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.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Guns Blazing at the Valley

 Out there under the full moon the snow guns were going full blast at Hidden Valley Ski Centre.

It's about a fifteen minute drive from Bondi, and it's a world of winter fun.  These guys don't have the biggest hills in the world, but the runs they have are varied, interesting, well laid out, and the lifts are fast, fast fast, so there is no hanging about.  You can actually get more time on the slopes because there is so much less time waiting in the line ups.

And if you think you need a monster hill to ski, you should keep in mind that Gold Medal Slope Style skier Dara Howell calls this hill home.

Now, in addition to all the great features of the ski centre, we are happy to announce that Bondi Village is partnering with Hidden Valley and can offer you voucher worth 10% off the lift prices.

With flexible hours, a great ski school, and night skiing under those lights that look a lot like a full moon, what is not to love???

Festive Marten

 David was putting up Christmas lights today, when he had a visit from a pine marten.

Mr. Marten was tracking a red squirrel, and not too pleased that David was mucking about making noises that warned squirrels...   but so it goes.  He can make up for the missed meal by raiding the bird feeder. They are voracious little chaps. It takes energy to keep warm in a Muskoka winter!

These are very attractive members of the weasel family -- active year round.  They have fur on the bottom of their feet for warmth, which gives their tracks a snowshoe effect.

We understand that this marten made a few suggestions to David on the stringing of the lights, which no doubt David took to heart...

Thanks for the pics David!

Lighting up the Nights, and Things you really need to See

Full moon.  Shadows of moonlight on the snow make the night so bright you almost need dark glasses to go out there.

You can call it the Moon Before Yule (for obvious Gregorian Calendar reasons) ...  or you can call it the Long Night Moon (as the First Nations folk did, because it is indeed close to the longest night of the year)  Or you can call it the Cold Moon -- same deal, it comes in December, and gosh, yes, it can be cold. 

But you can also call it stunningly beautiful.  And if you were up here, in North Muskoka, you could see sights like this --  a fantastic photo of the moonset taken by Dorset's Kyal Stephen Smith. He has kindly told me I can post his work here. Thanks for that.

You don't get to see things like this if you are in the cities. There is just too much ground light pollution, and the beauty of it gets scrubbed out.  But up here, the nights are brilliant.  The full moon will mean lousy star-gazing because it is so bright it will fade out the stars, but you just can't beat a night up here for Moon-gazing!   And when the moon phases through to the darkest of nights, the stars will come into their own.

Last autumn, we had guests here from Israel.  When they returned from a day in Algonquin Park, they came out with me to look at the stars, and howl for the wolf pack.  The wolf pack, (thank you, guys!) obliged with a fabulous answering howl, which had our guests practically jumping up and down with excitement.  But the telling moment for me was when the grandfather, well into his 70's... closing in on the 80's, said softly, "In all my life, I have never seen the Milky Way." 

It was arching above us, a ribbon of stars, from Cassiopeia  to Sagittarius. It was (and is) beautiful, and seen through binoculars, it will knock your socks off.  Earlier this year, photographer Harold Doran gave us permission to use one of his photos -- taken in Algonquin Park, of the Milky Way,

We sometimes take this beauty in our skies for granted, but we should never do that.  "In all my life," he said...   What a thing to miss because of the city lights???   Put the night skies on your bucket list...   Put the long night moon on your bucket list...

Get out, and turn off the lights...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Big Bird comes to Call

Napster enjoys sitting on his armchair, watching the birds at the feeders outside the window.

Recently, his attention was rivetted not on the feeders, but on the tree to the right.  Watching what I at first took to be a large black squirrel... but which gradually unfolded itself into a wild turkey.  These are truly big birds, and it is a little astonishing at how well they can fly!   They roost in trees at night, so no surprise that they can get up in the trees.

They have been coming in to clean up the wild plums still on the tree just outside my door.   Taffy is pretty determined that her job is to keep them off the lawns, much like the Canada geese...

Napster, for his part, was boldly stalking this one, which had come right onto the deck to feast at the bird feeder.  No, the blue jay did NOT defend the right to the feeder... When these characters arrive, everybody else backs off!

Cat and dog not withstanding, the turkeys return very swiftly to the food they have found.   They visit the stable as well, where there is often some chicken-feed outside the door to be scooped up if their timing is good and the chickens have been slow on the up-take.

Having them in the plum tree scared the dickens out of me though, the first morning they appeared. There were about ten of them up in the tree. As I stepped out of the door, they all exploded out of their and flew in different directions.  All I saw was this sudden cloud of black wings in the air -- and I can tell you I hopped right back into the porch until I realized it was just the turkeys.   They are not always easy to spot up in the branches.

Brian says that the 'turkeyfication' of the tree is almost complete...   They will all vanish soon enough, moving along through the woods to locate their next food source.  In the meantime, we're rather enjoying the close up look at the creatures.  And tracking them through the fresh snow.  I've got fingers crossed that we may find their roost tree...

Waiting for the Sun

We have three solar installations here at Bondi.  Yesterday, this one was having a bit of a challenge in even seeing the sun...

Changing by the Day. Sometimes by the Hour.

 Brian has been snapping pictures out of the window over the past week.

That old adage about the weather, the one that says "If you don't like it, just wait a few minutes. It's going to change."  Well, that could be said about the view, too...

We are blessed with a beautiful view across the lawns (once farm fields! Once 165 rows of potatoes, to be precise) to the Lake of Bays. 

And at this time of year, when the Season can't seem to make up its mind and we are balanced between the end of Autumn and the start of Winter, the weather produces remarkable changes in that view.

Even the time of day, throwing blue shadows across white snow, can make the whole place look completely different.

 So here is a collection of those views -- for your enjoyment!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Winter Creeping across the Bay

 Look outside.  You can see Winter coming.  Not just when it's an amazing go-back-inside-by-the-fire blizzard Winter Coming, but on days like this, that are sunny and still. You can see Winter creeping across the surface of the lake.

It's beautiful to watch.  Yeah, yeah, we know it is cold outside. That is why as a species we have invented such fantastic outdoor clothing.  Go buy some.   After all, you really don't want to miss this!

Snow makes everything so sparkly and clean and fresh. This is Wheelhouse cottage. Two bedrooms. Fireplace. Ski and snowshoe directly from your doorstep... It is about the only cottage we still have available over Christmas.  We've got families coming to experience a Muskoka winter from California, and Argentina...  as well as closer to home.  We can hardly wait to welcome them here!  With any luck, that lake will be sporting a lovely rink for them, to go along with the ski/snowshoe trails, the toboggan hills, and the  deer tracing their tracks through the snow.