Posts by L. E. Carmichael


Northern flickers have the longest tongues of any woodpecker in the boreal forest.

Deleted Scenes – Of Flickers and Fire

Sunbeams dance in a birch grove, sparkling off the morning dew. Rat-a-tat-a-tat! A northern flicker drums on a burned stump, then flutters to the soil. It pecks and scratches, licking up ants with its long tongue. In a puddle ... Read More  

illustration of Marla Lesage in her role as nurse

STEMinism Sunday: Nurse and Children’s Writer, Marla Lesage

I like to say that I’m very lucky because I have two careers. I’m a registered nurse – currently working part-time – but I’m also an author/illustrator/artist. My debut picture book, Pirate Year Round, was published last May and ... Read More  

One of Josée Bisaillon's illustrations for The Boreal Forest, by L. E. Carmichael, created in her signature mixed media collage/watercolour style

The Partnership Between Author and Illustrator

My previous books cover a wide range of age groups and topics, but they all have one thing in common: they are illustrated with photographs. The Boreal Forest was the first book I've ever written that has illustrations instead. ... Read More  

Cover of Weathernose by Maram Taibah

Cantastic Authorpalooza: Maram Taibah

This world appeared to me as I stood looking out across an inlet of the Red Sea. It was night and the dark spread out in front of me like a void.  There was a far-off shore, contoured with ... Read More  

Moose are an iconic species of the boreal forest. This list of resources will support learning in the classroom and at home.

The Great Big Boreal Forest Resource List

Now available - a FREE activity guide for use with your copy of The Boreal Forest! It includes suggestions for science, social studies, and language arts, and will help support a variety of elementary school curriculum outcomes. Not to ... Read More  

Gene Therapy by L.E. Carmichael - Front Cover

Mad Science Monday: Marvel’s Inhumans (That’s Not How DNA Works)

Oh, Inhumans. I so wanted to like you, mostly due to my enduring crush on Anson Mount (or rather, Cullen Bohannon of Hell on Wheels). Sadly, I spent most of the time I was "watching" you making dinner, doing ... Read More  

Because their breeding grounds in the boreal forest are protected, the whooping crane population has increased from less than 20 to more than 400.

Four Days Until the Forest!

I will be doing an online reading from The Boreal Forest TODAY as part of the #KCPSpringReading Relay. The video will go live on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at 2:30 EST, but when it's over, it's gone. Don't ... Read More  

Teach Write: The (REAL) Purpose of Personal Statements and Letters of Intent

Personal statements and letters of intent... with the possible exception of the dissertation, there are no forms of academic writing quite as likely to turn an ordinary student into a quivering ball of overwhelming anxiety. Deep breaths, all. I am ... Read More  

Lake Myvatn, in Iceland's boreal forest, is famous for flies! In summer, up to 50,000 fly larvae swarm in every square metre of lake bed.

Iceland’s Boreal Forest: Birds, Bugs, and… Vikings?

Here's a sidebar that I'd originally planned to include on pages 20-21: Iceland's Lake Myvatn is famous—for flies! In summer, up to 50,000 fly larvae hide in every 1 m2 (1.2 y2) of lake bed. Many birds eat these larvae, ... Read More  

cover of The Boreal Forest by L. E. Carmichael

New Children’s Book Brings The Boreal Forest to Home-Bound Readers

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, one author’s book is giving young readers and their families a chance to see the world through fresh eyes.  L.E. Carmichael’s newest book, The Boreal Forest: A Year in the World’s Largest ... Read More  

Ella Lopez (played by Aimee Garcia in Lucifer)

STEMinism Sunday: Ella Lopez and the Forensics of Lucifer

I am a huge fan of Lucifer, the show in which the devil gets tired of running Hell and moves to LA to run a nightclub... and solve crimes. It's a ridiculous premise that shouldn't work at all, and ... Read More  

International Day of Forests Giveaway announcement

International Forest Day Twitter Party!

As promised, here's everything you need to know about my International Day of Forests Twitter Party, including how you can enter to win an exclusive Day of Forests Prize Pack! Note, this prize pack is different than the giveaway ... Read More  

The Copycat by Wendy McLeod MacKnight

Wendy McLeod MacKnight: When a Character in Your Book Isn’t a Person

I remember the first time I heard about the use of pathetic fallacy in literature. You know: ascribing human emotions to nature in order to give the reader a sense of mood or a hint of what is to ... Read More  

Loons are a beautiful, iconic bird of The Boreal Forest. They are also fiercely territorial and a little scary!

Loons: Beautiful, Iconic, and Kind of Badass

Next week is March Break, and if you live near Peterborough and have kids that need entertaining.... why not let ME do it? I'm offering two programs on March 19, one of which is special sneak peak at The ... Read More  

Sasquatch and her giant paws

Mad Science Mondays: That Time We Ran a DNA Test on Sasquatch Hair

Many moons ago when I was but a grad student, my lab, which specialized in wildlife genetics, received an unusual request:  Run a DNA test on this hair, because we're pretty sure it's Sasquatch. To be clear, the sample did not ... Read More  

When writing her new children's science book, The Boreal Forest, author L. E. Carmichael consulted 238 sources and three types of subject-matter experts.

Forest Fridays: Researching The Boreal Forest

How did I research The Boreal Forest? I read 238 books, scientific articles, and websites, adding up to untold thousands of pages of research (I didn't actually count). I took 72,400 words of notes (those I did count, or ... Read More  

Teach Write: The Purpose of Lit Reviews, Critical Analyses, and Other Forms of Academic Writing

Last time, I talked about the purpose of the most popular form of academic writing - the argumentative essay. You can also read about the distinct (but closely related) purposes of lab reports and scientific papers here. If you're ... Read More  

Lindsey Carmichael wearing a lab coat

STEMinism Sunday: What Not to Wear

So, you're a woman in science. Good for you! Have you thought about what you're going to wear? Nope, I'm not talking about latex gloves, hip waders, or safety goggles, although you do look very cute in those. I'm talking ... Read More