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The general slope and drainage pattern is toward the south and southwest, though an almost imperceptible groundswell in the northeast forms a watershed between the St. The Wabash, the Ohio, and the east and west forks of the White River form part of the Mississippi basin. Joseph River meanders into Lake Michigan, while in the east the Maumee flows northeastward into Lake Erie.
The northern half of the state is dotted with many small glacial lakes, including several of the state’s largest.
Most of Indiana’s forests are secondary growth and contain a wide spectrum of trees, including various types of hickories, sycamores, maples, and oaks, which together offer a spectacular display of color in fall.
Flowering trees, such as tulip trees (; also called yellow poplars) and dogwoods, illuminate the forests in spring.
Its northern areas lie in the mainstream of the industrial belt that extends from Pennsylvania and New York to Illinois.
Agricultural activity is heaviest in the central region, which is situated in the Corn Belt, which stretches from Ohio to Nebraska.
Thus, Indiana’s population is to some extent black and Hispanic in the urban north and mostly white in the less industrialized south.
The more-eroded southern part of the state gives way to the central plain, an extremely fertile agricultural belt with large farms, and then to the mostly flat glacial lake basin and moraine (rocky glacial debris) region of northern Indiana.
In the early 19th century Indiana was almost entirely covered with the deciduous hardwood forests common to the eastern United States.
The nonforested portion of the state, primarily in the northwestern corner, consisted of grasslands—an extension into Indiana of the central Great Plains.
Indiana is home to many sorts of animals commonly found in the eastern United States.
Aside from white-tailed deer, the population of which has been revived largely as a result of government conservation efforts, smaller mammals such as opossums, skunks, raccoons, rabbits, moles, shrews, and bats are abundant throughout the state.
In addition, average daily temperatures are warmer in the fall and cooler in the spring (April through June) as a result of this “lake effect.” Indiana is part of a belt of Midwestern states with an unusually high frequency of severe storms.