24 Apr 2012

Spring On Nantucket

Spring on Nantucket

I’ve had a front row seat this spring watching the island awaken bright and early from its short winter slumber. As I look across Main Street and down Centre from my second floor office window, I have a clear view of the many trees lining the streets. Typically this time of year, we can tell spring is upon us and summer fast approaching by all the new little green buds sprouting from the branches. Those little splashes of green appeared historically early on some trees this year and right now the beautiful Bradford Pear tree in the photo above is already in full bloom, upstaging her neighboring trees with colorful green and white blossoms.

As with most parts of the country, Nantucket experienced a very unusual and somewhat unpredictable weather pattern this year. We wore shirt-sleeves in February, needed winter coats a few days in March and had a couple of beach days in April. I was in Los Angeles for my daughter’s spring break in mid-March where one day it was 10 degrees cooler than it was on Nantucket!

All this unprecedented weather has our island flora in a constant state of confusion. My “last rose of summer” that typically pops open in late September and bids us goodnight for the winter in October, actually hung around into December. The crocus, tulips and daffodils began peeking through the soil in late February. These early blooming Daffy’s have had the islanders holding their breathe hoping they’ll survive for the upcoming Daffodil Weekend. So far, they’ve been amazingly cooperative and there will hopefully be a nice little smattering of yellow across the island to welcome weekend visitors.

There is some good news about our unseasonably warm winter and early spring (besides the fact it made the winter FLY by!). House-painting, spring cleaning and window washing are ahead of schedule at many island homes. Most lawns, gardens and beds are getting their spring clean-up, planting and mulching done early. A scallop fisherman told me recently the ocean is 10 degrees warmer than it typically is this time of year. No need to wait until after July 4th to dip your toe in the Atlantic Ocean. We are gearing up for a really extended summer.

If your schedule allows, why not make plans to spend a few days (or weeks) enjoying Spring on Nantucket? Shops and restaurants will all be open, rental homes have more availability and it’s easier to get your car on the boat. If you already have plans to be on Nantucket in July or August, how about extending your trip to take advantage of some summertime in June or September? And of course, it’s not too late to make last minute plans to come join the sea of yellow revelers for this weekend’s annual Daffodil Festival. Come and get an early jump on summer in Nantucket.

Spring ahead!

Shellie Dunlap

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