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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Losing one of our own

Our Bondi Family is saddened by the unexpected passing of long-time Bondi guest
Leighann Wichman in mid-October.

She has been part of our Bondi Gang since she was very young -- just this summer we found some old "scripts" that had been written by Leighann and her brother David, fabulous re-writes based on Star Wars written by young and enthusiastic fans.  They made us smile, and when we returned them to David and Leighann, they made them laugh out loud.  We have many great memories of Leighann, and her entire family, here with us.

For the past several summers, she's been back here with brother David -- and they were a 'fixture' floating about in the bay at least twice a day.

Leighann was the Executive Director of the YOUTH PROJECT in Nova Scotia, where she made an enormous contribution to the LGBT community, and her loss will be sorely felt.

Here as well.   God Speed Leighann. It was an honour to call you a friend.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Other Seasons have their own Beauty

 Got a group? Planning a Girlfriends' or a Guys' Getaway? Have an extended family and need stuff to do for all different ages on the same property?  Think of us. We've got the LODGE which can accommodate up to 18 people, with occasional vacancies through December and the winter months.  Ski, snowshoe, toboggan, skate, or just relax by the fire...  More than 18 people? Add in some of our 2, 3 or 4 bedroom fully equipped and winterized cozy cottages. Or if you have a smaller group, one of those cottages might just suit you perfectly.

Come mid-week for two or more nights, and enjoy the 15% discount.

And if you are really looking for a relaxing weekend, think about booking in with the Organic Boutique Spa -- they'll come right to you, and make it a Gals' Getaway to remember! 

Sometimes the best thing about the Great Outdoors (along with the peace and quiet, the nature walks, the wildlife on the lawn) is the equally great Indoors.

There are so many excellent restaurants in the area that you can make it a Culinary Adventure.   And get your Christmas shopping all wrapped up easily.

It's not just for the Gals either... A Guys' Getaway is a great bonding experience and a chance to decompress.   Not to mention, snowmobiling  -- the trails start just outside or door.

In fact, there's so much to do, so much fun and together time to be enjoyed, you might just need more than a weekend...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Give a Little Listen

Nothing to see here, really... but give a little listen. You'll need to crank up the volume, because this pair of  'bad boys' were about half a kilometer away, over on the hills near Lumina, howling back and forth to each other last night about midnight.

They were producing quite a lovely duet, so I filmed (?) it. The moon was pretty impressive too.  The background noise is the waves coming ashore -- there was a bit of wind, which also blew away some of the wolf sound. 

But what the heck... listen in anyway.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sound and Signal Memories

What a lovely visit from Pamela O'Callaghan, aged 89, and her daughter Lyndsay -- seen here making friends with our famous artist, Napster Felinus the painting cat.
 Pam was among our first guests when we opened the Lodge in the mid 1960's. She remembers her first stay there with her husband and friends, and being joined at the breakfast table by two other guests -- Mrs. Maria von Trapp and one of her daughters.
That would have been about the same time as The Sound of Music was being filmed, before "Maria" became a household word! It was fabulous to have lunch and a cuppa with Pamela again, and remember such wonderful 'old times'.  Pam has claims to fame all of her own -- during WWII worked at Bletchley Park, and is listed on the Roll of Honour recognizing the Signal Breakers  (this experience no doubt explains why her youngest daughter, Tamara, who worked for us at Bondi for several summers, used to say she could NEVER get anything past her Mom!)

Moons and Screams

 We had a photo club stay with us this last weekend.  One of their projects included taking a trip up to Magnetewan to the Screaming Heads to get some pictures under this same huge moon.

Now, that is a spooky sort of place in daylight -- it must be totally unreal under moonshadow.

I hope they'll send us some of their photos!

Other Autumn Shades

Not to be outdone by the spectacular reds and oranges currently blazing into fall on our hillsides, check out the colours put on by our beautiful Lake.

Fashionista on the Beach

Dave Rogers was here all last week. And every day, he made his way to the lake. Some days he swam. Some days he just meandered along the shoreline, emulating a wading bird.

But every day, he carefully co-ordinated his wardrobe with the glory of the autumn season.
We appreciate this attention to the small details, and Dave, as perhaps our last swimmer of the season, we salute you!

Chipmunk Wheel

Maybe not the smartest move the chipmunk has ever made -- he clambered INSIDE the new bird feeder, only to discover he couldn't as easily clamber out, so went round and round a few turns.

Living Up to the Advertising

camera 'selfie', after it's big adventure...
 I have a bad tendency to destroy the cameras that travel with me, jammed into pockets (sharing that domicile with dog cookies, bits of hay, horse treats, car keys and lord knows what else)   Apparently, that habit is murder on telephoto lens, which 'gum up' and 'give up'... But I need a camera that is small enough to come with me, in said scruffy pockets, to let me catch pics for this very Blog...   

Fujifilm camera, living up to its advertising
So last time round (about two years ago, in fact) the fine folk at Huntsville's Cavalcade Color Lab suggested that I try this model.   "Shockproof", they said.  Which is good, since I've been known to drop a camera or two while juggling chickens, kids, horses and the like...   "Waterproof", they said.  Which is also good.   It has a limited zoom capability, but that zoom lens is contained within the camera, so there are no exterior 'bits' to collect the bits of detritus living in my pockets.  Dog treats make no impression on this baby...

It's a good thing it is shockproof and waterproof... those very qualities helped get it through not just the wash, but the rinse and the spin cycle of the washing machine.  Not a good feeling, to pull out the clothes and find the camera still nestled amongst them.      Words were spoken.

