The soils of New Hampshire are typically stony and relatively infertile, having formed in acid, loamy materials overlying granite and schist bedrock. Soils classified as spodosols are common in northern New Hampshire and at higher elevations, while inceptisols are prevalent in the south. The valley soils are the most fertile and support productive agriculture, particularly in the Connectitcut and Merrimack river valleys. The upland soils support healthy hardwood forests throughout the state, with spruce and fir becoming dominant in the north.
Forests cover 84 percent of New Hampshire’s land area. Maine is the only state with a greater percentage of forested coverage. Northern New Hampshire and much of the White Mountains have mostly evergreen forests of spruce and fir. The southern and central areas have mixed forests, mainly of white pine, maple, and oak. The white birch is the official state tree and is found throughout the state. Among the many shrubs found in New Hampshire are the American yew, pin cherry, red osier, mountain laurel, hobblebush, and blueberry. There are hundreds of species of wildflowers in the state. The most common include the wild aster, black-eyed Susan, oxeye, daisy, hockweed, purple trillium, goldenrod, gentian, pink ladyslipper, buttercup, and blue, white, and yellow violets.
Most of New Hampshire’s wildlife is found in the sparsely populated sections in the northern and central parts of the state.
The white-tailed deer is the most numerous of the large animals. Black bears are fairly common, and moose are prevalent in the north. Smaller mammals include the beaver, skunk, porcupine, fox, muskrat, mink, fisher, and bobcat. Snowshoe hares, squirrels, mice, and shrews are numerous throughout most of the state. The state bird of New Hampshire is the purple finch. Also found are the boreal chickadee, the black-capped chickadee, red and white breasted nuthatches, the woodpecker, the hawk, the white-throated sparrow, cardinal, pine siskin, brown creeper, and more than ten species of warblers. Kingbirds, phoebes, meadowlarks, and sparrows inhabit farmland, and whipporwills and flycatchers are found in the forests of the south. Birds especially common in the winter include the horned lark, which is found on the coast, and the northern shrike, pine and evening grosbeak, and snow bunting.
Fish are abundant in the state’s rivers and lakes. Brook trout are native to most spring-fed streams and ponds, and rainbow and brown trout have been stocked in many of the larger lakes and streams. Lake trout and landlocked salmon are found in the larger, deeper lakes, and black bass, pickerel, and yellow and white perch are found in the warmer, shallower ponds and lakes. The Atlantic salmon no longer run up New Hampshire’s tidal rivers, blocked by the development of water-powered industry in the early 1800s. However, plans are underway to re-introduce the Atlantic salmon runs. "New Hampshire" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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