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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 …

Turkey Vultures on Nantucket

Vultures – Unofficial Members of the Clean Team

by Dr. Sarah T. Bois, Director of Research & Education for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation Until recently, Turkey Vultures were a rare occurrence on Nantucket. They would make the occasional Christmas bird count and were listed as a rarity in the 1979 Checklist of Nantucket Birds by Edith Andrews …

Nantucket Spring - Osprey nesting

Signs of Nantucket Spring

by Dr. Sarah T. Bois, Director of Research & Education for the Linda Loring Nature Foundation Springtime on Nantucket is a special time when muddy roads and icy sidewalks make way for budding crocuses and nesting song-birds. Spring officially begins with the Nantucket Daffodil Festival that has always been held …

Maria Mitchell Association | Nantucket, MA

What Is This? – Wood Fern

The Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) biological collections’ oldest specimen is the Wood Fern (pictured above). Maria Louisa Owen, an expert in mosses and moss-like plants, collected this fern in 1879. This was during the height of “Pteridomania” – also known as the Victo- rian fern craze – which was sweeping …

Barn Owls, Nantucket, MA

What Is This? – Barn Owls

~ by Katherine Brooks Maria Mitchell Association ~ Have you heard a piercing shriek in the night accompanied by a flurry of white light? Although it sounds like the making of a summercamp ghost story, what you might be observing is the barn owl – unique in its aesthetics with …

Vern Laux

Island Roost

E. Vernon Laux: Nantucket’s Bird Man •  by Sarah Teach  • Editors Note: We were saddened today to hear of the passing of Vern Laux this morning in Nantucket Cottage Hospital.  To honor his contributions to life on the island, we are reprinting an interview from 2012.  Fly high, Vern! …