Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Drip, drip, drip...

How's it going down there?

David stands by  (kneels by?) as the hander-down-of-tools, provider-of-hot-water, fetcher-of-different-shovels and general go-fer.

Down below -- considerably down below -- Brian was coming to grips with the leak in our water system.

We knew it was out there -- somewhere. The running pump and ratcheting up hydro bills told us that.  Problem was finding it.  One would think that the amount of water that was leaking would have caused a wet spot on the lawn, but one would think wrong.  It evidently vanished into an underground aquifer and we were left searching.

Brian has been trying to track it down for a while now.  Another hole came up dry...  But he hit paydirt with this one, which began to fill with water before he even got through the frost.

The hole had to sit for a while, both to dry out and to thaw out. Today the ground was amenable to the work continuing.

It was a tiny little hole, when it was tracked to its lair. Who would have thought it could cause such issues?

It's a good look at how far down we have to bury the water lines to keep them from freezing when the frost drives into the ground come winter.

Thankfully, it is now all fixed!

Getting your Goose

This is the Before picture.  Taffy was pretty sure she could get closer to the geese, given that they are in the middle of mating displays, and not really paying attention.

There were two ganders vying for the affection of the goose, so there was some pushing and shoving going on. Some beating of wings and posturing.

Taffy thought she saw her chance...

This is the AFTER picture.  Apparently, the water isn't quite as solid as the ice was. Apparently, she discovered, if you hop off the dock, you just keep going.

Mind you, so do the geese... so, since the mission is to discourage the geese from settling in on the docks and lawns, I think it perhaps could be considered a tie.

Green as a Verb

We don't use colours as verbs, on the whole. We don't talk about the sky 'blueing' in the morning...  or 'blacking' as night falls.

We rarely say the clothes in the wash are 'whiting'.  I suppose we do say a bruise is 'purpling', but it's not really correct...

But green. Well, green wins the colour stakes. It is a verb.  The land is greening. Spring is greening the hills and lawns.

It happens fast.  So very recently we were still under snow, the grass where it showed was gray and dull.

Then, a few hot days, and the whole place is greening up nicely, thanks very much.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Wedding Crashers

Never mind the early start... we had our hats, our bling, (our black out glasses, in case of pesky papparazzi), champagne, clotted cream for the scones, a large pot of tea (Red Rose... only in Canada!)  and our p.j.'s.

We had a blast watching the Royal Wedding.  Of course, Napster was there too. He and Jackie were able to compare letters from the palace -- hers a letter sent to her father from Buckingham Palace, his, of course, his thank you from St. James Palace from Kate and Will.

Jackie held strong to Canadian tradition, sporting her fur trimmed winter boots.  Ginny brought the program...  (and the champagne!)  We all brought pajamas...

Fun is where you find it, and what you make of it.  And nobody, but nobody, does tradition and pageantry better than our Royals!

I somehow doubt we'll all be getting up at 4 a.m. for Election morning...

Muskoka! We're Number One. The National Geographic Says So.

National Geographpic Travel editors hand-picked ten top trips, for out-of-the-ordinary destinations for your summer vacations.

Close to Toronto (which is good, given the price of fuel -- we're still affordable to reach!) and yet a world away from the city, offering an unplugged pace and what they describe as simple summer pleasures. They also mention the Algonquin Park Wolf Howls, a world famous attraction that takes place (wolves and weather permitting) on Thursdays in August.

Or on our lawn, right here at Bondi, if our resident wolf pack is in the area.

Muskoka offers something for everyone, from zip-lining, extreme mountain biking, horseback riding, boutique shopping, antique stores to some of the finest scenery, trails and wilderness in the world.  Cruise the lakes, or just pick up stakes and wander through the little towns of cottage country, coming home at night to comfortable cottages on the edge of Lake of Bays, one of the jewels of Muskoka, and the closest to Algonquin Park.  Discover our history, our artists, our attractions and our great outdoors.  Muskoka has the best backyard.

Cranberries at Bala, the UNESCO Dark Skies reserve at the Torrance Barrens, Algonquin Park, Arrowhead Park, the Haliburton Forest Reserve Sky Walk and Wolf Centre, HMS Segwun (repeatedly rated as one of Canada's top attractions) and so much more are all within an hour's drive.

