Author Archive: Michelle Werts


Freezing for Maple Syrup

Have you loved this year’s unseasonable warm winter? Yes? Well, I have another question for you: Is that happiness worth the loss of maple syrup on your pancakes and waffles? While snow and freezing temperatures are cumbersome for us humanoids, they’re essential for maple-syrup producers across the country. In fact, without freezes, we’d be out […]

Remembering Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt

On Monday, America celebrates Presidents Day, a holiday that is specifically meant to honor our nation’s first president, George Washington, who was born on February 22, 1732. But it’s also a good time to remember many of the other men who held our nation’s office. I particularly like to celebrate the man who is an […]

Roses Are Red, But Not Green

Happy February 14th! So much to celebrate on this day: love, statehoods and a certain blogger’s birthday. Let’s start with the most ubiquitous of today’s celebrations. Valentine’s Day This heart-covered holiday’s history is shrouded in mystery and uncertainty. Is it honoring St. Valentine … and which one? Is it related to Lupercalia, the pagan celebration […]

The Frozen Forest

Sometimes amidst all of the worrisome environmental news, it’s nice to be able to step back and just revel in beauty every once and awhile. So revel we shall in this time-lapse video showcasing the frozen winter forestland of Burleigh Falls and Fenelon Falls, Ontario, which was shot last month by Ben Lean.

Beyond the Cape

In 1788 on this date, Massachusetts became our sixth “state” — it’s technically one of four commonwealths in the United States. Despite being one of America’s smallest states by land area, Massachusetts still boasts 11 national wildlife refuges, whose habitats include wetlands, forests, marshes, bogs and savannas. So much diversity in such a small place!

Wonderful Wetlands

Today is World Wetlands Day. For more than a decade, countries around the world have celebrated wetlands on February 2 in remembrance of the 1971 signing of the Convention of Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran. Why do we celebrate wetlands every year? Where to begin? Wetlands is the broad term used to describe areas that often […]

A Deadly Mercury Cocktail

For years now, there have been studies and concerns about mercury levels in our oceans and bodies of water and how they affect aquatic life and consequently those of us that rely on fish and shellfish for sustenance — from children to birds and fish-eating mammals. But these studies hadn’t really examined mercury’s affect on […]

The Music of Trees

As covered in the autumn issue of American Forests, tree rings tell compelling stories. Far from just revealing a tree’s age, they record natural events like volcano eruptions, the history of civilizations like the Roman and Aztec Empires and other moments in time. And, now, they make music. Yes, you read that right: music. German […]

Lighting the Bat Signal

Bats. Such a simple word immediately evokes a few distinct images in my brain: running and shrieking humans being swarmed by the flying mammals, a certain playboy billionaire who likes to masquerade as one and some blood-sucking fiends of Transylvania. Unfortunately for our winged friends, false images like these mean that their vital role in […]

Mapping Forest Threats

Last week, NASA Earth Observatory released as series of maps showing the world’s forests, as mapped from three dimensions: area, density and height. Through the work of researchers, we have one of the largest, highest-resolution forest biomass maps ever. Pretty nifty, huh? It is, in terms of the research and technology that went into creating […]