THE NORTHEASTERN HIGHLANDS 314. Character and bounds.—One part of our Eastern Upland Region yet remains— the Northeastern Highlands. It lies north of the Mohawk Val ley and northwest of the New Eng 1 and -C anadian Maritime District.
How many states and provinces help to make it? What fertile valley cuts this region in two? All the mountains in this highland are very old, and their tops are worn down to a rounded form. The highest peaks of the White Mountains (Fig. 216) and of the Adirondacks have only grass and bare rock, for they are beyond the timber line, but most of the other mountains are forested to the tops.
While the glaciers were leveling the prairie country, they were picking up rocks on the mountains of New England and eastern Canada and scattering them everywhere. There is even a string of these rocks across Long Island, where the glacier left its termi nal moraine. By filling valleys with earth here and there the glacier made darns that held the water of the streams, thus turning valleys into lakes and swamps, and sending streams into new courses where they tumbled over rocky ledges. For this reason, the Northeastern Highland country of moun tains and hills and woods is also a land of lakes, swamps, rocky land, and waterfalls.
315. Climate.—The growing season in this region is only 110 to 140 days long. The winter is very cold. It is amazing how much colder the winter is in the Adirondacks or in upper New Hampshire than it is in New York City or Cape Cod. At New York it often rains and thaws in the winter months; in the Northeastern Highlands it is nearly always freezing, and almost every winter storm is snow. When snow is shoe-top deep in New York City, it may be knee-deep or waist-deep or even shoulder-deep ' in the woods of Maine and in the Adirondacks, and the ice on the rivers and lakes is often two or three feet thick. For weeks after people on Long Island can plant their gardens, snow still covers the ground 250 miles to the northward. Hence this region has few farms,
few towns, and few people. One sees why skiing is a great sport among the students of Dartmouth College at Hanover, New Hamp shire. (Fig. 258.) 316. Agriculture and lumbering.—There is very little agriculture in this district, except in a few spots. Not only is the growing sea son too short, but the land is too rough for farming. But it is a good country for grass. and Vermont has long been famous for its fine merino sheep, its horses, and its dairy farms. In the Aroostook Valley in north eastern Maine is a tract of sandy loam soil which is easy to cultivate. The cool, moist summer exactly suits the potato, and this section has become a famous potato region, sending seed potatoes to many states lying farther south.
Most of the Northeastern Highland district is a great forest. Even the farms are for the most part woodland, and many of them have large groves of maple trees from which sugar is made. The income of the people comes largely from forests, which furnish lumber, pulp wood, and paper. Each winter scores of lumber camps are built in the woods. There, men are busy chopping trees and hauling logs to the stream banks.
Each spring the streams carry logs out in all direc tions to the sawmills and papermills. Bangor and Augusta in Maine have many such mills busy with the logs that float down from the high lands. It is the same with towns in southern New Brunswick, and with towns on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the St. Lawrence River. Most of the towns within this region cluster around papermills, built at some place where a waterfall furnishes the power to grind spruce logs into the pulp from which news paper is made.
In the winter of 1919-1920 the snow was so deep in this region that trains could not reach the papermills for weeks at a time. Many newspapers in New York, Philadel phia, and other cities had to reduce their size because the papermill towns of New England and eastern Canada could not ship paper as usual.