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Island Science

Nantucket Wildflowers

Autumn Bounty to Explore

by Sarah Treanor Bois, Director of Research & Education for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation With Labor Day comes the end of summer, cooler temperatures, and back to school for many. Getting out into the forest and field this time of year brings a botanical bounty as a stunning display of …

Hickory Tussock Moth Catepillar

Before the Metamorphosis

by Sarah Treanor Bois, Director of Research & Education for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation According to Butterflies and Moths of North America (butterfliesandmoths.org) there are 172 species of moths and butterflies that have been documented from Nantucket County. As such, that means there are that many caterpillars out and …

Astronomical Show on Nantucket

by Sanibel Chai The total solar eclipse occuring this Monday, August 21 is particularly rare because it is the first time the path of totality exclusively crosses the continental United States from coast to coast in nearly a century—the last time was on June 8, 1918. It is also the …

Maria Mitchell Association | Nantucket, MA

A Whale of an Auction

Sunday, August 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) will hold a reception and auction highlighting the dangers of plastic flotsam in our oceans through sculptures made from plastic beach trash. The auction will be held at the MMA’s property located at 33 Washington Street, …

Spotted Knapweed on Nantucket

Fighting a Beautiful Devil

by Sarah Treanor Bois, Director of Research & Education for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation Along some sandy roadsides and ruderal areas right now, you can see a tall, herbaceous plant with many small purple flower heads in bloom. Reminding many people of thistles, these beauties don’t boast any thorns, …

Meteors This Week, Eclipse Next

by Sanibel Chai Though the Great American Eclipse will be visible at midday in Nantucket on August 21, the island is not in the path of totality. This means we will only observe a partial solar eclipse. If you are looking for a nighttime astronomical spectacle, the peak of the …

Poison Ivy, Nantucket

Poison Ivy – A Master of Disguise

by Sarah Treanor Bois, Director of Research & Education for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation Poison ivy, Toxicodendron radicans, is a native, woody plant prevalent throughout Nantucket. As the name implies, it is “toxic” or “poisonous” to the touch for many of the public. While 85 % of Americans are …

Foraging on Nantucket Island

Foraging for Fruit

by Dr. Sarah T. Bois, Director of Research & Education for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation Berry season is upon us on Nantucket. While the strawberries have come and gone, there is a plethora of native, wild berries available for the picking. In and among the grasslands and heathlands of …

Ticks on Nantucket

The Low Down on What’s Up with Ticks

by Dr. Sarah T. Bois, Director of Research & Education for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation Ticks have become a fact of life for islanders and visitors. Once an uncommon occurrence, deer (or black-legged) ticks that carry Lyme’s disease are now found in more than half the counties in the …