Botanical Excursion to New England

 

As with my other plant excursion pages, I describe the landscape, types of vegetation, some typical plants, and a few garden scenes. These images are not from one single excursion but taken over years.

  

     
 

I divided this theme into several sub-pages to make downloading more manageable. For now I have organized these pages in a very simple way as listed below. At some point I hope to reorganize the plants by habitats, adding more information about the site conditions and fauna in order to outline the interrelations between all elements of each habitat.

 

Sorry, the following sub pages are in the make! Thanks for your patience.

Plants of New England sorted by groups:

New England is the north-east corner of the United States that borders eastern Canada in the north and the Atlantic Ocean in the south-east. It consists of the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Boston is the biggest City and cultural center.

 

     
Mushrooms

Lichen

Mosses

Burlaps and Horsetails

Ferns

Coniferous Trees

Deciduous Trees

Shrubs

Herbaceous Plants

Grasses

The vegetation consists of hardwood forests that also contain White Pine and Hemlock. Spruce and Fir forests are found in the north and in the mountains. The natural vegetation of some coastal areas consists of pine barrens, containing Pitch Pine, however, these habitats have become very rare.  
From Mount Agamenticus, an isolated mountain near the coast in southern Maine, it is possible to get a wide panoramic sight of the landscape. On one side the view opens to the Atlantic Ocean, with coastal towns and secondary forests dominated by White Pine. In the other direction, on a clear day, one can see the caps of the White Mountains, where snow remains on the mountain tops well into late spring.
     
Tidal wetlands reach far inland along river arms and provide an interesting habitat where salt marsh and coastal hardwood forests meet. These contain a rich variety of species including Oaks, Maples, Beech, Ash, Hickory and other deciduous trees as well as White Pine, Hemlock, Spruce and Red Cedar (Juniper).
Old stone walls bear witness of a time when much of New England was farmed land. In the Eighteen hundreds many farm families left New England, tired of the shallow and rocky soils, to settle the more fertile Mid West.

As the land was abandoned, new forests took over, consisting initially of Birch and White Pine, later also of hardwoods, especially Red Oak.

     
The landscape is rich in lakes and streams,. which provide their unique set of habitats.

Pin Oak (Quercus palustris) and Red Maple (Acer rubrum) are common species of moist or wet locations. Highbush blueberry is one of the most common shrubs along lake shores. All have scarlet red fall colors.

     
All over the landscape one can find small ponds which might in many cases dry out during the summer. These vernal pools are important breeding grounds for amphibians and host a rich variety of plants.
Beech forests turn a pleasing yellow in the fall
     
Paper mills were a typical industry in the vast forested areas, but many have closed down in recent years. The one in Berlin /NH seen here on the right was dismantled a few years ago.
     
The mountains can be tough on plants, but they provide fresh clean water and allow for a cooling dive into creeks and whirlpools
     
Large stretches of land in New Hampshire, extending into western Maine, are placed under protection and make up the White Mountains National Forest.

Spruce and Fir dominate the mountain regions up to the tree line, where plants are stunted from the harsh conditions and form the Krummholz.

     
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