If all goes well, local biologists will soon be growing gold in local waters. Scientists with the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have been breeding golden mussels, a unique-hued version of the common mussel that they hope will boost the Island’s nascent farmed mussel industry.

Sara Brown

What type of berry is safe to eat but not to plant? The answer isn’t so much a riddle as a home cook’s pro tip and a gardener’s cautionary tale. Autumn olives, small red berries with silver flecks, are abundant on the Island – too abundant, in fact. The native Asian shrubs and trees, introduced to the U.S. in the 1800s to line roadways and prevent erosion, today pose a significant threat to native foliage. In 2006 the state of Massachusetts declared it unlawful for autumn olives to be sold or replanted.

On Martha’s Vineyard, owls are found almost everywhere. But for every twenty owls you hear, you may see only one.

Fifty years ago, Anne Hale helped found the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary on the shores of Sengekontacket Pond in Edgartown. Twenty-six years ago she published Moraine to Marsh, a slender, spiral-bound volume that became a treasured go-to guide to the flora and fauna of the Vineyard. Hale died in 1992, and with the book out of print and the well-thumbed copies that remain in circulation showing their wear, Felix Neck undertook a major update.

Last summer, signs on Vineyard beaches warned swimmers about Portuguese man-of-wars, the brightly colored siphonophores that deliver a painful sting. And anyone who has spent much time in the water in the summer is probably familiar with the big, pink jellyfish and the small harmless moon jellies of August. But there is a new gelatinous menace lurking in Vineyard ponds, largely unknown and barely visible. 

Sara Brown

These tiny, ancient organisms are vital cogs in the Island’s ecosystem.

Matt Pelikan

The vibrant green of the vernal season – including new sassafras leaves and unfurling fiddlehead ferns – is a welcome sign of renewed activity in the natural world.

Matt Pelikan

If you are not loyal to your locale, perhaps your vocation or hobby brings you together with like-minded folks.

Suzan Bellincampi