Be as active or as laid-back as you choose to be. Play on our 2000' of beachfront, canoe, kayak, waterski, hike, bird and wildlife watch...  roast marshmallows at the campfire, pick berries, and rediscover how wonderful the world is that is just waiting for you to come on over.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cheering a Wedding, Picking a Leader...

Good luck if you can take the pace.

What with the Royal Wedding Friday morning we'll all be sleep deprived for the weekend. Yes, coverage starts at 2 a.m., but the ceremony doesn't roll down the aisle until 6 a.m., so we're thinking to split the difference and get up at 5... (there will be tea, sherry, and cucumber sandwiches available, if you care to drop by and join Napster. He'll show you his letter from the palace)  Hats, gloves, and pajamas seem to be the dress code...

Then, bright and early Monday, it's off to the polls.  VOTE!  It would seem, according to the media, that not enough of us do.  That needs to change.  Why should 22% or so of the population elect a goverment that is going to be in charge of 100% of us?  Get out there, do a little research, take the CBC VoteCompass survey, whatever, but make a decision for yourself, and go put down your X. (this is the one Napster painted for the Municipal election campaign last autumn)

Lawns and roadsides have blossomed not with spring flowers but with campaign signs, which causes us to wonder, really, how the NDP settled on orange as their party colour.  Oceans of blue, fields of red, spots of green... and it looks like a Dutch soccer match out there in some places.  But orange is not an easy colour either to wear, or to rhyme...

Harper claims Tory blue is tried and true
Ignatieff insists Liberal red is the way ahead
May's planet-saving green is not often enough seen...
Duceppe's hunkered down with a fleur de lis frown

 the only thing, Jack, that rhymes with Orange is door hinge...

Don't despair, however. If you are really, truly stuck on making the big decision, you can always get advice from the racing chickens of Bondi Village.  Our clam race help predict the outcome of the American Election, with Barak OCLAMA clearly outrunning the competition.  Up at the barn, Michael EGGnatieff; StepHEN Harper; Jack LAYINGton, Jacques Du-POULETTE; and Elizabeth OMAYLETTE are all just raring to go...

Some days, listening to the attack ads and the  rhetoric, the chicken race seems like quite a viable option...

Rain in, Ice Out

It's official. The ice is out of Bondi Bay.

We got a whacking big thunderstorm yesterday in the early evening that just dropped water, and that was it for the remaining ice crystals.

Our friend Gloria sent us some photos she got after the storm, along the south shore of Lake of Bays.

And oh, yes, tht hint of pink in the sky? Well, it was raining this morning, but there were already glimpses of sunshine while I was out for my hike.  As Paul always said, "Rain before seven, clear before eleven."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Napster is over the moon.  He received a letter today, on the letterhead of St. James Palace.  It was a thank you for the print he sent to the Royal Couple, on the occasion of their marriage.

He has posted all about it on his Blog, so we won't copy it here, except to say that he is currently curled up on his blanket, purring, with one paw draped over the letter. 

The letter thanks him "most sincerely for the delightful print."

His burgeoning career as an artist has been quite a ride for Napster, and now, with this Royal boost, looks to be on track for yet more adventures.

Ice begone, woebegone

The ice moved out of our Bondi Bay this morning, under drizzly gray skies.  It is still lurking out by the Points, and around the Island.

But open water is open water, and has its own siren call.  Thanks to the careful work the lads did putting away the outboard motor in the fall, it started on the second pull. Maintenance does matter!

Then it was 'all aboard' for a scoot around the bay and out to check out the ice. Brian reports there is still about 3" of crystalline ice out there. If it keeps raining tonight, however, it will reduce it. It's lost its grip on the lake, now. The water is back.

It didn't seem to matter to Brian and David that it was raining. After all, that is what raingear is for.  Achmed, however, had valiantly come to join us at the dock to watch the boat set off.  He was less impressed by the rain drops, and made his opinion known.
He is nothing if not enterprising, however, and soon found a dry refuge. As did Brian and David, who really only wanted to get the boat into the water, check the motor, take a quick peek about, and get on home into the dry for dinner.  In that, they and the cat were of one mind.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Reflections on the Season

A sunrise walk along the shoreline netted some impressive reflections, and this bright splash of colour at the main dock.

