Paul Hetzler

Paul Hetzler is a Horticulture and Natural Resources Educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension, in Canton, NY. He is the author of "Shady Characters," and the website “Where the Wild Words Are."

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Good News about a Bad Word

The word is Vaccine: Yikes! Let’s get right down to it: a vaccine against poison ivy will soon be available, but only if you really, really, really want it. Promise.

Volume 17, Issue 5, May 2022
Paul Hetzler

Synthetic Photosynthesis!

Every so often, an obscure technical innovation really lights me up. In the fall of 2021, a team of German scientists published a report on their work injecting tadpole noggins with algae.

Volume 17, Issue 4, April 2022
Paul Hetzler

Water Wellness

Academic testing is like water testing in that a passing grade in one realm doesn’t apply to others. Just as an algebra exam won’t affect your history grade (or it shouldn’t) . . .

Volume 17, Issue 3, March 2022
Paul Hetzler

All That Glitters Isn’t Green

I never would have imagined that glitter could be a pollutant of concern. At my age, I need glasses to find a postage stamp – it’s a long shot that I could help pick up glitter.

Volume 17, Issue 2, February 2022
Paul Hetzler

The Mutants Have Landed

The marmorkreb, a.k.a. marbled crayfish, is a destructive new species that first appeared in aquariums in Germany. . . They are here now, and your help scouting for them is both invaluable and essential.

Volume 17, Issue 1, January 2022
Paul Hetzler

Lips and Walls: Digging into Tree Decay

Did you know that trees have an early-warning system? Apparently, they can signal one another about what type of pest has arrived on the scene . . .

Volume 16, Issue 12, December 2021
Paul Hetzler

All About Pumpkins!

In 1900, the world record was 400 pounds. By 1990, it was up to 816 lbs, but that wouldn’t even get you in the door these days – you need a 2,000-pound entry . . .

Volume 16, Issue 11, November 2021
Paul Hetzler

Anarchy Is Bad for Picnics . . . All About Wasps

All summer long, yellowjacket workers are busy with good deeds like pollinating flowers and killing deer flies, tent caterpillars, and beetle larvae to feed the colony. But once Queen Mum expires,

Volume 16, Issue 9, September 2021
Paul Hetzler

Gypsy Moths

If you missed last year’s gypsy moth performance, you have a better chance of catching it this season. Unfortunately.

Volume 16, Issue 6, June 2021
Paul Hetzler

An Occasional Nip Does Some Good

A friend who once worked nights in a resort bar was asked by a patron where to find “weed.”

Volume 16, Issue 2, February 2021
Paul Hetzler

Wooden You Know...

As a card-carrying, registered tree hugger, I have long touted the benefits of trees...but satellites, shoes, tape? Way beyond toilet paper!

Volume 16, Issue 1, January 2021
Paul Hetzler

Taking the Reins

It's official: Santa's reindeer are all girls - they are also in steep decline, with global reindeer numbers are down 40% in the past 25 years

Volume 15, Issue 12, December 2020
Paul Hetzler

Brumation Sweeps across Northern Latitudes

The consensus now is that any critter able to actively slow its metabolism is a hibernator. Actively slowing down sounds like an oxymoron, but let’s not resort to name-calling.

Volume 15, Issue 11, November 2020
Paul Hetzler

Pine Whisperers

...whispering pines and rustling leaves – may both soothe us, but they sound quite different.

Volume 15, Issue 10, October 2020
Paul Hetzler

Kill the Bug Zappers Not the Birds

Bug zappers are consummately worthless for mosquito control...

Volume 15, Issue 9, September 2020
Paul Hetzler

Simply Great

The great blue heron (Ardea herodias), the largest North American heron, is definitely great,

Volume 15, Issue 8, August 2020
Paul Hetzler

Shady Business

One of the perks of having trees nearby is that social-distancing rules don’t apply – you can hug as many as you like without risk of contracting Covid-19.

Volume 15, Issue 7, July 2020
Paul Hetzler

Ticked Off

Mosquitoes suck and black flies bite. However, just one bite from a deer (black-legged) tick can put you out of commission for the whole season...

Volume 15, Issue 5, May 2020
Paul Hetzler