Halfmoon Lake Association was founded to protect the interest of property owners through education and the continued monitoring of lake quality in order to enhance both property values and recreational opportunities.
Click the above image for Solar-Lunar calendars.
On the Alton-Barnstead line, Halfmoon Lake is a 280 acre natural body of water with a maximum depth of 29 feet, at an elevation of 640 feet. For lake facts, maps, and website credits click here.
Winnipesaukee Ice-In occurred Monday, February 13, according to David Emerson of Emerson Aircraft, who sets the Ice-In and Ice-Out dates. Last year the big lake iced over February 15. Halfmoon Ice-In, as previously reported, occurred December 10, 2016, much earlier than the previous winter January 5 ice-in. If you recall, the winter of 2015/16 was very mild.
New Year website additions:
Dropdown menus and Calendars - To aid navigation on the
main menu, we added dropdown features. Take a look at menu items Who
We Are and Photo Gallery.
In the left column, under Items of Interest, we added monthly calendars that give data for the rising and setting of the sun and moon, twilight time, and day length.
Each month is a PDF file printable through your browser or Adobe Acrobat. Try it out.
Halfmoon Ice-in and update on our
Loon Chick- With a cold snap and dead winds, Halfmoon
iced-over December 10, 2016, much earlier than last year's January 5
ice-in. Winnipesaukee's bays were reported iced-over but the
broads were wide open as of late December.
John Wheeler reported spotting our Halfmoon loon chick -- now, full sized -- in a small ice opening. Later, the loon was not sighted; hopefully, the chick flew to join its parents who migrated to the coast a few weeks earlier.
Annual Boat Parade held
Saturday, September 3, was a huge success with 20 boats
participating in a dazzling display of decorations with lights,
colors, and lots of noise. Special thanks to the LeBlanc family for
their lead boat with the Halloween theme. The response from the
shore was outstanding this year complete with bonfires, lights,
fireworks and even a dressed up Santa waving from a dock. And
the good news is our Halfmoon loon family also survived the ordeal.
Thanks to all for participating in this traditional Labor Day
weekend parade marking the unofficial ending to the summer season on
For many, this marks the end of the season. See you next year.
Anniversary Celebration and Annual
Meeting - The Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration was a huge
success with well over a hundred celebrants participating in
numerous events including a balloon toss, egg toss, four-way-tug of
war, kick ball, and the climbing wall. Lots of prizes were won and
gift certificates awarded. Congratulations to all winners.
A huge round of applause goes to the Mi-Te-Na Camp Staff for cooking up a delicious BBQ and bringing so much enthusiasm to the day. And a big thanks to all of you who attended and supported the Association.
For a detailed report on the anniversary celebration see Kate Brown's August Newsletter.
Reminder: We still have t-shirts and hats available for sale; $20 for each item. Keep in mind, these items could make a great gift. T-shirts come in two styles: blue with a loon graphic and sand with the HMLA logo. The hats are made of brush twill fabric with a mesh liner and adjustable strap; they are khaki in color with the HMLA logo. If you are interested, please contact Kate Brown at email@example.comThe second biannual meeting for 2016 and kick-off to the 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Halfmoon Lake Association was called to order Saturday, August 27 by President Bill Mannion with approximately 83 members signed in. Topics included the following: water test results (see Documents page), other quality issues, board elections (see below), milfoil update (spot milfoil in the western cove was removed), boat traffic and safety concerns, the status of Halfmoon's successful loon family, and the boat parade is to be held Sat., Sept 3.
Following the meeting the 50th Anniversary Celebration began with
an introduction by Chairperson, Clare Bolster, of the day’s
activities and a brief history by Bill Mannion of the Association’s
Many thanks to Matt Hanson, the director of Camp Mi-Te-Na, and his staff for graciously hosting the meeting and the anniversary celebration.
For details please see Minutes of the 50th August Meeting.
August Association Meeting and
Anniversary Celebration, Saturday, August 27 Update -
Attendance for the HMLA's 50th anniversary celebration now stands at
174 for this fun-filled event. The business meeting will start
promptly at 11 AM. The meeting's agenda is available
here. Anniversary chair Clair Bolster reminds members to
RSVP for the event to be held at Camp Mi-Te-Na. For the invitation
containing all the information and an RSVP, click
Loon Pictures of the First Family of Halfmoon Lake, comprising three pages, are available on the website's Photo Gallery, starting on Page 2.
