Quality Of Life In The Lakes Region

Ice Out on Lake Winnipesaukee!

This should be the week! Temperature gauges are indicating that the water temperature in Lake Winnepesaukee, New Hampshire’s largest lake, is at 41 degrees F. This is typically the temperature at which the big lake is finally freed from its ice-bound prison.
Steve and Carol, like other Lakes Region residents, eagerly await “Ice-Out” as it signals the end of winter and the start of spring. It is also the unofficial start of boating season, and how everyone longs to be back on the water!  "Ice-Out" is official when the ice that has covered the lake since late December has melted enough so that the lake’s signature cruise ship, the M/S Mount Washington, can navigate between Alton Bay, Center Harbor, Weirs Beach, Meredith and Wolfeboro. It does not mean that the ship will get underway, just that it could if it wanted to. Ice-out means islanders can return to their cottages, and soon the summer people will head back to check on their camps.
The date for ice-out has been observed and recorded for more than 130 years. The earliest date for ice-out was March 23, 2012, and the latest was May 12, 1888. Initially, the ice-out date was noted by those on land, but in the 1980s it started being recorded by plane as local pilot Alan Emerson of Emerson Aviation did a fly-over. Since 2002 his son, Dave, has taken over the task. As signs of spring appear, Dave flies over the lake several times a day, checking the breakup of the ice at each of the lake’s main ports. When he makes the ice-out call, that means it is official!
There are several contests people can enter to see who guesses the ice-out date correctly. One is run by PSNH (now Eversource) and the other is posted at www.winnepesaukee.com, where you can also see daily photos of the ice.
Rumors are flying that this could be the week, and Steve and Carol, along with other lake fans, are hoping it’s true. It’s been a long winter and everyone is ready for that season to fade away. With the lake back to clear, blue water, summer is just a warm day away! We hope to see you at the lake!

It's Maple Sugaring Time in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

The snow may still lay deep here in the Lakes Region, but the maple sap is flowing, and the time for “sugaring off” has begun. For the next six weeks, the “sugar men” will work night and day to harvest “liquid gold” from the trees. To Steve and Carol, and all who live in northern New England, this is one of the true signs of spring.
In the old days, maple sugar farmers headed to the woods with teams of horses, and the sap was collected in buckets. With thousands of trees being tapped, this was back-breaking work.
Today, most large-scale sugar maple farms are networked into pipelines, with each tree’s taps connected into one overall system. Farmers then use a vacuum method to collect the sap. This process doesn’t pull the sap from the trees, but rather changes the pressure within the pipeline so that the sap flows more freely, even under colder conditions. From the pipelines, the sap goes through a reverse osmosis system, which streamlines the separation process. The reverse osmosis machine forces the sap, under pressure, through a series of membranes, which separate the water from the sugar--about 60 gallons of water are taken out at this time. From there, roughly eight gallons of sugar concentrate goes into the evaporator, where it is boiled down to make about one gallon of syrup.
Every night during the season, sugar houses are in full swing, working against the clock to boil down as much sap as possible and make room for the next batch flowing in. Most houses boil for about four to five hours every night--and this is after the farmers have spent a full day in the field. On average, it takes 40 gallons of sap for every gallon of syrup--a lot of labor for that one yield of sweetness.
While many farms now use oil-fired evaporators, a wood-fired one is still the tradition, and still found at a number of New Hampshire farms. Using a wood-fired evaporator takes a lot of wood, but keeps another aspect of the state’s “sugar season” heritage alive.
If you have not experienced it, Steve and Carol invite you to come to New Hampshire for Maple Sugar weekend, held this year on March 28th and 29th. During this weekend, sugar houses all over the state will be open. Visitors can see how the sugaring off is done, enjoy fresh maple syrup and other maple products (think cotton candy, soft serve and much more), savor farmer’s breakfasts, and at some farms, experience horse-drawn trips into the woods.  The “sweet season” is just another reason why we love to call the Lakes Region home.   

