Nature

  • Fri, May 26
    “Probably because the horseshoe crabs have been around for so long, they are very tightly woven into their environment. Aside from playing a key role in the survival of a number of migratory shorebird species that consume their eggs to fuel their flights north, horseshoe crabs are themselves...
  • Fri, May 26
    BIT Category: 
    “It’s such a beautiful place — unspoiled — and this project captures that.” That’s what glass blowing artisan Eben Horton said about Block Island and its relationship to his Glass Float Project. The project involves Horton’s production of hundreds of glass floats, or sphere-shaped ornaments,...
  • Sun, Jul 31
    The worse my drawings were, the more beautiful did the originals appear. John James Audubon To know – recognize and name – Block Island’s flora and fauna is a huge undertaking; possibly impossible. However, like any large...
  • Sun, Jul 31
    Everyone is invited to celebrate Block Island’s treasure, the Great Salt Pond, on August 13 with over 11 events, from 11 island organizations, showcasing its variety and importance. You can catch aquatic wildlife in the pond with The Nature Conservancy, or walk the marshes with the Ocean View...
  • Wed, Jul 27
    BIT Category: 
    Come celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Nature Conservancy’s office on Block Island. Chris Littlefield is hosting one-time walks at different locations to highlight the island’s unique natural heritage and conservation history. Call (401)466-2129 for more specific location details. Co-sponsored...
  • Wed, Jul 27
    BIT Category: 
    Come experience the topography of the agricultural fields that almost completely covered Block Island from the late 1600’s to the early 20th century. Meet at the corner of West Side Road and Old Mill Road. Co-sponsored by Block Island Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy.
  • Wed, Jul 27
    BIT Category: 
    Kids and their parents explore the beach to the North Light. Meet at Settler’s Rock, at the end of Corn Neck Road. (Kids need to wear water shoes and parents must attend.) Co-sponsored by Block Island Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy
  • Wed, Jul 27
    BIT Category: 
    Everyone loves a clean beach. Come for a stroll and lend a hand! Different locations each week. Co-sponsored by Block Island Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy 7/27......Settler’s Rock 8/3........Mansion Beach 8/10......Scotch Beach 8/17......Town Beach 8/24......West Beach
  • Wed, Jul 27
    BIT Category: 
    Kids and their parents locate all sorts of species special to Block Island. Meet at the Rodman’s Hollow parking lot on Cooneymus Road. (Parents must attend.) Co-sponsored by Block Island Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy
  • Tue, Jul 26
    A jaunt with beautiful views and wonderful wildlife. Meet at the parking lot for Clay Head Trail, half-mile off Corn Neck Road, down the dirt road across from the yellow house. Co-sponsored by Block Island Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy.
  • Tue, Jul 26
    A salt marsh scavenger hunt for kids and their parents. Meet at Andy’s Way, off Corn Neck Road. (Kids need to wear water shoes and parents must attend.)
  • Tue, Jul 26
    Join the Nature Conservancy for an exploration at Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve that is fun and educational. Meet at the parking lot for Hodge on Corn Neck Road (3 miles from town on the left).
  • Fri, Jul 1
    This year, The Nature Conservancy is celebrating its 25th anniversary since opening a field office on Block Island. In 1991, the Conservancy, an international conservation organization, identified Block Island as a “Last Great Place” for its abundance of rare and endangered plants and animals, as...
  • Fri, Jul 1
    My life so far has been twists and turns. Working in financial services for 20 years, I now find myself back at my roots, my true nature as a geologist turned environmental activist. A fortuitous turn happened two summers ago when Chris Littlefield agreed to take me on as a volunteer at The Nature...
  • Wed, Jun 1
    25 Must See Things on Block Island in September In honor of the 25 th Anniversary of the opening of The Nature Conservancy’s Block Island Office here are 25 natural wonders (in no specific order) to see in September. How many have you seen? 1) North Blazing Star – Block Island is the only place...
  • Tue, Jun 9
    BIT Category: 
    1. THE NORTH LIGHT is the fourth lighthouse built on Sandy Point. The first, finished in 1829, was washed away in a few years. A second light began operation in 1837, but was not visible to ships due to the shifting sands. The government built a third light near the end of the Point in 1857 and...
  • Tue, Sep 2
    The path to the North Light Fibers mill, store and farm is marked by the sight of exotic animals from Abrams Animal Farm in the periphery: the cool stare of the caged lemur, a llama eating kibble from a child’s hand, even kangaroos and a giant tortoise stand by. Walk past these animals and through...
