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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Worth Getting Up Early

Devin, at the risk of some blood loss to the morning mosquitoes, climbed to the Lookout at 5.45 a.m. to capture this phenomenally lovely photo of Bondi Village Resort.

Thanks Devin, we appreciate your sacrifice. And we love this picture!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Plan Ahead

 If you are part of a group or club that goes on outings -- say a Nature Club, Outing Club, Photography Club, or Social grouping -- and you are planning an excursion this autumn, then you really should be considering coming here to Bondi Village.

Our big Lodge is ideal for a group of up to 18 people, with 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and plenty of room to get together (and to get apart).  Add in some of the cottages for more bedroom space, and we can take groups that are quite large -- while everyone can still gather in the Lodge for meals and camaraderie.

Autumn is the most spectacular of the seasons, with the fall colours, and is perfect for hiking, painting, photography, canoe excursions or just gathering together around good food with good people.

So if you are a club member, give us some consideration.  We'll help you organize your trip to make it the very best.

Indian Pipe

It is a strange and ghostly looking thing, Indian Pipe.  

Sometimes called 'corpse plant' (an unattractive name if there ever was one), it is easy to recognize and is the one of the very few plants that doesn't have chlorophyll (the stuff that makes plants green, and creates energy for the plant)
Instead, it is waxy, whitish colour, that gradually turns black as it gets old.   

Most people think it is a fungus, but not so fast...   It isn't.  It just uses fungus. And trees.  In point of unattractive fact, it is a parasite (but don't hate if just for that).  It has a relationship with both fungus and trees - taking nutrients from both at the same time. This means that it's habitat is limited, since it needs to grow where it can tap its roods into the mycelia (root like threads) of a fungus, while that fungus has a relationship going on with a nearby tree -- the fungus taps into the roots of the tree to get nutrients it cannot produce itself.  The fungus is more friendly -- it gives back to the tree nutrients that the tree needs but cannot produce, so that relationship is all warm and fuzzy and works to the benefit of both.

The Indian Pipe just kind of slides in the side door, and takes what it needs from the fungus, without giving back.  It doesn't take enough to harm either tree or fungus, and it is a useful food source for bumblebees, so there is no need for alarm, or to try to get rid of it. Just enjoy it when you find it growing white and pale near the base of one of its favoured trees.

We've had guests report finding them along the Lookout trail up the mountain. And this one was discovered in the back fields, near one of the horse jumps.  They grow in shady spots, and are not all that common, so finding them is a tiny adventure.

Found, and Profound

Walking through the back fields today with Taffy, we found lots and lots of black eyed susans.

And plenty of milkweed, in glorious bloom.  Not many years ago, the milkweed back there would be mostly chewed down to stalks by the monarch caterpillars, but today, there wasn't a caterpillar to be seen. The plants bloom undisturbed.  A fact which disturbs us more than we can say.

But our spirits got slightly bouyed when we found TWO monarch caterpillar chrysalises on the solar array.  Two.  When this was installed in 2010, there were at one point over 50 chrysalises taking advantage of the structure, which is a horrible indication of how few monarchs are around.

We so hope that this magnificent butterfly will be able to recover from what we as a species have done to its world.  Do what you can -- plant butterfly friendly gardens, and avoid like the plague the use of neonicinitoids and other sprays (like Round Up).  There is so little habitat for them to the south of us, that they can't even get here to breed, or get back home.  And the loss of this indicator species will leave us all horribly poorer.

Mason Bees

Mason bees are solitary little creatures, who prefer to nest, rather than group together in a hive.

 These little black or blue-green pollinators are very critical to our ecosystem, and while there are about 135 different species of them, they can all use a little help. 

We've got two tubes filled in our Bee House. (on the upper right) 

The female bee uses mud to seal the back of the tube (which is perfectly sized for 6 egg deposits!) She will lay one female egg at the very back, and deposit a food sack of pollen. She then builds a mud wall partition to separate that egg from the next. In total there will be 5 male eggs at equal intervals towards the entrance and one female egg at the very back. Each will have its own food source of pollen within the partitions.

 When the tube is full, the bee seals it off, and starts on the next tube to repeat the process. The eggs hatch, the larvae eat up the pollen and build themselves a cocoon where they stay through the winter and hatch out in the Spring.

These great Bee Houses are made by our cousins Ross and Anne Marie,  at Muskoka Honey Bee (and we can get them for our guests, if you want to buy one. They are $40) 

These bees won't sting you -- I've got one of these houses right on my house, in the middle of the garden. We need to be doing all we can to promote the well-being of our bees (including making sure there are no plants treated with neonicinitoids anywhere in the country!) 

The bees get their name from their ability to 'build' with mud, like a mason creating a foundation. One of the bee facts that we just love is that when the busy little bee needs to sleep for the night, she will crawl into one of the empty tubes, and lie down on her back with her little bee feet in the air.

Okay, then...

'You called?'
So here is how it goes...

 Me: haven't heard the wolf pack much this summer. I wonder if they're close enough that we'll get any response when we go out after the cookout for Dark Skies and Wolf Howls... My record this summer has been poor.

Megan (who lives right next door to Bondi) Oh, they're back! They were right outside our house last night, sounded like they were practically on our deck!

Brian: Yep. There's nine of them.

Long silent pause.

Megan and I: and you know this because?

Brian: I was biking last evening, and heard them in the back field, so I stopped and howled. They came trotting across the field to take a look at me. Nine. 

Me: And?

Brian: oh, I just kept on biking..
Me: okay then..

(which fact, we hasten to add, does not in any way mean that they will grace us with a howl tonight after the Cookout...  but I have my fingers crossed!)

Master and Commander

 How much fun is this??  Isaac is two years old.
And within a few minutes of being in this hand-wheeled paddle boat, he had the moves.

To say that he was thrilled to discover that he had the power to make this 'thing' go -- be it forward, backward, or around in a circle -- would be an understatement.

We particularly liked when he got himself stuck into the big dock -- and began to chant "Beep Beep Beep! Isaac Backing Up!"

This little thing is ideal in the shallow water here.  He could not have been more proud of himself if he'd been captain of some huge ocean going vessel.

It is so wonderful to see kids learn about their world, in three dimensions, and not from some computer screen!  This is what childhood is about -- how to interact with the world, and how to make things go! You are the best, Isaac!

look at that smile!