Water report for June and July - The latest water quality report is available on the Documents page under Water Test Results. The samples are compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water Quality team operating under VLAP guidance.
Anniversary Celebration Update - Attendance for the HMLA's 50th anniversary celebration now stands at 42 adults and 18 children. Anniversary chair Clair Bolster reminds members to RSVP for the event to be held at Camp Mi-Te-Na. For the invitation containing all the information and an RSVP, click here.
Boaters take note: Loon family venturing far - As mentioned in a previous update, Halfmoon's loon family is venturing far, and now Association Vice President John Wheeler, who has been keeping a watchful eye on the family from the western shores, reports the family now crosses the lake at will. So, please boaters keep a watchful eye for the chick. John has also taken interesting closeup pictures, which are available here. Updated August 9.
Perseid reminder – Thursday evening astronomers expect an outburst of Perseid meteors! According to EarthSky, the prediction is for 200 meteors per hour seen on the peak night, August 11-12. That’s about double the usual rate. Click here.
Loon Family Explores - Weekend
Update - Our Halfmoon loon family now has explored the
western stretches of the lake with reports they reached Rt 28
shores. The surviving chick is diving reportedly up to a
minute and for underwater distances perhaps up to 100 feet.
Saturday, four loons paid a visit to the family; perhaps, the family
introduced the chick to the rest of the clan.
Safe space - Fortunately, the vast majority of boaters are giving the family plenty of space. However, we do have an occasional callus boater, and sometimes kayakers try to get close forcing them to move on. One close intrusion is not a problem but one per hour is. The biggest offender, though, is a paddle boarder who persists in getting up close. However, the last attempt sparked a parental response for the books!. The paddler approached the loon mother; and holy beegebeez, the loon attached the paddler who, shocked, beat a hasty retreat back to her shore all the while the loon aggressively followed the retreating enemy for at least 200 feet. Haven't seen that since the male loon attacked a muskrat months ago. Updated August 7.
Loon Update - The surviving chick is growing fast and exploring above and below Halfmoon waters. The chick was observed under water for almost a minute and by one estimate swam underwater for scores of feet emerging quite a distance. The family expanded their travels to most of the eastern half of the lake. We also have additional pictures of the family courtesy, again, to Ric Zaenglein of sportsimagez.com who has divided the gallery into three volumes. You can access the Gallery or the subdivisions, as follows: The Gallery at Halfmoon Lake Loon Family; which is divided into three volumes: Tubby Time for Jr; Swimming with Mom and Dad; and Loon Nesting on Halfmoon Lake (the original pictures). Updated August 2.
Perseid and Five Planets for August
– In the first few weeks of August, we can look forward
to the Perseid meteor shower, with regular rates of about 60 meteors
per hour with a possible "outburst" thrown in. The Perseid spectacle
will produce the greatest number of meteors on the night of August
11-12, and it’s those nights that we might see the Perseid outburst,
with perhaps 200 meteors per hour at the peak.
Also, the first few weeks of August feature five planets visible shortly after sunset. The lineup of planets, west to east, is Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. Click here.
loon Update: one of the two chicks
died: Sad to inform our lake community that one of
the two chicks, born just one week ago at our artificial nest, died;
crazy as it may sound, apparently from an exhausting encounter with
a clam. About 3 pm Saturday the loon family was observed about 300
feet off shore; all seemed normal. About 4 pm, a chick had drifted,
alone, into pickerel weed near shore. Observed for over an
hour through binoculars the chick seldom raised its head out of the
water. Whenever it managed briefly to raise its head something
appeared in its mouth -- perhaps a fish or a fishing lure? After
getting permission from the Loon Preservation biologist the chick
was approached by the observers in a rowboat where a clam was
observed clamped onto the chick's lower beak. After carefully
breaking open the clam the chick was freed; however, the chick
failed to recover and died less than two hours later. It is stored
in a freezer waiting pickup for analysis by a Loon Preservation
Earlier, Thursday and Friday the family was observed to regularly switch territory between Fernhill and Rustic Shores with no signs of impending trouble.
