We are rounding out Pollinator Week, and what a week it has been! June is always an incredibly busy month here at NCF with field work keeping us moving in all directions. I can’t stress this enough: Junes on Nantucket are beautiful. They are filled to the brim with blooms of all sizes, colors, & shapes. If you haven’t been out walking any of our trails, do yourself a favor before the heat of the summer sets in. In the mean time, we’ve collected some pictures from our busy travels of some native pollinators and the flowers they are buzzing for right now!

Mating Cecropia Moths (Hyalophora cecropia), the largest native moths in North America, found recently on a Mornings For Members walk, Photo: Neil Foley
Pale Beauty Moth (Campaea perlata) resting on a Scrub Oak leaf, photo: Neil Foley
Native Pasture Thistle (Cirsium pumilum) is very important for bees while it flowers and finches once it goes to seed. photo: Danielle O’Dell
Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos), photo: Neil Foley

The wetlands of Windswept Bog and Stump Pond have been filled with Slender Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor). The bogs that were once used to cultivate millions of cranberries provide wet soils that these showy irises prefer. A whole bog filled with purple is quite the sight!

The gorgeous bloom of Iris versicolor, photo: Neil Foley
This plant loves the wetland soils around Windswept and Stump Pond, photo: Neil Foley
Not pictured: my jaw on the floor, photo: Neil Foley
photo: Neil Foley
photo: Neil Foley

Speaking of Cranberry Bogs, the cultivated vines at Milestone Cranberry Bog are sending out flowers! The bees are very happy and we hope that these flowers get well pollinated so they turn into millions of Cranberry for harvest in October.

Cranberry took on it’s name after the term “Craneberry”, because the shape and color of the flower resembles the red and white head of a Sandhill Crane. photo: Neil Foley
A honey bee needs to visit a cranberry flower 4-5 times in order to pollinate it properly, while the larger bumble bee only needs to visit a flower once. photo: Neil Foley
photo: Neil Foley
Cranberry flowers are clustered in vine sections called uprights, photo: Neil Foley
Several different Rubus Sp. have been in bloom while vining throughout the open grasslands, photo: Danielle O’Dell
Bushy Rock-rose (Helianthemum dumosum) blooming around the paths of the Middle Moors, photo: Neil Foley
Yellow Thistle (Cirsium horridulum) supporting lots of bees along the South Shore, photo: Neil Foley