Archives

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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Weird Winter Wildlife

February 1, 2019

This winter, there have been several unusual winter wildlife sightings on Nantucket. Most of these sightings are of creatures that ought to have migrated well south of us by now. A lone Piping Plover was spotted at Smith’s Point during the annual Christmas bird count on December 30th. Typically, these summer denizens of Nantucket’s beaches…

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Nantucket’s Little Winter Warriors

January 23, 2019

It’s a well-known fact that most birds fly south for the winter. But what about our feathered friends that tough it out throughout the winter, how do they survive? Our backyard songbirds such as the Black-capped Chickadee or the Northern Cardinal survive by using instincts, species adaptations, and of course, with a little help from…

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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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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…

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Botany Detectives: Exploring the Nantucket Flora in the Off-Season

January 5, 2016

Since arriving on Nantucket in January of 2008, I’ve found that the colder months offer some of the best opportunities to check out new places and get the lay of the land. With the summer tangle of scrub oak, grape and other greenery magically absent after leaf drop, you can see a lot more detail. You don’t have to…

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Less Shrubs and Moor Views

February 3, 2015

Take a walk in the northwestern portion of our vast Middle Moors property holdings this winter, and you will see that the landscape in this area has been opened up dramatically. This brushcutting management work is being undertaken by Foundation staff and is associated with our Middle Moors Wildland Fire Management Plan. The mutually-compatible goals…

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Winter Natural History Mysteries

December 20, 2013

Now that it’s officially cold and blustery outside, it’s tempting to stay indoors all the time and wait until spring to visit your favorite nature areas and beaches. But there’s always something to see on the trails, shores, and ponds around Nantucket. Since everything gets taken back to bare bones in the winter, it’s a great time…

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