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Island Science

Turning an Island Museum Inside Out

The Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum has found an innovative way of sharing their exhibits during the global pandemic: they are turning their museum inside out! Instead of welcoming the public inside this year, they are encouraging visitors to come to the museum’s grounds at 158 Polpis Road, to enjoy the gorgeous scenery and see the outdoor exhibits express what would be found inside the museum.

ticks | Nantucket, MA

A Closer Look at Ticks on Nantucket

Ticks are as part of life on Nantucket as fog, summer traffic, and sand. That’s not a statement meant to scare people away. It’s a fact of life. Taking preventative and proactive measures will help ensure the health of you, your family, and your pets. First, it is important to know what we have on-island and what the potential dangers, if any, actually are.

fog | Nantucket, MA

The Mysteries & Dangers of Fog

“The Little Grey Lady of the Sea” is how we’re known. How many business names around Nantucket have something to do with “Grey Lady”? And it’s not just the gray shingles. Benjamin Moore even has a beautiful blue grey paint color called ‘Nantucket Fog.” On Nantucket, we literally live and breathe fog.

tomatoes | Nantucket, MA

Candy from a Vine

In the garden, a mourning dove calls. The heat of the day is already boasting of its strength, but there’s a slight wind with a gentle touch as it cools the sweat of my brow. The air is saturated and heavy, but the prize offers a brief reprieve in radiant red. It’s tomato season.

milkweed | Nantucket, MA

A Multitude of Milkweed

When you hear the word “milkweed” you probably think about monarch butterflies. Maybe you’ve even spent some time looking for monarch caterpillars on plants. What you might not realize is that Nantucket boasts six species of milkweed with at least four easily seen around the island. These plants are important to more than just monarchs. They play an important role to many other creatures in the environment.

Copper Beech | Nantucket, MA

A Secret Garden Now Open to the Public

You may have noticed, driving up Polpis Road or riding along the bike path towards ‘Sconset, a unique red pergola along the road flanked on either side by two stone lions. Once marking the entry to a private yard and secret garden, now these sentinels are welcoming spirits to a newly restored island oasis.

Succession

The year 2020 has delivered many challenges. Everything from the Japanese Murder Wasps to the pandemic and protests. There is a shift. Not only in congress and country, but in the fabric of our fields. Our cool crops wain and our spring begins to yield. Tomatoes seem to double in size and the zucchini is about to bloom. Pole beans are on the trellis and the herbs are on our spoon.

Giving Us Roots

Nantucket is often thought of as a virtually tree-less landscape. Picturing the conservation lands and open space, we often think of rolling grasslands and the open moors. But take a look closer.

Orchids of Nantucket

Our native orchids are remarkable for their diversity and their adaptations. Almost all of our orchids are rare and confined to specialized habitats. For some of our native orchids, these specialized habitats have meant a rarity or potential extirpation from the island. There are some species, however, that are still locally common enough that you may be able to catch a glimpse of one of these special native plants.

June Is for the Rose

Nantucket is known for its roses, particularly in the town of ‘Sconset…such quaint, squinting faces, smiling as you stroll past. This season, we might be greeted by the roses more often than our usual annual visitors. As with people, roses can be a bit thorny, but give them a chance and you’ll see that the more attention you pay, the more sunsets you spend, a “New Dawn’ will rise. Roses can be a complicated and unforgiving challenge, but when done right, there is no better reward. Whether it be heirloom roses or hybrid tea, one thing holds true, you’ll need sunlight. . .