The ice is almost out. It keeps shifting now -- pushed into both corners of the bay, sliding closer to shore and joining up in the middle, drifting back towards the island and splitting into sections again.  If we do get the rain, the ice will be gone, snap, just like that.

This shot, looking along the shore beyond Springside, was ice free in the morning, piled full of ice by afternoon and clear again by evening.  It's fascinating to watch the ice move.

I liked the reflections made by the old willow in front of my house.

And I liked the sun, peeking over the hill behind Anchor cottage, and the reflections that came with that, as well.  For most of the day, the lake surface was a mirror.  Beautiful.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


What a beautiful hot spring day today presented us with.  As you can see, the ice has shifted in the bay, moving off into both corners.  It is very dark now, the ice -- that's the prelude to it simply vanishing back into the water.  If we don't get any wind, it could just leave without causing any damage to docks.

Lovely to see the clouds reflecting in open water again! It has been a long winter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pure Joy and just a Bit of Mud

I hiked to the Lookout today.
There is still snow on the northern slopes.  The creeks are running. There was a pair of mallard ducks in the small pond part way up.

And there was Taffy, having the time of her life.  She is putting paid to the image of the poodle as the overly groomed creature of the show ring, and doing her bit to restore the working dog (bird dog, retriever, water dog) image.
This was her first trip up the mountain lookout trail, and there was so much to explore. 

Every creek, every puddle, every fallen tree and outcrop of rocks required undivided attention.  The roots of fallen trees, tipped up to create small ponds and hollows all needed exploration.

As always, the view is well worth the hike.  The ice is starting to shift away from the shore. The hills are beginning to hint at the greens of summer to come. The moss is startlingly bright green.And the dog was one happy, muddy, tired pup when we came home.

Fightin' Fillies

Reba, the inspiration

People are very creative when it comes to fund-raising.  Our good friend Christina Handley is team captain of a team called The Fightin Fillies, registered with The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life.

Motivated by her own battle with cancer, Christina raises money for the Cancer Society and the fight for other Cancer Survivors. (A Cancer Survivor is described as an individual living with Cancer from the time of diagnosis. The definition has been expanded to further include family, friends and voluntary caregivers who are affected by the diagnosis in any way -- and given that scope, we are ALL cancer survivors, since it's the rate person now who's life has not been touched by this disease.)

Thanks to all the people who took up this fight in the past, Christina received the best care and treatment possible. Her Cancer was an extremely rare gynecological Cancer, approximately 1 in 1,000,000 women get it. If it weren't for the people that took up this fight before her, she might not be here today.

Christina's barn, Burnt River, Ont.
 The Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life is an overnight non-competitive relay that celebrates cancer survivors and pays tribute to the lives of loved ones. It involves teams of 10 people who take turns walking, running or strolling around a track to raise money to support the work of the Canadian Cancer Society. It's a night of fun, friendship and fund raising to beat cancer. Every step  raises money to help the Canadian Cancer Society save lives.

Nobody captures the joy of being a calf like
Christina!!! I adore this photo.

Funds raised through Relay For Life make a difference. They help the Canadian Cancer Society fund the most promising research projects in the country, provide information services and support programs in the community and advocate for public policies that prevent cancer and help those living with it.
The Fightin' Fillies team takes its name from one of Christina's lovely Belgian horses, Reba. Reba fought her own valiant battle with cancer, but lost. Yes, animals get this disease as well...  Reba passed away exactly one year before Christina got her own unwelcome diagnosis.

Patty Paws waking up...

You can support Christina's relay team.  Visit The Fightin' Fillies page then click the blue button to "Support The Fightin' Fillies" in this event. Online pledging is secure and it saves the Cancer Society money by reducing administrative costs.

The Fillies'  goal is to be the team that raises the most money for this worthwhile cause. Will you help us? No amount is too big, or too small.

While you're over checking out the website, be sure to check out Christina's latest project:  A Photo a Day for 2011.  A professional photographer for over 15 years specializing in nature, animals and agriculture, she has an incredible eye for a photograph.  Based on these photos she sent along to me to post, I'm sure you'll agree!  Photos she has taken of our Fox Point Farm horses have been on the covers of several magazines over the years.