Anniversary Celebration - This is the big year! Halfmoon Lake Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary and planning a big celebration on Saturday, August 27th at Camp Mi-Te-Na from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. The Anniversary Committee chair Clair Bolster with members Kate Brown, Linda Bramante, and Nina Kelly have planned a day filled with fun activities for kids and adults including a kickball competition, balloon toss, three-legged and sack races, a four-way tug-of-war, and more. The YMCA camp is also making the basketball court and climbing tower available to us. They are graciously providing a barbeque. In addition, we will be asking people to bring a side dish. For the invitations with all the information and an RSVP request click here.
Loon update - Wednesday, our loon family departed Rustic Shores taking up residence about a thousand feet south of the Fernhill point. Whether this is permanent, we’ll see. Since the family has moved, association volunteers beached the two loon signs that had served to caution boater at Rustic Shores. Observers reported that while one parent would always remain with the chicks, the other loon fished at increasing distance from the family. Updates will be posted as needed. Click here for pictures. Updated July 27.
Loon update - Tuesday witnessed our loon family striking out on adventure. Now, both parents are diving for food to share with the vigorously growing chicks. Previously, one parent at a time dove for food while the other maintained guard. The chicks were also observed attempting to dive, quite comically. They would "dive" but only perhaps several inches for we could see tiny feet flapping just-above and just-below the water. The big development is the extended explorations. The family explored a good five-hundred feet beyond the shore and rounded the bend, easterly, and unfortunately out of sight. They remained out-of-sight for the rest of the day. After darkness, we did hear their calls within Rustic Shores, but we wonder whether the artificial nest has any further use to them. Click here for pictures. Updated July 26.
Loon update - Our loon family survived the busy weekend traffic, expanding their territory beyond the designated sign area, with both chicks seemingly okay. We observed the first-born pecking at its newborn sibling; however, that fatal activity fortunately seems to have ended. The noticeable size differential between the chicks, born over a two-day span, has evened out. As mentioned, they are wandering, perhaps, up to five-hundred feet from the sign designated area. chick here for pictures. Updated July 25.
Halfmoon Has Two Baby Loons. Congratulations Halfmoon Lake - we have two baby loon chicks, born over two days, July 22 and 23, on the man-made nest placed two months ago by your association, under the guidance of the Loon Preservation Committee. Please observe their space and respect the "Caution Loon Chick" signs. Please take a look at the wonderful pictures taken by Ric Zaenglein of the nesting Loons, chick here.
Nesting Loon Pictures - Ric Zaenglein, a recent visitor on our lake, shared with us fabulous pictures of our nesting loon whose chicks are expected any moment. Check out the loon's interaction with a belted kingfisher and a visiting turtle at http://www.sportsimagez.com/Loon-Nesting-on-Halfmoon-Lake/i-qQMQf7Z
2016 July Association Meeting - Despite threatening weather the 50th biannual meeting of the HMLA was held July 9 at the home of our President, Bill and Pat Mannion, Rustic Shores Road, Alton. Members heard several reports and updates including water quality, successful milfoil management, loon nesting, boat traffic, and the upcoming August anniversary celebration. Minutes will be posted to the website when available and found at Meeting Minutes. The August meeting and anniversary celebration is slated for August 27 at the WMCA camp - thank you Camp Mi-Te-Na.
Two Water Quality reports are
available: the VLAP and the Transparency reports - Both
reports are compiled from data collected by Halfmoon's Water
The 2015 VLAP report, which began using a different format last year, is found on our Documents page under Water Test Results. Also available at that location is a helpful guide on how to read the information in a VLAP report.
The Transparency report, called the Secchi Dip-In, provides a picture over time of the transparency quality of Halfmoon's water. The data is available at the Secchi Dip-In website. From the website, select View/ Enter Data, and sign in as a guest user. From the available pull-down selections enter US, NH, Belknap. From the Lake Name pull-down selection, select Halfmoon. If you wish a time chart, select the Graph or Fact Sheet label at the column headings.
