23rd State Maine
March 15, 1820

Capital: Augusta
Herb: Wintergreen
Tree: White Pine
Nickname: Pine Tree State
Animal: Moose
Insect: Honey Bee

Text and photos courtesy of Bev Sirois, Windsor ME


Hi, I am Amos the Moose.  My brothers and sisters are the official animals of Maine.  We are not sure why but it maybe because we usually stand about 6 feet tall at the shoulders (1.8 m).  That is not counting our antlers which can be 5ft wide (152 cm).  I am here to tell you a little about my beautiful state.  Did you know that on March 15, 1820, we became the 23rd state in the United States?  Of course I donít remember that, but I did hear it down at the school house.

Amos the Moose

Maine

Let me tell you about some things I do know.  Maine is 320 miles long and 210 miles wide.  There are about 17 million acres of forest.  I am fond of the forest but I some times wander into some of the 22 cities and 424 towns located here.

Wintergreen

Maine has all the things I like to eat and some I really donít care to even taste.  Our state herb is the wintergreen.  The Native Americans used that as a medicine for sore muscles and the early colonist used it to make tea.  It was a lot cheaper than the tea from England with all the taxes.  Now when I find that glossy green ground cover with the pretty red berries, I just chew on it because it tastes good.  You may have tasted it in candy, or gum or toothpaste.

In the summer, I eat water plants.  I am usually right where they grow in marshes and ponds.  I am there to avoid black flies and other pest.  Excuse me, I mean the insect type not the tourists that visit Maine every year.  I am not even talking about the honeybee which is Maineís insect.  They are not native but probably came over with the first colonists.

Blueberries

I also like eating blueberries.  The wild blueberries are ripe between July and early September.  Maine has the largest blueberry crop in the USA.  Why we produce almost 75 million pounds a year.  Maine has the 6th place position for growing potatoes but I donít like to dine on them.

Maine coast

In fact Maine has 3,500 miles (5,633 km) of coastline.  The beautiful blue Atlantic draws a lot of tourist but you wonít catch me chewing on a lobster or finfish or any of that shellfish.  They may trap 57 million pounds of lobster but I wonít even eat one claw.  You see I am a vegetarian.

Maine lobster

Being a vegetarian in Maine in the winter is not easy.  When the average temperature dips from 70F (21C) in the summer to 20F (-7C) in the winter and there is snow everywhere it is not easy to find plants to eat.  If you weigh about 1,400 pounds (635 kilos) like I do you know you need to find food.  I can easily navigate snowy conditions with my long legs but am still reduced to eating tree bark, leaves, twigs, and balsam fir.  I some times even munch on the cones from the White Pine which is our state tree.  They are about 4 to 8 inches long (10 - 20 cm) and have no prickles on their scales but they do have a gummy residue.

winter food

There is a lot to tell about the grand old State of Maine.  Even our state song written by Roger Vinton Snow says:

ď Oh,Pine Tree State,

Your woods, fields and hills

Your lakes,streams and rock bound coast

Will ever fill our hearts with trills,

And thoí we seek far and wide

Our search will be in vain,

To find a fairer spot on Earth

Than Maine! Maine! Maine! ď

Amos

Take a virtual trip through Maine by visiting our Postcard Exchange at http://imagiverse.org/activities/postcards/usa/united_states_postcards_alpha.htm

You can discover all sorts of interesting things about Maine and other states by looking in encyclopedias and books at your school or local library. There are also many wonderful sites on the Internet. Here are some of our favorites:

50States.com
USMint.gov
EnchantedLearning.com
OnlineConversion.com

Return to United States  More about Maine

 

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