A Winter Wonderland in Wolfeboro New Hampshire

Yes, the calendar may say “March,” and spring is officially just a few weeks away, but here in the Lakes Region, with our abundant snow, winter is still here. This winter brought record snowfalls, and if you enjoy outdoor activities, there is no better place to enjoy them than here in Wolfeboro and Tuftonboro.
Miles of cross-country ski trails take you through the woods and around the lakes and ponds. Snowshoers also find plenty of acreage to explore and both activities are a great way to get the family outdoors and exercising in the clean, fresh air. 
Wildlife is everywhere, and it is not unusual to see deer, snowshoe hares or even a fox. Look for tracks in the snow that reveal other woodland residents such as mice, squirrels and bobcats. Songbirds have not yet returned, but a flash of red or vivid blue means that cardinals and blue jays are about, as well as flocks of chickadees, sparrows, titmice and other birds. Wheeling about in the dazzling blue of a winter sky are hawks and even an eagle may be sighted.
Cold temperatures have kept lakes and ponds safe for skating and ice fishing, and everyone is heading to local hills for old-fashioned sledding and tobogganing. It’s great to be a kid--or kid at heart--in winter!
Downhill skiers enjoy Abenaki Ski Area, our own ski slope right in the heart of Wolfeboro (see February 26th blog), which draws families from far and near for both daytime and nighttime fun.
Steve and Carol think March is the perfect month to enjoy our local “winter wonderland” as temperatures have started to moderate, with days more comfortable in the thirties and even forties (here and there). The sun is higher and days are longer, so it is even possible to ski in just a heavy wool sweater or fleece, thereby enjoying the best of snow and sun at the same time!
We will be among the first to welcome spring, but until then, we are happy to enjoy our Winter Wonderland here in the Lakes Region.

Abenaki Ski Area - "The Most Important Ski Area in America" and A Community Jewel for Wolfeboro NH

If there is one place that sums up the unique community spirit of Wolfeboro, it is Abenaki Ski Area. Generations of children have learned to ski at this small, family-oriented ski slope, which first opened in 1936. In fact, Powder magazine, a leading magazine of the skiing world, sees Abenaki as “The Most Important Ski Area in America.” According to Powder, small, town-owned ski areas such as Mt. Abenaki play a vital role as they not only attract people to skiing they help sustain their love of the sport. Affordable and local, small-town slopes such as Abenaki provide that special fun and nurturing environment that forges memories and encourages long-term relationships with the ski area and skiing.
On any given weekend, it’s easy to see memories are being made. Children barely knee-high grab onto the rope tow; teenagers zip off the jumps, while parents glide gracefully down the trails. Hot chocolate and cheeseburgers are being wolfed down and it seems like everyone is smiling. Just looking at the scene makes you happy.
In the beginning,Abenaki was owned by the Hershey family who generously allowed trails to be cut, a lodge to be built and a rope tow to be installed. The Abenaki Outing Club added lights and soon people were flocking to winter carnivals and night skiing at the mountain.
As time passed, the ski area continued to grow, adding trails and ski jumps. Local high school ski teams started training here; kids eagerly headed to Abenaki to ski after school, and families poured onto the slopes every weekend. The Hershey family sold Mt. Abenaki to the town in the late 1960s and for the next decade or so the happy times continued.
However, by 2000, Abenaki was in trouble. Lean snow years had taken a toll on usage and revenue; ski equipment was aging and falling into disrepair. Some town officials wondered if the area was still viable. Fortunately, when word of Mt. Abenaki’s situation got out, the townsfolk rallied--in a big way! The Friends of Abenaki formed and money was raised to restore the ski area to its former glory. A new rope tow was added, snow grooming equipment purchased, and most exciting, portable snow-making equipment was bought in 2006. Today, more skiers than ever ride the slopes of Abenak.
The ski area entered its 79th season in December of 2014, making it currently the oldest small ski area in the United States! I am thrilled to report that the last 10 seasons have seen incredible growth, and in fact, Abenaki has seen a record INCREASE in skier visits--one of the few ski areas in New Hampshire to do so.
The Friends of Abenaki are now raising funds for a new ski lodge and hope to see that completed this year.At this year's town meeting the voters of Wolfeboro are being asked to approve Article 8 to help replace the 75 year old lodge at the ski area. Private donations will be $350,000 with the town being asked for $250,000.
Steve and Carol are proud to have supported Mt. Abenaki through Maxfield Real Estate’s “We Care Program” and look forward to seeing many more children and families heading to the slopes for years to come. 