If you're on Facebook, you can check out the photos from this challenge. 

More Birds, and Another Moose

Today a trio of flickers were on the front lawn.  Hiking up the mountain, I heard a hawk call.

Mike Baum, a friend from Dorset, kindly let me borrow some of his pictures from that 'neck of the woods.'

The mergansers haven't found their way into our bay (the loons are here though!), but they are striking backlit against the melting ice.  This is the only time of year we see the male merganser in his 'dress whites', and very very fancy he is indeed.

And yes, the ice IS melting, starting to shift and crumple along the shore.  The long needles of ice rustle together in the wind, sounding like eerie but lovely windchimes.  Friends stopped to chat with me as I returned with Taffy from her hike today, and they tell me the ice is off the channel along the back of Bigwin Island.  Spring IS gaining ground. Take heart.

The young moose was just happy to be out of winter's grip.  The trees are all in bud, giving just a faint green haze to the bush. Leaf-out is still a few weeks away.  I just think this is a gorgeous shot, with the hints of colour and the action of the moose.

And then there is the Dorset Tower. Nothing says "Dorset" like the old fire tower.  Every year our guests trek to make that climb.  On a good clear day, from our mountain lookout, you can just spot the top of the tower, if you know where to look.

Many thanks, Mike, for these photos from the Dorset corner of our beautiful Lake of Bays!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring has Sprung Back

Today was hot and sunny. So hot and so sunny that I gave the horses their first bath of the season. Now they are clean and shiny. At least until tomorrow when they go out to roll in the mud again.

The snow that fell Tuesday melted fast.  The ice is moving away from the shore. That's good news for me -- on Monday it was in very close to shore, and puppy Taffy climbed up onto it to chase the ducks.  Once up there, she was scared to jump in to come back to shore, so kept running on the ice. Which is pretty rotten.  I had visions of making like an icebreaker in my trusty canoe to get out to rescue her, but luckily all ended well, and Taffy learned some valuable lessons about ice and cold water.

Once the ice is gone, the land warms up pretty quickly.  Thoughts turn to summer, when we'll all want to be IN that lake.  If you haven't booked your summer cottage with us yet, now is the time!  After all, one of these deck chairs probably has your name on it...

Flocking together

With the changeable April weather, we've been taking care to keep the birdfeeders well stocked.

It's the tree swallows I worry about: those beautiful swift fliers that hunt on the wing. Not many insects to be found with snow on the ground! They were nowhere to be seen the past week, but they were back today, twittering on the hydro lines. (and probably NOT limiting themselves to 149 characters per tweet)

The Juncos have been back for about ten days. These handsome dark gray birds come in flocks.  While there are five sub-species of the dark-eyed junco, we tend to see the slate coloured birds, with distinctive white bellies and two narrow flashes of white outlining their tails.  With pale pink beaks, they are quite charming, and always welcome at the feeders.

Keeping them company are some purple finches. These are the birds that were described as having been 'dipped in raspberry juice.'  They don't come in the big flocks that the juncos favour, and we do see them off and on throughout the winter. Again, always welcome!

Whether the birdss are those who tough out the long winters up north or only favour us with their presence seasonally, it is always fascinating to watch them.  The killdeer came in this week, too. They won't be at the feeders, but there is something reassuring about hearing their long cry in the pasture or on the lawns.

Next, we're keeping an ear open for the Woodcock, who will soon be in their breeding flights come dusk.

Almost every day brings us a new bird. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?

The wild turkeys have been hanging out along the edge of the road just beyond the Firehall. This gives them easy access to the maple sugar bush and hemlock swamp on one side of the road, and to the open fields and stands of hardwood on the other side.

Which is, for a turkey, plenty of reason to cross a road.

It is fascinating to watch their mating displays, when the tom has his huge tail fanned out, wingtips drooped to touch the ground, and is doing his darndest to impress the ladies.

The gals, like this hen, are decked out in their best colours as well, including that sexy blue shading on the neck, with just a splash of red to set it off.

Drivers need to exhibit caution, as these big birds turkey trot back and forth across the roadway.

Somedays, it's enough to make you wish for a bumper sticker that reads "I BRAKE FOR TURKEYS".  But then, it is an election year...

Draw your own conclusions.