Home Authors Posts by Matt Pelikan

Matt Pelikan

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Soltice “” the invisible annual pivot point

Tuesdays lunar eclipse prefaced the solstice "” two powerful reminders that the earth keeps spinning in wonderful, mysterious ways.

Eastern screech-owls on Martha’s Vineyard

Matt Pelikan encourages Vineyarders to step outside on a still, cold night and listen. Chances are they'll hear a screech owl not too far off.

Tale of two oysters

Shellfish of any species ranks among my favorite foods, and oysters on the half-shell rank among my favorite shellfish.

Seeding the future

We're deep into seed season on the Vineyard.

Hawks – grace and ferocity combined

Fall is the prime season for birding on the Vineyard, and while October is generally past the peak of migration, it's our best month for viewing transient hawks.

Natural light shines on Martha’s Vineyard

With surprising regularity, guests at our house in Oak Bluffs walk out onto our deck at night, look up, and exclaim something like, "Wow! I've never seen the Milky Way before!" I don't know which impresses me more: The fact that our humble abode on the fringes of the O.

Tree swallows migrate over Martha’s Vineyard

Fall migration brings rare birds to the Vineyard, which makes Island birders happy.

Backyard nature on Martha’s Vineyard

Regular readers of this column will know that while I enjoy every aspect of nature, I reserve a special enthusiasm for nature that turns up where you don't expect it.

On the move, sadly

It's the start of Departure Season: this weekend, following illumination night, the O.

Bluestem, native to Martha’s Vineyard

August is the time of the most active growth and flowering for a surprising number of our native plants.

All hail swallowtails

The most famous butterfly may be the orange-and-black monarch, noted for its size, coloration, and prodigious migration.

Fledglings get a move on

In a hole in a maple branch overhanging Wing Road in Oak Bluffs, a pair of downy woodpeckers have been packing insects into two or three youngsters in a hole in a branch.

Any rare bees around?

If pressed to list all the bees we're familiar with, most of us would run out of names after the honey bee, the bumble bee, and perhaps the carpenter bee.

The nesting season, in depth

Ten years ago this June, I added a new twist to my birding: I began covering a U.

Songs to learn by

Worldwide, some 6,000 "songbird" species are put by taxonomists into a single order (Passeriformes, but don't worry, that won't be on the quiz).

Are we early yet?

Vineyard weather is famously fickle, and it seems like every season brings surprises.

Nature fills the green thumb void

Arriving on the Vineyard some 13 years ago, I was thrilled to have a yard of my own to garden in, for the first time in my life.

Complex and mysterious

When people think of butterflies, they think of summertime.

The Wild Side tax

Our mid-fiscal-year property tax bill just arrived from the town of Oak Bluffs, reminding me that while I don't actually enjoy paying them, I...