We Care: How Steve and Carol Bush, Realtors at Maxfield Real Estate give back to Lakes Region Nonprofit Orginizations

            We believe it is important to play an active role in helping the people and organizations in the region we call "home." This is why we are actively involved in Maxfield Real Estate's "We Care Program."
            Established in 1999, the We Care Program was meant to be a one-year charitable program in honor of Maxfield Real Estate's 45th year in business. The program was created as a way of giving back to the local community. A percentage of each commission dollar would be donated to non-profit organizations located within the company's service area. However, the funds raised by that one-year effort became such a significant force for good that the We Care Program has remained a vital part of the company.
            We have personally seen how these contributions have enriched and improved the quality of life for area residents. Maxfield Real Estate has three offices, in Alton, Center Harbor and Wolfeboro, and we have found it very rewarding to see how these donations have made a difference in each town.
            The We Care Program is a way for Maxfield Real Estate to express gratitude to the people who use our real estate company. By aiding local nonprofits, we have helped a diverse and vital group of organizations, including the Appalachian Mountain Teen Project, the Central New Hampshire VNA Hospice, the Friends of Abenaki Ski Area, the Great Waters Music Festival, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, the Lake Wentworth Foundation, the Lakes Region Humane Society, Life Ministries Food Pantry, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance and many others.
            Upon closing the purchase or sale of your home, we will happily donate to the local charity of your choosing. To date, the We Care Program has raised over $718,000 for more than 275 local charities. In the last three years, we are pleased to announce that Steve and Carol have donated more than $14,000 on behalf of our clients.
            We are proud to be part of the We Care Program! --Steve and Carol Bush

Great Waters Music Festival 2012 Concert Series

Having had the privilege to serve on the Great Waters Music Festival program committee, I can now say with great pride that this wonderful group of people have put together an exciting package of musical concerts coming to the Wolfeboro area starting on July 6th. Back by popular demand is Neil Berg's 101 Years of Broadway on July 6th.
Listen to the hits of Broadway in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire on July 6th

July 6th at Great Waters Music Festival 101 Years of Broadway with Neil Berg

If you saw Neil Berg during last season's concert series you will know what I'm talking about. The biggest moments of 101 Years of Broadway will be brought to the New Kingwood Regional High School auditorium, and will feature shows like Fiddler on the Roof, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and so many more. On July 13th, Great Waters Music Festival presents a free community concert, but you must get a ticket as there is limited seating, to the United States Coast Guard Dixieland Jazz Band. Once again Great Waters hosts one of our country's finest armed forces ensembles in an evening of wonderful music. The Great Waters Music Festival Chorus and Orchestra perform on August 4th. This concert will be directed by Christopher Shepard and will feature a professional orchestra supporting a chorus of exquisite voices. If you love choral music than you will not want to miss this musical event.
Andy Cooney comes to Great Waters Music Festival on August 10th.

July 6th at Great Waters Music Festival 101 Years of Broadway with Neil Berg

August 10th features an evening with Andy Cooney, "Irish America's Favorite Son". With success throughout the country but more recently with a sold-out performance at New York's Carnegie Hall, Andy Cooney will entertain and sing his way into your hearts whether you're Irish or not. The Masters of Motown bring their celebration of the Motor City to our town on August 17th. Both male and female groups backed by a live band will recreate the sounds of the groups we all remember fondly; The Supremes, Four Tops, Temptations and so many more. This is a show not to be missed.
Masters of Motown at Great Waters Music Festival on August 17th

July 6th at Great Waters Music Festival 101 Years of Broadway with Neil Berg

Manhattan Transfer at Great Waters Music Festival on August 24th.

July 6th at Great Waters Music Festival 101 Years of Broadway with Neil Berg

We end our concert season in the most exciting way with The Manhattan Transfer on August 24th. This Grammy Award winning group came to Wolfeboro and Great Waters six years ago and the concert was sold out. They will be backed by a fantastic band and will cover the musical genres of pop, jazz, Broadway and so much more. Lastly it is such a treat to live in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, especially in the summer months, when dedicated individuals such as those of the Great Waters Music Festival work hard to bring quality music to share with those who love coming here and living here. If you would like more information on tickets, click HERE. If you would like more information on the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, click HERE to contact Steve or Carol Bush at Maxfield Real Estate.

