Tag: Dr. Sarah Treanor Bois

Poison Ivy
Exploring Nantucket, Island Science

Leaves of Three, Let it Be

by Dr. Sarah Treanor Bois, PhDDirector of Research & Education at the Linda Loring Nature Foundation There is a children’s book of poetry called Love Poems for the Unloved by Diane Lang which highlights species in nature that are often given a bad rap. Some of the poems focus on […]

Island Science

Using Nantucket with Love & Respect

We love to boast about the open space on our island. We are so fortunate for the early insight of those who began preserving land so long ago with the idea of conserving the island’s natural landscapes for the benefit of the whole community. With more than 50% of Nantucket’s land mass under some kind of conservation, there is so much natural beauty to explore. From rolling terrain of the Middle Moors, to the wetlands of Squam, the grasslands of the south shore, access to our beautiful coastline, and the natural wonder of our barrier beach system of Coatue; we have much to be thankful for.

Koi fish
Island Science

Monsters of the Deep

In the early 2000s, I was sampling vegetation in the Middle Moors for a joint project between the Nantucket Conservation Association and Massachusetts Audubon. It was a hot summer with long days sampling transects through the dense brush. Ticks, poison ivy, thorns, and dehydration were my worst enemies. One day I thought I was hallucinating from lack of water when I saw a relatively small fluffy bunny nibbling vegetation in front of me. It wasn’t scared of me and just went about eating as if it was pleased to see me. This wasn’t the common Eastern Cottontail ubiquitous on Nantucket. This bunny was chocolate-colored with long fur and floppy ears.

Island Science

A Solstice Pause

Director of June 21 marked the 2023 summer solstice, and it has me thinking about what the solstice means. Technically, it is when the sun is at its azimuth, the longest day of the year for us. The particular dates are targeted as the boundary between our seasons because of a series of factors based upon the relationship between the earth and the sun. I am an ecologist, not an astrophysicist (though one of my best friends is!), but I do know the seasons change based on more than just the calendar and light levels. However, there is a lot to think about when we consider solstice.

lupines on nantucket
Island Science, Nantucket Voices

Nature Is for Us All

On Nantucket we like to boast about our open space and the amount of conservation land available to the public. In theory, these spaces are open to all. There aren’t any physical gatekeepers (unless you’re trying to drive to Great Point). But for many in our community and more broadly across the US, nature and open spaces aren’t as welcoming as some would like to think.

ticks | Nantucket, MA
Insider Tips, Island Science

It’s Tick Time

With FIGAWI in the rearview mirror, it really feels like summer is upon us on the island. As we all start to spend more time outdoors on our conservation trails, we come into contact more frequently with one of the few hazards we have on Nantucket. We don’t have skunks, bear, coyotes, or venomous snakes. We do, however, have ticks. Late spring/early summer is a boon time for ticks, but with a mild winter and temperatures rarely going below freezing, ticks on island have been active all year round.

Island Science

Nantucket’s Rare Sandplain Grasslands

Driving around the south of the island, you may be headed to the beach or just going on a traditional Nantucket “rantum scoot.” Most dirt roads headed to the shore take you past open landscapes of waving grasses, low shrubs, and wildflowers when the season is right. Head of the Plains, Smooth Hummocks, Cisco— these are sandplain grasslands and coastal heathlands. On Nantucket, we’re pretty lucky: the sandplain grasslands here are some of the largest remaining intact grasslands of their kind in the world.

Girl with net in Nantucket grassland
Island Science

The Buzz about Bees

We know our little island is special. There are so many unique and wonderful things about Nantucket: the history, the community, our flora and fauna, and our open space protection.

Now we can add one more thing to the list; our bees.

Geocaching
Exploring Nantucket, Insider Tips

Winter Treasure Hunt

We’ve had a marvelous fall with warmer weather than ever before. This has led to many more outdoor adventures, longer hikes, and even some late fall ocean swims.

However, as we settle in towards real winter on Nantucket, the winds will whip up and the bitter cold will eventually set in. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. You might just need an excuse to get outside. In the dead of winter, as the sun sets earlier, I know that I sometimes need an excuse to walk a little further or to explore a new spot. One answer to this problem for me, especially when my son was young, was to go on a treasure hunt. Welcome to the wonderful world of geocaching!