Wednesday, August 12, 2020
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Matt Pelikan


Unloveable critters

From ticks to tapeworms, parasites lead the list of reviled animals. And the insect world takes parasitism to particularly repellent extremes: The young of...

Elegy for a black oak

We are sorry to report the passing of Quercus velutina, a.k.a. Black Oak, sometime during the winter of 2014–15 at the approximate age of...

The mysterious missing brown recluse spider

I love a good natural history question to ponder! And the brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, furnishes a fine one. Academic spider researchers consider...

Bee identities

Much has been made recently, in both the popular and the scientific press, of a “pollinator crisis” — sharp declines in the populations of...

A bird of a different feather

Rarities are unpredictable by their very nature, but here are two certainties about rare birds on the Vineyard: They’ll keep turning up, and when...

meet the (blister) beetles

Learning to identify a species — connecting its characteristics with the often arbitrary name humans have assigned it — is a gratifying first step....

Best bugs you’ve never heard of

This column is about some of the unsung heroes of the insect world. While you’ve almost certainly seen one, you’ve likely never heard their...

Drab looking, and a dull songbird, phoebes are a favorite

The past week, featuring warmer weather and — at last! — the obliteration of most of the snow on the Island, saw a huge...

Bugs that aren’t really bugs

Here’s another column on an important group of animals that you’ve probably never heard of: the springtails (Collembola to biologists). Tiny and six-legged, springtails...

As the season winds down

How wildlife weathers wild winter (or not).

Martha’s Vineyard provides a winter home for sea ducks of all varieties

The largest number of ducks often remain on the water just off land, but recent weather conditions have forced them into local bays.

There’s a spider in the house

Some kinds of bugs are notorious for finding their way indoors during the coldest months.

The benefits of bicycling in winter

Experience a multitude of seasonal cues.

Winter's Baltimore oriole

Winter, generally speaking, is a season I could live without. But I’ve always had a fascination with the ways wildlife responds to adversity, and...

Answers from the Wild Side: What the heck is this?

Looks like ancient weaponry.

Wild Side: tiny but hardy dovekies are around

And a pause in the movement of birds through our region.

Steamship ferries as outdoor observatories

Oceans are always interesting, and it’s a rare trip between Woods Hole and Vineyard Haven that doesn’t produce at least some viewable wildlife.

Some like it cold

There’s something elegant about an insect designed to flourish when all the world is frozen.

Ring-necked ducks show off now

Cranberry Acres almost always has a flock of ring-necks at the appropriate season, and these flocks can be large.

Answers from the Wild Side

A word or two about leaf miners