On August 21, Islanders joined the rest of the country in watching a partial solar eclipse, seen here through a solar telescope at the Edgartown Public Library. Mark Alan Lovewell

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Island paused amid the bustle of an August day, with strangers gathering to gaze skyward at a partial solar eclipse. Back on planet Earth, amateur botanists found something to marvel at right underfoot, with the discovery of a rare plant growing in obscurity along the shores of Sengekontacket Pond.

While fighting tick-borne illness and the plight of right whales dominated headlines, 2017 was also filled with quieter environmental stories about rare plants, visiting birds and unusual animals. From beaches to the skies, the natural world informed or delighted.

More from 2017 on the Vineyard:

The Year in Review

The Year in Nature and Science

The Year in Food

Most Read Stories of the Year

Most Popular Photos of the Year

The Year in Photos

Farewell to Beloved Islanders

The Year in Arts

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