Island Science

Copper Beech | Nantucket, MA
Island Science

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.

Island Science


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.

Island Science

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.

Island Science

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.

Exploring Nantucket, Island Science

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. . .

Spotted Turtle | Nantucket, MA
Island Science

Spotted Turtles of Springtime

As the weather warms the island seems to spring to life. It’s not just the daffodils and birdsong. As you walk along the bike paths and travel on roads, some of our Nantucket turtles are on the move as well. Fresh out of hibernation, our smallest freshwater turtle, the Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) is moving about travelling to springtime feeding and breeding grounds…

Garden | Nantucket, MA
Insider Tips, Island Science

Planting Your Pandemic Patch

As I sit in the back garden basking in the glory of a Kwanzan cherry tree, its prolific pink petals parachute gracefully to the ground. The wind whispers through the canopy and the mind begins to wonder. Will my pepper seedlings ever start to grow? Is it too late to sow more peas? What will Nantucket’s summer look like in this “new normal’’? Although these questions can paralyze any action, I think it’s important to do just that. Act…

Science Pub | Nantucket, MA
Island Science

Raise a Glass and Toast to Science

by Dr. Sarah Treanor Bois Director of Research & Education at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation The off-season on Nantucket is the perfect time to slow down and get to the tasks and activities you’ve put off all year. It’s a great time to cozy up by a fireplace or […]

Autumn Nantucket | Nantucket, MA
Island Science

Colors of Fall

by Dr. Sarah Treanor BoisDirector of Research & Education at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation The crisp change in the air happened recently and the heat and humidity have finally broken on Nantucket. We are in the golden months of fall where the days can still have a summer quality—warm […]

Maria Mitchell Association | Nantucket, MA
Island Science

MMA Critters Return Home

Every summer for more than a decade, the Maria Mitchell Association has been hosting a free public event they call Release Day. This year on Saturday August 31 at 10 am (arrive earlier to be at the front of the line), head over to the Aquarium at 28 Washington Street. […]