Buoying the Monarchs

Being dramatic is warranted in the case of monarch butterflies whose numbers have plummeted over the last few years.

Risky Business of Herbicides

Beyond the monarchs and the milkweed a broad discussion has been unfolding on the Vineyard in recent months and weeks about the use of herbicides.

Great Monarch Migration Still Flies High on Film

The Gazette presents a local film clip on monarch butterflies as ecologists around the country raise a cry over the fate of the monarchs, whose numbers have fallen off perilously in the last few years.

Even Monarch Butterflies Summer on the Vineyard

Over the next few months Vineyarders can be on the lookout for some familiar seasonal residents: the monarch butterflies. The annual odyssey of the monarch butterfly has long delighted scientists and backyard naturalists. In early spring these delicate, diminutive creatures leave their overwintering site in south-central Mexico and make their way north.

Fragile Wings Carry Important Message

Summer seems in the distant past as the New Year approaches, yet some of us are still thinking about the wildlife that frequents the Vineyard in the warm summer months. For the past two summers I wandered through the fields and forests of the Vineyard, planting the seeds for a study I would later conduct. The first phase of the study was launched during the summer of 2011 at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Edgartown. The study set out to identify and assess the host plant selection process of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) on Martha’s Vineyard.

Vineyard Blooms in Warm and Weird Weather; Butterflies, Roses and Lilacs Lead Parade

When the groundhog awakens from his long winter nap tomorrow at dawn, he will rise from his hole in the ground and think he overslept. If he lived on the Vineyard, he'd think it was already spring.

Forsythia are in bloom, and in the past week there have been sightings of honeybees and, in West Tisbury, a butterfly. Snow drops are in bloom in various places from Edgartown to West Tisbury.

Butterfly Count

Betsy Wice asked about this year’s butterfly count. The Vineyard’s butterfly count took place almost a month ago, on July 17. Six people participated including yours truly. It was hot, in the mid-80s, which is good for butterflies, but the wind was too strong. Butterflies don’t like to be blown away, so stay grounded in high winds.