Sunday, March 31, 2013
Guido and Martina often come to stay with us at Easter. Yesterday, in the Spring Sun, they were basking on the deck at Wheelhouse admiring the view of the ice on the bay and the calls of the returning birds. They were celebrating the day with a well-earned glass of wine.
Last year, same time of year, they were soaking up a suntan at Cedars cottage -- the snow was completely gone. So, come to that, was the ice. 2012 saw the ice leave the bay the earliest it ever has.
On the other hand, the first moose was seen along Hwy 60 in Algonquin yesterday.
And the sun was still sun-tan worthy...
And Taffy was still on duty schmoozing the guests...
Posted by Nancy Tapley at 11:38 AM
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
At Water's Edge. Photo that won the Robert
Bateman Get to Know contest for Quinn.
We are privileged to meet a lot of awesome young people here at Bondi Village. Over the years, we watch their careers shape up and take flight.
Quinn has been visiting us for a long time -- we remember him wading about in the reeds by the cook-out beach in search of frogs as a very small person. Since then, he has developed his love of Nature, the Outdoors and art and music.
Twice he has won the Robert Bateman Get to Know contest.
So we are thrilled to share this video, created as part of his application to the coveted Sheridan College Media Arts Program. The assignment was to describe this colour, 'ORANGE' in either words, photos or video. If you watch closely, you will see one of our lovely Bondi Monarch Butterflies in a starring role.
And having his two equally awesome sisters Sydney and Hannah 'model' for this video doesn't hurt either!!!
Now, if only we can find a rhyming word (ha!)
And yes, he has been accepted into that program. You do us proud, Quinn. Congratulations. And congratulations to Sheridan College, for acquiring one of our amazing Bondi Kids!
Posted by Nancy Tapley at 3:49 PM
Labels: quinn dalgarno. Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest. Sheridan College Media Arts.Bondi Village.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
A good friend of ours and a long time member of our Extended Bondi Family, Julian Swinkin, suffered a stroke last year, in his first year of University no less...
Julian has blessedly made an excellent recovery with no lasting symptoms, and this year he is participating in the Becel "Ride for Heart" on June 2nd.
He will be riding 75 km and ahoping to raise as much money as possible to make sure that more people have stories that end up happy. My Mom suffered a devastating stroke in 1998... I truly know why it is called a stroke -- it comes out of the silence and that is it...
For a great many people it is forever Life altering. It is wonderful that Julian has made such a full recovery.
If you would consider helping sponsor Julian Swinkin, the link to his donation page is:
If you would consider helping sponsor Julian Swinkin, the link to his donation page is:
Posted by Nancy Tapley at 8:42 PM
This picture is actually reversed, but it was too perfect a crown not to visualize it on top of Royal Head. Although the head that wears THIS crown would be uneasy... and cold and wet.
I found this collection of ice jewellry under the Main Dock here at Bondi today. As the lake levels continue to dip down in preparation for the melt water that will soon be filling the lakes back up, there are wonderful pockets of ice that mix with the melting snow on the dock to form stalactites and stalagmites and creations of breath-taking loveliness.
I even found one small ice-berg that looked like one of the photos Col. Chris Hadfield has been sending home from the Space Station. While his are more exotic locales, this one, with the finely etched ice around it and the patterns on the lake bottom behind it, is rather Blake... to see the world in a grain of sand, and eternity in an hour
I nearly fell in getting these pictures, so I hope you appreciate what I do for you.
With the shades of colour in the water, the reflections, the curiously sculpted shapes, these truly are works of art.
You can see in this picture how low the Lake of Bays is just now.
That fragile ledge of ice marks where the surface of the bay was several weeks back.
The dripping ice as the snow on the dock itself melts and trickles down forms on the cribbing below.
And here is the Crown we began with. This time, right way up.
Posted by Nancy Tapley at 8:18 PM
One of these things really doesn't belong...
The raccoons are awake, and hunting along the shoreline. They do belong... Although oddly enough they are not a native species up here. They followed the settlers back in the early 1900's. Toronto is the Raccoon Capital of the known universe. If you check out Col. Chris Hadfield's photos from the ISS closely, you can just make out the shine of their eyes in the posts he's done of the Southern Ontario cities. (kidding...)
But then there is this... someone has been running the open water at the Main Dock. That can be fun -- and admittedly here the water is so shallow you could simply stand up and walk out, but it is a caution. Ice-aways operating on docks keep these pockets of water open. Much to the glee of the geese arriving back from the South and all the other animals who take advantage of the open water-fountain, the water never freezes. If a sled is going fast enough, it will skim across. In Dorset, it's not uncommon for the Puddle Jumpers to fly across almost half a mile of open water through the Narrows. But really... it doesn't belong here...
And it tells its own story...
Posted by Nancy Tapley at 5:26 PM
They returned last week -- although last winter they stayed around almost all season. These are exquisitely lovely little birds, with such a mournful haunting call.
But with a face like this, I forgive them anything...
Posted by Nancy Tapley at 5:19 PM
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Speaking of turkeys -- they left a message in the snow by the hangar. Taffy wandered along beside it, trying to decipher it, but had to admit defeat... it was just 'chicken scratch' to her.
The turkeys are currently spending their time down in the swamp, where there is excellent cover and plenty of food to be found under the light snow cover.
Out on the lake, the walking (and running) were perfect. In the distance, that small dot is a deer. At this time of year the wildlife is on the move and it is common to see the deer wandering between the Points of the Bay.
Where did all the colour go? This is our Island, the focus of our Marathon Island Swim every week in the summer. In the late afternoon light, everything went to black and white and all the shades in between.
Over by Chateau, at the far corner of the bay, I found this Sea Serpent basking on the shore...