Ice-out on Winnipesaukee, Friday, March 18 - This marks the earliest ice-out on the big lake, beating the old record for March 23 set in 2012. The latest date for ice-out ever recorded was in 1888, on May 12. Last year's ice-out was April 24. Ice-out on Lake Winnipesaukee usually happens during the third week of April. This early date also means that it is the first ice-out ever recorded during winter.
Springs early arrival - Ice-out on Halfmoon is official, Wednesday, March 16. For many residents winter barely got here; why, just a month ago Lake Winnipesaukee iced-over. Let's hope the early spring holds its promise. With the ice break up, which dramatically started this last weekend, the tempo of animal life picked up. One resident, while enjoying her morning coffee, observed in sequence: a pair of common mergansers, pair of wood ducks (chased twice by the muskrat), one muskrat, two bald eagles (from north to south), and a pileated woodpecker. As the ice dramatically retreated from the shore on Sunday, a muskrat and beaver made their seasonal debut. Halfmoon iced-over on January 5.
Frigid snap and Winnipesaukee
Ice-In: In spite of our mild winter, Jack Frost tossed us
a frigid snap with temperatures not seen for several seasons. Feb
14, Sunday, our household saw a minus-15.9 reading with gusts
howling at 25 mph. Winds eased up on Presidents' Day while
temperatures steadily climbed from minus-13 into the teens.
The cold snap and calming winds did its magic on Winnipesaukee where Ice-In arrived Monday morning, Feb 15, reportedly the second latest ice-over for the big lake. The mild winter of 2001 witnessed no official Ice-In on Winnipesaukee.
Halfmoon Lake, as previously mentioned, iced-over January 5.
Great Backyard Bird Count for 2016 runs from Feb 12 thru 15. Tens of thousands participated last year collecting data used by scientists to track the health of bird populations. For details click here.
Parade of planets from late January thru February, 2016 - All five bright planets will appear together in the morning sky from about Jan 20 to Feb 20. Jupiter rises first, in the evening hours, followed by Mars after midnight and then Saturn, Venus and Mercury. It?s been ten years since this planet parade appeared in the same sky together. Moreover, you can use the moon to help guide the planetary showcase from January 27 to Feb 6. For details click here
Winter finally arrived - Winter weather got here a few days after the official new year's arrival, and with the chilling temps Halfmoon iced-over on January 5. We'll see if it holds.
Winter of 2015 delayed & South Shore's Christmas Stroll - It is hard to believe how mild the temperatures are outside, more like early November than December. With such mild weather, it could be difficult to get into the holiday spirit, but the South Shore Drive folks had no trouble holding their annual Christmas Stroll where they go house-to-house caroling and visit for refreshments. It's a good time for all. A picture is available at the Photo Gallery.
Moose on the move: N.H. Fish and Game warns motorists to take extra care traveling at this time of year since moose in autumn are on the move looking for mates. In 2014, over 130 moose were killed by drivers in New Hampshire. For more info and moose facts click here.
Lunar eclipse expected Sunday, September 27. The total eclipse happens during this year's Harvest Moon. And some refer to this moon as a super moon, while other refer to a Blood Moon. Phew! Read about it at http://earthsky.org
Annual Boat Parade held Saturday, September 5, was a huge success with over 20 boats participating in a dazzling display of lights, colors and noise that many spectators on shore thought was the best ever. Jean and Fran LeBlanc?s lead boat set the evening?s standard with their glittering Christmas boat display. Many of the enthusiastic shore-watchers responded to the parade with their own flashing lights and noise makers. Thanks to all for participating in this traditional Labor Day weekend parade marking the unofficial ending to the summer season on our lake.
2015 HMLA August Meeting
was held August 23, at Camp Mi-Te-Na on Halfmoon Lake. With so much
loon activity reported on the lake this season, including the
placement of a man-made loon nest on Halfmoon, our guest speaker was
project-biologist Tiffany Grande from the Loon Preservation
The business meeting of the association followed the loon presentation.
For your convenience access the Dues Form here. The agenda is available here. Minutes of the meeting will soon be available.
