This post is especially for Mrs. Dewey Smith, over at Our Plain and Simple Life, but if any other homeschoolers would like to use the information for their state studies, please feel free!
**Can you tell us anything unique about the animal kingdom in your state? (including aquatics, mammals, & insects)
Mammals: We are most known for our moose. We have signs all over our highways warning of moose. If you have an accident with a moose, because they are so tall, they can crush down on the top of your vehicle, or even worse, their legs can go through your windshield. In Pittsburgh, NH there is a road called Moose Alley. It is very popular for those willing to travel that far north (near the Canadian border). You will find moose walking through neighborhoods in the cities here, as well as in the rural areas, especially with the growth in the state (new homes, new roads, etc. that disturb their habitats). A good website for investigating the habits/size/etc of moose is: http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/wildlife_profiles.htm
You will also find profiles on other animals such as black bears, beavers and turkeys, which are plentiful here.
Insects: There are many here in NH, but the most talked about are “no-see ums”, black flies, mosquitoes, and ticks. “No-see ums” are annoying itty bitty bugs that come out at dusk, and seem to be in swarms. You could walk across the back yard, and all of a sudden, they are up your nose, in your eyes and flying everywhere. Here is a link for information on them:
Black flies come out in mid May, depending on when we get our warmer temperatures. They bite, they fly into the house, and are a huge annoyance. Anyone with horses usually has to put a cover over their horse’s head (it has a mesh like covering so they can still see and breathe) to protect them from black fly bites. Some people react to them worse than others, developing welts. Here is a link to them: http://www.ultimate.com/washington/wla/blackfly/
Now mosquitoes have become a real health issue in our state over the last 10 years or so due to West Nile Virus (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm) and EEE disease (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/Arbor/eeefact.htm). Because of this we have to take measures from the end of May until cold weather hits again. We cannot have standing water, and if we do, we have to get rid of it if possible. We also wear long sleeve shirts and long pants while out during dusk (this is when mosquitoes are heaviest), along with heavy doses of bug spray.
Ticks are every where in NH. The grass, the woods, everywhere. You can pick a tick up on your clothes and not even know it. I make my kids check themselves or I check them after playing outside, to make sure they do not have any on them. Deer ticks are the worst, as they spread Lyme disease (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/Lyme/)
Despite these insects and the diseases they carry, you rarely find anyone sitting inside during good weather!
Our state is most known for it’s fishing. Bass, rainbow trout, pickerel are all plentiful in our rivers, lakes and streams. We also have some good clamming on the coast, when Red Tide is not an issue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_tide). Red tide seems to happen more often when we have heavy rainfall in the spring or summer. We also have lobster, but it is not as large an industry as in Maine, because we have a much smaller coastline.
**What is the weather like? Does it change in different parts of your state?
Our weather is typical for the North East. We have four seasons (if we are lucky). Spring is usually warmer days (45-70 degrees). We tend to get a lot of rain in the spring, making what we call “muddy season”. A lot of this is caused because we are still getting the same storm front patterns as in the winter (off the Atlantic ocean mostly), but because of the warmer days, it comes as rain rather than snow or ice.
The summer is usually mild to begin with (June and early July), with temperatures from 65-80), and little humidity. Once mid July and August are here, we are usually very warm (80-95) with a great deal of humidity (sometimes 100%). This makes it very sticky, and makes it feel much hotter than it actually is. Although we don’t have a lot of large cities in our state (thus not as much pollution as other larger states), they still issue breathing advisories on days when it is very humid. This summer has been very odd for us. We have had massive amounts of rain, and very cool temperatures. Because of this, many people haven’t been able to have a very productive garden. I believe, and I may be mistaken, but we had rain for like 7 weeks straight at the beginning of the summer.
Fall is when we still experience warm days (70-80), but the nights become very cool. This week alone, we have dropped from about 60-70 at night, down to almost 40. It usually happens overnight (excuse the pun), or so it seems to us. This is when fall foliage starts, usually reaching it’s peak in mid - late October (here is a link: http://foliage.visitnh.gov.ns1www.silvertech.net/index-flash.html).
