In the summer, volunteers on the Vineyard visit beaches under the light of a full (or darkness of a new) moon to count horseshoe crabs as they come ashore to spawn.

Horseshoe crabs – an ancient species with a mating ritual attuned to the tides – are harvested for use as bait for conch fishing, and because their blood has biomedical value. But the census counts could soon take on more urgency, with a new study showing that crabs that survive a blood donation might be impacted in other ways.

Sara Brown

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

It was an otherwise quiet Vineyard night – the water calmly lapped the shore, the grasses rustled in a light breeze.

Katie Ruppel

Inside the EPA’s mobile lab on Martha’s Vineyard.

Eight-legged, tiny, and hungry, every tick goes through life in search of blood.

Ivy Ashe

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