  • Worker’s Perspectives
    Tue, Sep 2
    For the past 13 summers on Block Island, the majority of my time here has been spent at my home away from home, the Block Island Club. Located on the northeastern side of the Great Salt Pond, the club was a place for me to further my passion for sailing, expand my (short-lived) interest in tennis,...
  • Tue, Sep 2
    Though it’s been many years since I first sat down with Michael Oppenheimer on the open porch of his West Side island home, finding him there several weeks ago felt quite natural. The familiarity of the setting allows us to fall easily into conversation while looking out at rolling hillsides...
  • Tue, Sep 2
    It’s never hard to convince me to go on a bird walk at Andy’s Way with Kim Gaffett, director of the Ocean View Foundation, whether it is a Crazy as a Coot meet-up or another OVF activity, it’s always fun and informative. I’ve done a few and will likely do many more. They are almost always at low...
  • I Tried It!
    Tue, Sep 2
    On July 12th, as many admired the super moon (a full moon that appears even larger than usual because of its closeness to the earth) from their houses, I was lucky enough to be out on the Great Salt Pond, part of a group of kayakers on a tour led by Corrie Heinz, owner of Pond and Beyond Kayak...
  • Cottage Industry
    Tue, Sep 2
    The beauty of Block Island can be as arresting as a siren’s call: rolling hills, salty air, the resplendent smell of Rosa rugosa. It’s no surprise then how...
  • Fri, Aug 29
    Cars and dogs... We can’t help but notice how these two go so well together, especially when the sun comes out and the wind is just right. Perhaps it’s the necessities in life that never go out of style. Vintage or new, capricious or predictable, dogs and cars have personalities all their own...
  • Thu, Jul 31
    On the island with three friends in the house, I was looking for something interesting to do at night during their visits besides the usual drinks with dinner or a movie, and while I was thinking, I happened to focus on a postcard lying on the dining room table in a large pile of recent mail. Maybe...
  • Cottage Industry
    Thu, Jul 31
    I watch oyster farmer and entrepreneur Dave Deffley swim out to his boat; while I take photos from the dry shoreline my sense of adventure pales in comparison. He swings around the back pond and picks me up at the Hog Pen, camera and note pad in tow. Once aboard, I find a place to perch amidst tubs...
  • Mon, Jul 28
    Kim Gaffett and the Ocean View Foundation’s bird walks and bird banding demonstrations are two of many island traditions that are born of a rich legacy, that of Miss Elizabeth Dickens. Historian Robert Downie wrote about that legacy for the weekly Block Island Times and Edie Blane added her own...
  • Sarie Monieson takes us on a Block Island video tour while
    Fri, Jul 25
    Eben Horton is a glass artist and the owner of The Glass Station, a 1920’s-style glass studio located in Wakefield, Rhode Island. He created “The Glass Float Project” on Block Island where he has hidden hundreds of glass floats along Greenway trails and beaches. Islanders and tourists set out to...
  • Tue, Jul 1
    On winter mornings when even the sun has difficulty deciding whether it should rise, almost nothing stirs on Block Island, not man nor beast nor machine. On our road, unless the transfer station is open, Howie’s yellow school bus is often the first and only vehicle to pass by my house until mid...
  • Tue, Jul 1
    The group of volunteers meets at a most civil hour – 9 a.m. at the office of The Nature Conservancy on High Street. On this Wednesday there are a dozen. Some have done this for years, some, such as this writer are first timers. They are quite good natured for an army, and quite welcoming of the new...
  • Sun, Jun 29
    I’ll always remember the first striped bass I caught while surfcasting on Block Island. It took place in 1985 when my wife Karolyn and I visited the island together. I had gone into Twin Maples Bait & Tackle to seek advice on where to fish. Shop proprietor, the late Mac Swienton, gave me sound...
  • Mon, Jun 9
    When visiting Block Island you may be struck by the beauty of all the wildflowers, the sight of song and shore birds, the occasional glimpse of a butterfly, the darting iridescent beauty of the dragonflies. It doesn’t matter the season, there is always the beauty of nature here, be it the flash of...
  • Mon, Jun 9
    I first met Leonard Perfido last spring after he and his wife Ruth returned from a Great Ape Encounter tour in Africa. Like them, I am intrigued by the works of gorilla researcher Dian Fossey and chimpanzee researcher Jane Goodall, but unlike them, I have never entertained the notion of trekking to...