Winter can be hard here, especially the last few years. I have been in NH since I was 7 (1972), and we had really bad winters when I was a kid (lots of snow, ice, etc), but then for quite a few years we didn’t get hit nearly as hard. The past 3 years or so have seen it go back to the way it was when I was a kid. Many of our storms are caused by what is called a Nor’easter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nor%27easter). They tend to sit over us for several days, continually pulling in moisture from the Atlantic Ocean. Even as they are pulling away to Canada, we can see as much as another foot just from the tail of it. We NH-ites tend to laugh at people in states like TN, NC, VA and Washington DC, when they get ½ an inch of snow, and we see on the news that they shut down EVERYTHING. We drive in all weather. Our kids average about 5 snow days a year, that they have to make up at the end of the school year. Unless there is a massive Nor’easter coming in early in the day, and expected to get worse over the day, they go to school. The people that, in my opinion, cause the most accidents during the winter are “transplants”….people who have moved here from MA, CT, NY, RI, and NJ where snow is much less.
**What kind of severe weather do you get? (Tornadoes, hurricanes, etc).
Here is a great link to see what our worst weather is like. It was a special done by our local news station on the storms of the last 100 years. I am 43, so you will be able to tell which storms I have experience lol.
**What does your family like to eat? Do you have special ethnic/regional foods that are unique to your area/state?
We love regular food that most Americans eat, such as pasta, hamburgers, steak etc. My children eat seafood and fish (I dislike them horribly and get teased for it, living in New England my whole life - I was born in CT). In the summer everyone loves to eat fresh from the garden (tomatoes, potatoes, corn on the cob, various squashes, green beans, rhubarb (makes a good pie), and watermelon).
Seafood is huge here, and there are many restaurants that serve it. It is very big with the tourists (of which we have many…see the next question). We also have a lot of “mom and pop” style restaurants/diners. Places that will cook an old fashioned meal of things like meatloaf, lasagna, chicken, etc.
**What are some the top industries in your state?
Our largest industry has to be tourism, hands down. Every year we are getting more and more tourists, making it very hard, but also very profitable for the residents of the state. Where I live (Wakefield NH) is just before the Lakes Region and the White Mountains. We live right off the major highway (Spaulding Turnpike/Route 16) and locals don’t try to head NORTH on a Friday, or SOUTH on a Sunday, unless they can take back roads to get to their destination. People come year round to do lake activities, snowmobiling, skiing, hiking, “leaf peeping” (fall foliage), shopping (we have no sales tax in our state), and many other things.
Some of our main attractions are:
Mount Washington: http://www.mountwashington.org/
Laconia Bike Week: http://www.laconiamcweek.com/
Lake Winnipesaukee: http://www.winnipesaukee.com/
White Mountains: http://www.visitwhitemountains.com/
Some other industries are:
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard: http://www.ports.navy.mil/
(My father just retired from here after 30 yrs, I worked there at one time, most people I know did or do work there)
Two of the fastest growing industries are in Healthcare and IT (computer)
**What does your family like to do for fun in your state? Are their special hobbies for different seasons?
We personally love to do outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, and spending time with family (cookouts are a favorite with us, our family has a large one every 4th of July). My children have learned archery and gun safety with their father. While growing up, I helped do chores to raise all our own animals for meat, help take care of 3 gardens, and other various things. My family doesn’t run their farm anymore. Many farms in the state have gone out of business, or been sold out to developers over the last 20 years.
We also were introduced to Pow Wow’s a few years ago and absolutely LOVE them. Here are a few links:
**Is there anything special you'd like share with us about your state?
I think that our state is one of the best! Our state motto is “Live Free and Die” and we truly believe it, and live it. People here work hard, people in fairness, and dislike all the development that has happened over the last 30 years.
Anything else you can think of -- any special historical landmarks, scientific discoveries made there, some famous folk maybe we won't read about in the common press? Whatever makes your state something special to you :o)
Here are a few famous people from NH you might like to research:
Samuel P. Chase
Mary Baker Eddy
Sarah Josepha Hale
Mt. Washington has set a world record for the highest wind speed ever recorded at 231 mph.
Here is a great link for some famous “firsts” of NH
Strawberry Banke not only is of historical significance to the state, but also to my children as their father’s family helped found this area and lived here for generations:
As is the Isles of Shoals, first discovered by John Smith in 1614 as he traveled up the coast of the New World:
And it has quite the history!
I hope you enjoy what I have shared! Have fun!!