, and a small addiction to collecting unique succulents…

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April Showers Bring May Flowers & June Beetles

June 27, 2019

Stand outside on the warm nights of June, as spring folds into summer, and turn on a light.  Soon enough you will hear the engine-like thrum and eventual collision of a June Beetle (sub family Melolonthinae) clumsily seeking the source of illumination. Keep the light on and hang a sheet to attract the multitudes of…

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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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Wildlife Crossing and Turtle News

June 4, 2019

As if we all needed another reason and reminder to slow down a little bit, warmer weather has arrived finally and June is high time for turtles to start moving out of wetlands in search of nesting locations and summer habitat. Unfortunately, these slow moving creatures often have to cross busy roads to get from…

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Calling All Birders: We Need Your Help!

May 21, 2019

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation currently owns and maintains nearly one third of Nantucket’s open space. We know there are many birding hotpots within those 9,006 acres and we want to know what birds are being observed. The Science & Stewardship Department is looking to the local community and visitors for help with collecting this data.…

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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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Update on the Hither Creek Washover, Erosion and Salt Marshes

March 27, 2019

Salt marshes and shrub wetlands buried under the eroded sand dune at Hither Creek will likely never regenerate but new vegetation is recolonizing on top of the bare sand. Horseshoe crabs, piping plovers and even a state-listed plant are making there homes in the new habitat around Millie’s Pond.

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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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