First of all, my apologies for being unable to visit and comment to as many blogs as I could these past few days. We spent our holidays in Maine and we had a busy and fun time with family. Thank you all for visiting me anyway. 🙂
Second, Rommel of The Sophomore Slump so kindly featured this blog in his post. I am so humbled and floored by his generous words. His blog, my dear friends, is an excellent photography and travel blog, among others. Visit his page when you get the chance. Thank you Rommel, by the way. I still have to write my thank yous in your page though. 🙂
Last, I am joining Jakesprinter’s weekly challenge – Natural Resources. I was floored by his challenge for a few days. Then, I realized that I was in that beautiful state of Maine (as long as I do not get swamped by the snow). I just had to look around to see that Maine is all about natural resources. On our way home, I made myself busy by pointing my camera any which way, hoping to have a passable capture. I even asked my dear husband to pass by a more rural route (not the one we usually take) so I could have a photo of wilder Maine while on a moving vehicle.
So, here friends is my contribution to the theme. Thank you for coming over and please visit Jake for more responses. 🙂
THE WOODS OF MAINE
Next to New York, Maine is considered as the largest state in the northeastern part of the United States. However, with only about 1.3 Million people compared to New York’s 19.4 Million, Maine has more available land that lend well to agriculture (at least for the 6 warm months of the year). Farmlands dot the roads that we traverse going to the center of the State. They are usually planted to corn, potatoes, apples, and other Northern crops. Some farmlands, however, have been devoted to growing hay to feed the animals during wintertime.
Apart from agriculture, a great chunk of Maine’s land is woodland area. Maples, Ash, Oak, and other deciduous trees are common. But most common of all are the pine trees and evergreens that gave Maine its nickname, The Pine State. Along with farmlands, they border the main roads and rural roads of Maine.
The forest is home to many wild animals. Deer crossing the road are quite common year round but especially during fall and spring. There are bears which I have the pleasure of not meeting in the wild. There are moose, one of whose kind kindly visited my in-laws’ yard some years back. There are the smaller varieties such as foxes, raccoons, coyotes, among others. Then there are the wild turkeys. They are frequent
pests guests in my in-laws’ yard – they eat the crops in the garden. Just recently, they helped my FIL harvest the grapes he intended to make into wine.
Owing to Maine’s vast amount of forested land, timber became central to the State’s economy. Maine is a major producer of wood and wood-related products.
The evergreens provide lumber for the various lumber mills that are still operating in the State. The Milo Road in Dover-Foxcroft hosts Pleasant River Lumber, a big wood products manufacturer in the State. During the worst of the economic downturn, there was a markedly reduced operation in the lumberyard. There were less cars in the lumberyard, less inventory, less activity. It seemed to have weathered the worst of times which is good news for the people of the nearby towns. The lumberyard is a major employer in the area.
Some wood processors were not as lucky, however. This building used to be the home of Moosehead Manufacturing Co. (“MMC”). Powered by the nearby Piscataquis River, MMC was known for its high quality furniture.
There were many other wood related companies that went the way of MMC. When I was in school in far away Philippines, I used pad paper with the Pine Tree State logo at the back of the cardboard supporting the paper. Later, I learned that the logo meant that the materials for the paper at least came from Maine. Today, however, many, if not most, of the paper mills in the State have shut down.
The coming Christmas season will breathe life to one of Maine’s industries – wreaths and Christmas Trees. Many wreath makers will be busy in their homes and business offices producing this wonderfully scented door decorations that proclaim “Christmas!” The Christmas Tree farms that line the road to Bangor would be busy. Trucks from all over the Northeast would be heading southwards full of this cherished Christmas decoration. Meanwhile, with the coming of snow, the woods will echo with the roar of snowmobiles and the sloshing of cross country skis.