Perseid Meteor Shower is at its peak on the mornings of August 12, 13 and 14. This year the waning crescent moon won?t be rising until shortly before sunrise, so it won?t interfere with the Perseid shower which ranks as a favorite. For details check out http://earthsky.org/tonight
July Meeting: The
49th biannual meeting of HMLA
was held Saturday, July 11, at 10 AM at the home of Bill and Pat
Mannion at 33 Rustic Shores Road. Ample parking was available above
the house on the left roadside. Additional details can be found in
Secretary Kate Brown?s newsletter, click
here. You can access the July
The meeting saw a good turnout and included visitors from the Locke Lake Colony. The HMLA board appreciates the members' support, and the meeting was an opportunity for many to meet their lake neighbors.
For your convenience access the Dues Form here. July minutes are available here; and, remember, you can access all association documents on the Documents page.
Please be sure to join us for the August meeting, scheduled for the 23rd at Camp Mi-Te-Na -- details are to follow.
Mike Fedorchak's award, June 6: At a recent NH Dept of Environmental Services workshop for VLAP members, Mike Fedorchak received the Volunteer Limnologist Award for his service to the lake community working for water quality. Here on Halfmoon, Mike and his team of Water Quality Officers, under the state's VLAP program, sample our lake's water three times over the summer season. Congratulation Mike on a job well done and a most deserving recognition. A picture is available at the Photo Gallery.
Lake hazard marker, June 1: The Marine Patrol, responding to concerns, moved and adjusted the lake marker located off Varney Shores Drive, west of Camp Mi-Te-Na. Over the years many props were ruined hitting rocks off that shore.
Locke Lake Social Club Invite, For June 14: The Locke Lakers Social Club will host a welcome home gathering at the beach for returning snowbirds, and the club extends a special invitation to the Halfmoon Lake Association to join in at 1 PM. Click here for their brochure.
Aluminum Boat Found, May 26: An aluminum row boat washed up in the brook next to Fernhill beach this spring. Someone may have thought it stolen because of the aluminum thefts reported last fall. Please see Lost 'n Found.
NH DES beach sampling, May 26: The 2015 state's beach sampling season started this week. Three Halfmoon beaches are scheduled for testing on June 19. Test results, usually available in a couple of days, can be found here. This state program harmonizes well with HMLA's own water quality testing, which is conducted under the state's VLAP program.
Free Fishing Day: Take advantage of New Hampshire's Free Fishing Day, coming Saturday, June 6. On Free Fishing Day, you can fish anywhere in New Hampshire - freshwater or saltwater - without a fishing license.
Loon Nest Update, May 20: It?s been two weeks since a man-made loon nest was positioned off Rustic Shores and Fernhill; and while we remain optimistic, the loons are not yet responding. A loon couple is sighted almost nightly near the nest; unfortunately, the rent-free housing remains empty. The last two evenings witnessed a beaver (or muskrat?) intent on swimming through the loons' resting area touching off quite a ruckus.
Locke Lake Social Club Invite: The club invites members of Halfmoon Lake to join their social club. This is the social club not the Locke Lake Colony Association. Dues per person, annually, are only $5. Click here for their brochure.
Man-made Loon Nest on Halfmoon: Loon Preservation Committee biologist, John Cooley, and HMLA Vice President, John Wheeler, maneuvered a nest to a hopeful location on May 5 off Rustic Shores and Fernhill. Within a few hours a loon couple reportedly check it out. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we'll be seeing chicks this season. If the loons are successful, of course, we'll all want to give them space. See pictures below and at the Photo Gallery.
Ice-out on Halfmoon arrived Monday, April 20, 2015, a bit later than last year's April 16 ice-out, and four days earlier than for Lake Winnipesaukee, which arrived on April 24 at 4:34 pm.
The July meeting was held Saturday, July 19, at the home of President Bill and Pat Mannion of Rustic Shores. July meeting minutes.
Water Quality Team: Geared up for the 2014 season, our Water Quality team continues to monitor our lake's water. VLAP test results for the 2013 summer are available: click here. Previous test results are on the Documents page.
Lake Milfoil Scouts: Debbie Fedorchak and Linda Bramante, our lake scouts, keep surveillance for invasive weeds. Last year marked the third summer season our scouts found no traces of milfoil.
View more pictures at the Photo Gallery.