And right outside my door at the house was this cheeky little chap...
So that was our daily wander... We are keeping an ear and an eye out for Signs of Spring. We'll keep you posted, here at Bondi Bay!
Posted by Nancy Tapley at 8:30 PM
You never know what will happen next.
I was invited to attend a function being
hosted in Dwight Saturday evening. It was a live performance of the semi-finalists in the Long and McQuade Musical Instruments Amateur Singing Contest, with host John Santos.
The host venue was Bristlecone Lodge -- some of you will remember it as Nor'Loch Lodge. It has recently changed hands, and the new manager, Scott Martin, and his wife, have been hard at work to renew and recharge the facility.
It is wonderful to see the Resort back up and operating -- it is an asset to Dwight and all of North Muskoka.
A chance encounter resulted in them offering to host this event. Brilliant, really, as it is a perfect fit for the area and the time of the season.
|John Santos, and Zack Werner opening the show|
Truth is, I didn't really know what it was about. While this is the 7th Year for this contest, it has not been on my radar. Bringing it to Dwight certainly changed that!
|Ten year old Adrianna Sarah sang in both English and |
Portuguese, with confidence and lovely vocals.
"It's an incentive for the performers to get out of Toronto. They've been practising for eight weeks, and it's a chance to get out," said Martin, "and a lot of them will never have been to Muskoka so it's something entirely new for them."
|Victoria, another of the ten year olds... Wow!|
|Bella, 10, belted out some Broadway and simply|
The show is also about youth. The youngest performers were just ten years old, and wow, did they sparkle! The 'oldest' this year was a whopping twenty years of age, but the show is open to all ages,
|Marilee, originally from Ecuador...|
No make-up... casual clothing... (the uniting fashion statement seemed to be mukluks and high winter boots -- see comment above about "it's COLD!")
The kids were real, down to earth, and just great.
|J.R. (I apologize if I have her name wrong) took|
on Beyonce's style and worked it well
The show was perhaps not so well advertised up here, and there could have been more of the 'locals' out to enjoy it. Hopefully they'll be back next year, and the word will have spread.
|Michael, one of the young adults, captivated the crowd|
The winter weather this weekend conspired to mean that a lot of people were out on the snowmobile trails, enjoying the last big bash at the ski hill, or taking in Bowfire at the Algonquin -- so granted there was some competition for activities -- which just goes to show how much goes on in North Muskoka in late March.
|Stephanie, who rocked a version of Black Velvet|
|Alyssa, who's parents are from Trinidad and|
Italy has a powerful, controlled voice. Bravo
I think for me that was the most notable part of this competition. As well as providing a venue for people of all ages and all nationalities, it provides the contestants with training and a support system that will serve them all well in whatever career they eventually embrace.
|Peter, 20, had never sung before he stepped onto |
the audition stage. Good thing he did, because
he has a fabulous voice, and got my friend
Jackie's vote for best of the night.
|Monica, another young singer enjoying the chance|
to shine in a second language
It is better to teach one bird how to sing, than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.
While this contest might be new to me, it is certainly not new to the media. The Portuguese Press was there, a journalist who has been following the show since it's beginnings.
So here's to John and Lisa Santos, and Zack Werner, and Stephanie the vocal coach and everyone involved in this contest. Well done all of you.
|John Santos and 2012 Juvenile Category winner|
At the end of the evening, last year's winner, 16 year old Alessandra Longshaw sang. She is poised and confident, natural and talented. This is just a tiny snip of her music -- you can go buy her CD when it is completed (it is currently in production, as part of her prize from last year)
thanks for the evening...
Friday, March 22, 2013
|A frozen gyre in the ice at Newfoundland,|
photo by Col Chris Hadfield
Check out the fantastic photos of our planet that Col. Chris Hadfield is posting from his vantage point in command of the International Space Station They highlight how magnificent, how diverse, and how very fragile this planet is, floating out there in space. I wonder if Earth Hour will make it onto his photo stream -- I wonder if it will be possible to see, for even a brief span of time, the electric lights shut down.
Let's give it a go.
Posted by Nancy Tapley at 7:52 PM
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Folks who book a 2-night (minimum) consecutive stay by April 19th for a visit to the region between April 20th and May 31st can register to get 1 of 500 packages ($50 gas card and $50 in cash vouchers for redeeming at participating attractions, restaurants, etc.)
Have some Fun on us! Full details can be found at this Explorer's Edge link.
April and May are the best times to go Moose Spotting in Algonquin Park! Well before the fly season gets going, the hiking in the Park is superb through April and early May. The birds are coming back daily, making this a perfect time of year for birdwatchers, too!
Give us a call -- book to saty, and register for one of these great Fuel and Fun packages!
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Taffy has already read them the Riot Act about staying Off the Dock. It remains to be seen if they were paying attention.
They were certainly delighted to find a small patch of open water at the main dock.
So don't hang up your gear just yet. And don't despair... Even with the snow, there was blue sky and sunshine. It is what we call a Passing Storm.
This isn't out of the ordinary. Spring truly is just around the corner. You can almost see it if you just get up on a good vantage point and look closely.
So there is no need to hibernate. Out the door with you -- enjoy this fabulous little extension of the time when all is white and clean, before the mud arrives. Every Month has its own beauty and its own character. March is no exception. A changeable month always in the weather department, this snow won't last much longer.
Best to just get out there and meet it head on...
We have vacancies over the Easter Weekend. Hidden Valley Ski Hill will be open to the end of the month. The toboggan hill is superb, and it's not so cold that you can't stay out long.
So Cheers to You March! Bring whatever... we're up for it!!!
Posted by Nancy Tapley at 7:12 PM