  • Mon, Jun 9
    I first came to the island as a small girl in the 1950s. I loved its history, it beauty and its quiet simplicity. It captured my heart as a child and still does to this day. I feel especially blessed to have known the island before it was ‘rediscovered’ in the 1980s. We stayed at Cuttings Cottages...
  • Mon, Jun 9
    The Great Salt Pond is Corrie Heinz’s home away from home. As the owner/operator of Pond and Beyond Kayak, she’s out on the pond whenever the weather allows, so she knows the ins and the outs of the place and all the ecosystems and subcultures it holds. She grew up out here, went to school here...
    corrie heinz, pond and beyond kayak
  • Mon, Jun 9
    Gloria Hall Daubert wrote a book. To those who know her primarily as the longtime (29 years and counting) bartender at Winfield’s, the news come as a bit of a surprise. But the truth is she’s been pondering the book almost as long as she’s worked at Winfield’s. “It’s a bucket list thing,” says...
    gloria hall daubert
  • Behind the Photo
    Thu, Jun 5
    The winter has seen the explosion of snowy owls in the Arctic and a subsequent migration to the lower 48 states in search of food. Snowy owls have been showing up in places that have never seen a snowy owl before. These magnificent birds started to appear all over the United States right around...
  • Mon, Feb 24
    The brightly-colored sign on the storefront reads “North Light Fibers,” the lettering sandwiched between two rows of yarn rolled into round bundles. As you step across the threshold, you enter another realm, a world of fiber: jewel-toned skeins of oh-so-soft alpaca yarn, neatly tucked onto shelves...
  • Thu, Feb 20
    Last week I fell in love with a book about the power of walking. “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed is the story of her trek over the Pacific Crest Trail from southern California through Oregon. Though I have never trekked over mountains for long distances in great hardship, I do love to take walks and have...
  • Fri, Feb 14
    In October of 2013, photographer Grace Bochain Luddy began blogging about her life on Block Island. What has resulted is a compendium of photos and verse chronicling her experiences on the smallest island belonging to the smallest state. With her permission, we present here, a recent entry. I LIKE...
  • Tue, Dec 3
    Joe Sprague has been farming and raising cattle for many years. “I grew up with cows,” he says. “The only thing that’s always been in my life, all 56 years of it, is cows.” Many island denizens know Sprague—he might have dug the foundation for their new house or garage, or brought over a load of...
  • Tue, Dec 3
    The day I went with Chris Littlefield of Littlefield Bee Farm to check for honey was slightly overcast, with thin clouds creating a white haze over the sun. It was incredibly hot, and I watched impressed as Chris used tape to bind the cuffs of his bee suit tightly to his wrists and emerged from the...
  • Tue, Dec 3
    While writers in big cities in the 1800s wrote wistfully of their imagined utopias, Block Islanders were living in one. Some of the 1,500 men, women and children here sustained themselves from the sea, some from the land, and many from both. The island’s farming statistics in 1885 listed 19 kinds...
  • Tue, Dec 3
    There are so many boats in the Great Salt Pond this July Fourth weekend that from Corn Neck Road, the spaces between them look more like canals than open water. Voices and music rise up from this Great Salt City and drift over to land, barely decipherable snatches of songs and conversation, like...
  • Mon, Nov 18
    Sitting on a kayak in the middle of the Great Salt Pond in the midst of hundreds of sailboats, the masts rising overhead like a fiberglass forest, is a unique angle to view the pond and the island. I am on a tour with Corrie Heinz, owner of Pond and Beyond Kayaks, with a married couple and Girl...
  • Mon, Nov 18
    Malcolm Greenaway laughs in disbelief as he shows me a recent printout from the internet he is posting to the door, which lists Greenaway Gallery as the leading attraction of Block Island, surpassing the Mohegan Bluffs. “Who knows who writes these things,” he chuckles. Whether ranking Malcolm’s...
  • Sun, Sep 1
    For the past three summers, I have watched as a dozen or so women, my mother among them, embarked on the challenge of walking the entire perimeter of the island. So this summer, when I was encouraged to join them in their “adventure,” as they call it, I agreed without thinking much about what...
  • Mon, Jun 3
    In a dirt parking lot near Dead Eye Dick’s, harbormaster Steve Land and assistant harbormaster Kate McConville are elbow deep in bottom paint, motor oil and dead impellers. It has been a long winter, but finally warmer spring breezes hint at what’s to come. It’s time to ready boats for the water,...