Wild Turkeys in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

Here in Tuftonboro where we live, my daughter snapped a couple of pictures of wild turkeys running across the road.
Flock of Eastern Wild Turkeys in Tuftonboro New Hampshire

The Week Before Thanksgiving These Turkeys are on the Run!

It made me think of when I was younger, growing up in New Hampshire, I never saw turkeys unless they were in the grocers case. So when and where were they introduced back into our state? New Hampshire Fish and Game has an excellent site detailing the facts on the Eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Wildlife/Wildlife_profiles/profile_wild_turkey.htm Ill share with you a few facts from their site:
  1. Wild turkeys disappeared from New Hampshire approximately 150 years ago due to hunting and habitat destruction.
  2. They were successfully reintroduced in 1975 and today the population is around 25,000 birds.
  3. The males are called toms and the females are hens.
  4. They are extremely social and tend to live in flocks.
  5. They arent territorial birds and often travel within a 4-5 mile radius during the year.
  6. The major predators are fox, coyote and fisher cats.
Moist Turkey and Easy to Catch!

The Week Before Thanksgiving These Turkeys are on the Run!

It is not unusual to see these large birds along the side of Lakes Region roads picking up pieces of grit to use in the process of digesting seeds and berries in their gullet. There have been more than a few times that I have had to wait while these unusual looking birds take their time crossing a major road. I have never eaten a wild turkey, but I have heard that the meat is tougher than a domestically raised turkey. I guess Ill stick with a Butterball on Thanksgiving Day. I have witnessed wild turkeys roosting in my pine trees, and when spooked they make a racket taking flight, with twigs breaking and the beating of wings - it is truly an amazing sound and sight. If you would like to learn more about the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, contact Steve and Carol Bush, Realtors, and let them share their love for this beautiful area of the world.

I Would Like to Thank the Inter-Lakes School District and Especially My Music Students

I just retired on Friday, June 24th from twenty-eight years of teaching music, sixteen of those years at Inter-Lakes Jr./Sr. High School in Meredith, New Hampshire. As I head into real estate full-time, after the last five years as a part-time Realtor in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, I want to send a huge thank you to all the students who have been members of my bands and music classes over the years. The reason I enjoyed what I did so immensely and seemed to stay young was because every day they brought with them an exhilaration to the music room that was infectious.

Inter-Lakes High School Band in Performance

An Award Winning Performance of the Inter-Lakes High School Concert Band

It was their love of making music, quality music, not only in the band, jazz ensemble, and chorus but in the guitar class or the 8th grade electronic digital music workstation class that was the reason my wife Carol would say to me over the years, Ive never ever heard you complain about going to work. It was one of the high points of my life working with these amazing students in 7th - 12th grade. They allowed me to go out on a high note. Both my Inter-Lakes High School Band and Jazz Ensemble scored superior ratings at the Hershey in the Park Music Festival on June 4th. They were spectacular!
Inter-Lakes High School Band and Jazz Ensemble

An Award Winning Performance of the Inter-Lakes High School Concert Band

If there was ever a testament to the importance that the role of music plays in the public schools and how it contributes in immense ways to the education of our young people, than what the students who shared their love and dedication to what music could mean to them in their lives did on June 4th was truly an experience for me to behold and treasure the rest of my life. In closing I thank the Inter-Lakes students, administrators, schoolboard, and parents for all you done for and given me over these last sixcteen years of my life. You have contributed to me in so many ways and I have been blessed to have been allowed to be a part of your lives.
2010-2011 Inter-Lakes High School Band, Meredith, New Hampshire

An Award Winning Performance of the Inter-Lakes High School Concert Band


  1. what teams are in the world cup 2014 on

    KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany (June 17, 2006) – In one of the all-time nice performances in U.S. Soccer historical past, the U.S. performed with nine males for 43 minutes to tie Italy, 1-1, in their second match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup with a gutsy performance and spectacular saves from Kasey Keller. Despaigne leads off the ninth with a deep fly in the hole between left and center fielder, but Kalian Sams will get there pretty easily to make the out. Gourriel turns into the potential tying run when he hits safely to right. The night world cup brazil qualifications is over for Sulbaran and veteran right hander David Bergman takes the mound. Bergman gets immediately the second out on a fly ball to center by Abreu but Cuba's captain Michel Enriquez pushes the potential tying run to second with a base hit to left.