But the camera shrugged off the experience, and continues to take great shots.  So, I am officially impressed.  And wanted to share this testimonial, for anyone else out there who is guilty of CameraAbuse. This might be the one to have stuffed in the backpack, or the canoe, or in your pocket while you are riding your horse, or just out in the rain walking the dog.  Thanks Fuji.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Just breathe

This is where you come to let your Soul catch up....

Early morning at the main dock.

Just breathe...

Life is Better when you bring a Friend Along

The research done in Algonquin, at the Wildlife Research Station, has a long history of excellence.  We are happy to support them in their work!

42-years of Turtle research in Algonquin Provincial...

The Algonquin Wildlife Research Station (AWRS; has been home to a 42-year study on the ecology of the Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and a 36-year study on the ecology of the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta). Over the course of this long-term study we have been able to ask questions about chelonian longevity, reproduction, diet, habitat use, movement and migration, road mortality, (the extensive list goes on!), and address pressing issues of conservation. This study has resulted in many dozen peer-reviewed publications, the thesis research of nearly 100 graduate students, and the training of hundreds of undergraduate students and volunteers. There are turtles that were first marked in the early 1970's that are still alive and nesting today!

If we are to continue our research we will need your support! Please consider sharing our campaign (and updates) to Save the AWRS with friends, family and wildlife lovers everywhere!

Getting the View into Focus

Algonquin Park is not the only place to come to enjoy great lookouts and viewing of the leaves. Pretty much anywhere up here in North Muskoka will do the job.   And if you are in the neighbourhood, and not afraid of heights, where better to get that panoramic view than from the Dorset Lookout Tower?   Once upon a history, this was a fire station -- if you are at the Algonquin Park  Visitor Centre you can step inside the old lookout tower that once graced the top of this structure.
The view is astonishing, particularly at this time of year.   But that's not all -- up at the top of the Lookout, there is this wonderful bit of interactive art.  Be sure to stop and take the opportunity to gaze through these binoculars! 
It's a very creative piece.   Thanks go to Karen, at the Oxtongue Craft Cabin (another very creative place, and well worth stopping by for a snoop about, Visa firmly in hand) for these lovely photos from Dorset!

Ancient Mariners and Howling Wolves

The Ancient Mariners Canoe Club were with us for their annual autumn getaway.  They hit the very best of the weather -- hot sunny days, cool clear nights.  They also hit the very peak of the autumn colours.

And they scored big in the wolf howl department.  I went out with them on Wednesday evening, gave my best howl, and was blessed to have a fantastic response from the local pack. Long, sustained, close and magnificent.    The wolves made me look gooooood in the "how to howl for a wolf dept."    At least they did until Thursday, when Larry, Earl and Ralph went out on the lawn, just the three of them, and gave their best impression of howling wolves.  And got an equally spectacular reply. So now they know that there is no magic in me howling...  thanks for popping that bubble, Wolf Pack... :)  

This group always decorates the Lodge dining room so beautifully for their dinners.  This evening, it was lovely autumn bouquets... and a great turkey dinner. They know how to do it in style!

Plan Ahead

This is wild sage. It grows in our back fields (along with wild strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apple trees, blackberries...)  

We mention this sage, because Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  And what would a thanksgiving turkey be  without some sage in the savoury stuffing?

We still have some cottages open for the long weekend.  The weather is still splendid, and there will still be plenty of autumn colour in the trees, so don't waffle about, call and book your Thanksgiving -- getting away into the wilderness is something we can all be thankful for!

Colouring Our World

Algonquin Park
 I'm a bit behind posting to the blog this week. That's because, mostly, I've been walking about with my jaw dropped open at the phenomenal display of autumn colours. 

You don't have to go into Algonquin Park -- although it reached it's colour peak for the red maples last weekend, and was completely jam packed with people who were flocking north to see this kind of colour (thank you to the Friends of Algonquin Park for the images we borrowed.

our Bondi back field,
on the Frisbee golf course
We certainly couldn't get any better pictures than you took!)    The colour here is about a week behind the Park, so there are still trees donning their most vibrant reds and oranges.  The golds and yellows are starting to show up as well.

These photos show why so many people beat a path to the door at this time of year.  Here's a small sampling, some of mine, several from Algonquin Park.

along Highway 60 -- no need to even get out of the car
If you've never come to see the colour, you really need to fix that missing element.   So much beauty is good for the soul.

another view from the highway.  Breath-taking!

get up early, hike Mizzy Lake -- you might get to see something
as fabulous as this

or get up early and take your coffee to the Main Dock
at Bondi... 

Dwight Beach provides a lovely backdrop for a picnic

walking through our fields

Flocking Together, Flying Alone

 What great photos we found this week from the Friends of Algonquin Park!

This gathering of common loons signifies the turn of the season. They are getting into their winter plumage, and preparing for the flight south.  The adults will leave this month.  Juvenile loons will hang about the lakes probably until into November before they set off.  There's still some time to hear them calling across the blue waters!

But how about THIS for a photo???  This bald eagle was captured on film at Lake Opeongo, Sept. 24th. That's what is left of a ruffed grouse in his talons.  The bald eagles have been slowly returning to the Park over the past several years -- and we see them here from time to time, which is always a real treat for our guests.  Last winter, we had five of them settle on a deer the wolf pack killed on the bay.  But nothing we've ever photographed in the Bald Eagle dept. comes close to this!