    What does New Hampshire Public Radio and Car Talk have to do with Us as Realtors?

    We have been proud sponsors of Car Talk on New Hampshire Public Radio  since late 2010. We were thinking How do we support a station we love, a program that is unmatched for entertainment, and gets our message out of who we are as Realtors?

    Image used with permission of Doug Berman "Esteemed Producer" of Car Talk

    Whether it is Stump the Chump or the Puzzler, there is a full hour of tremendous banter between the hosts, Tom and Ray Magliozzi who are affectionately known as Click and Clack Tappet Brothers.  Tom and Ray have been on the air since 1977 when Car Talk was first broadcast on WBUR out of Boston, Massachussetts. National Public Radio reports that over four million listeners tune in each weekend and thousands in New Hampshire listen to the program on New Hampshire Public Radio. Tom and Ray have become true folk legends in the radio world. We can attest to the awareness we have received as Realtors because of being proud sponsors of Car Talk on NHPR. There isnt a week that goes by that one of us hears, Hey I heard your ad on Car Talk, or I appreciate that you support public radio or the show Car Talk. That type of acknowledgement really makes us feel good about where we put our marketing money. So if you havent heard Car Talk yet or if you have heard it but not for awhile, do yourself the favor of an hour of the most fun youll have all week and tune it in on NHPR on Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM., and remember if you like Car Talk and live in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, we would love to work with you when you get ready to buy or sell real estate.
    New Hampshire Public Radio 89.1 FM

    Image used with permission of Doug Berman "Esteemed Producer" of Car Talk

    Classical Music WNNH 99.1 Comes to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

    WNNH 99.1 FM Classical Music for the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

    WNNH 99.1 FM Classical Music for the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

    WBACH, Maines Classical Network has brought classical music back to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire at WNNH 99.1 FM with a transmitter in Meredith, New Hampshire. The sounds of Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms, Copeland and of course Bach are just a few of the wonderful composers whose musical gems now bless our ears and enrich our lives.

    WNNH 99.1 FM Classical Music for the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

    Not since classical music was discontinued on New Hampshire Public Radio close to fifteen years ago has there been such beautiful music being heard throughout the Lakes Region, unless you listened through Sirius Satellite radio or internet radio. It was very difficult or spotty at best to dial in any music of this genre. One could occasionally get a bit of WBACH on 104.7 FM in Kennebunk, Maine, but that was as I mentioned difficult to receive depending on where you were around Lake Winnipesaukee. I thank the directors of WBACH for moving west, seeing an opportunity, and now providing so many of us with the gift of beautiful and timeless music. Living here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire has always been spectacular, but it has just gotten even more special!
    The culmination of the Classical Period of Music was with Beethoven's music

    WNNH 99.1 FM Classical Music for the Lakes Region of New Hampshire


    1. Burdett Adams on

      Just stumbled onto the WBACH station in Meredith...very appreciative!!!
      • Charlotte Cox on

        Hurray for you, for bringing classical music to NH!!! I never saw it advertised, it just appeared like a miracle one day when I was scrolling through radio stations hoping I could pick up Boston. WBACH has a marvelous mix of classical pieces, much more variety than I have on CDs, and I feel like I've just discovered paradise. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for recognizing that the Lakes Region has listeners who will appreciate this!!!
        • Steve Bush on

          Yes Charlotte it is the best music in the world!
          • Steve Bush on

            Hi Burdett, One can't beat the best music ever created!
            • Jim Moore on

              It is great to have classical music in the New London area with a good signal ! local stations in this area have interfered with the Boston area and Vermont broadcasts and WBACH comes in very well. Keep it up. We also like the news from southeast Maine, and I have skied and hiked as an Appalachian Mountain Club member and shopped in LL Bean and other places in Maine, I also had ancestors in early Norridgewock. Jim Moore 348 Shaker St. New London, NH
              • richard theberge on

                I still am crushed not getting my Bach on 104.7 I still dont know what happen. But now i get it a little 99.1 I listen to this (Bach) for years I hope this will get to southern N.H
                • Steve Bush on

                  Hi Richard, as i understand it the company filed for bankruptcy and has been downsized. It's very sad.