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.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Be an Angel

It's March!!!   Spring is coming.  So is March Break.

It's a great month to Take Back Winter, and get the kids off the electronic toys and into the real world.

So good for everyone!  We have 10% discount coupons for Hidden Valley, Algonquin Park is open wide, Arrowhead's skate trail is good to go. We've got cross country ski trails, places to snowshoe, toboggan runs to zioom down...

and lots of snow for the little angels in your lives.  Head to North Muskoka for the March Break.

Here's Looking at You

I just had to share this photograph, taken by our cousin Robin Tapley, of Robin Tapley Nature Trails.  He's spending a lot of time in Algonquin just now, conducting nature programs at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station.  And he always has a camera. Always.

His comment on this picture?   "Gotcha. Finally."

If you go out with Robin on his Nature Trails programs, you get the chance to see wildlife of all sorts. It's about knowing where to go, how to go there, and how to look.

Owl Be Back

Carolyn's photo. No tracks leading in or out... but look how
deeply the talons drove down into the snow.
Some of our friends had 'visits' today from the owls -- how do we know? Because they found these fabulous tracks in the snow today while they were out in the sunshine.

Jacqueline's photo.  I love the fact that the
owl has left an almost perfect 'face plant' in the snow
Owls are incredible hunters.  In winter, their prey -- often mice -- are underneath the snow. Often fairly deep underneath the snow, hurrying here and there through little tunnels, insulated from the wind and the worst of the weather. Invisible.

The owl's face is designed to catch sound and channel it to the slightly offset ears -- which lets the owl identify with scary accuracy the origin of the sound.  The acute vision isn't much help when dinner is hidden under the tablecloth, so to speak, but those ears...   well... they'll do quite nicely, thank you very much.

On absolutely silent wings (the feathers are fringed and make no noise coming through the air) the owls swoop in, and strike talon-first into the snow.  They'll drive in hard, because they have to get all the way down to where the mouse is unsuspectingly roaming along.

you should visit this website -- there are amazing
photographs there!
The result is often these remarkable impressions, an entire story of tragedy for the mouse and triumph for the owl, written on the snow.   That is one of the wonderful things about winter -- you can get such a good look at the wildlife, by learning about their tracks. How they live, where they go, how they hunt...

It's another great reason to Take Back Winter.  Especially during March, as Spring creeps ever closer and the temperatures get mild, being outdoors is an absolute joy.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pancakes, Syrup... come on over!

Come stay with us this March.  Just tell us when you book that you're coming for the Pancake Breakfast special, and along with the cottage, full use of all our ski/snowshoe trails and  toboggan hills, along with great chances to see wildlife, or to just kick back and relax by the fire, we'll provide you with pancake batter, free range eggs and, yes, a bottle of Maple Syrup so you can celebrate Spring and start the day in style.

Visit the local art galleries and artists' studios, stop by one of the local sugar shacks to get into the spirit of the maple season. Day trip into Algonquin Park -- the moose will be starting to move out of the woods by late March, and the Visitor Centre is ALWAYS worth a visit.  Spend some time with one of the local dogsled ride providers...  Ski at Hidden Valley for 10% discount, or check out the Skate Trail at Arrowhead while conditions last.   There's still lots of winter sports up here, and the weather is trending back into glorious...

Life Imitates Art. Art Makes Life Better

North Muskoka has always been a powerful magnet for artists.  There are coffee table books jammed with pictures of the incredible creations that happen here.

The Group of Seven hung out up here. There is currently an original  A.Y. Jackson painting available in Huntsville at The Framing Place.  It is well out of my price point, but it might well be within yours.

I make a point of having artwork that is made by my friends and neighbours. Not only does it support the community, it fills my house with joy.

There are Studio Tours that coincide with the autumn colours. There are summer exhibitions. And now, in Huntsville, there is a new centre for our artists, in the old Train Station in Huntsville, and there is a charming show currently staged there.  You should come up, during March. You should go skiing, snowshoeing, sit by a burning fire, watch the deer cross the lake, sign the kids up for the Ski School at Hidden Valley...

And you should go to these exhibitions. You should drop in on the artists in their studios (most are open by chance or appointment -- so phone first).  You will be amazed. You will be delighted. You will be enriched.

Every year I discover new and brilliant works from amazing artists.  This year, I have found Mark Kulacs' studio.... 

This may not be a good thing for my bank balance... (after all, I still have to go and collect my latest purchase from Lorraine Thayer, of Bearly Thayer Studios in Bobcaygeon -- I fell hard for "Cave Cow" -- for the sheer joy and whimsy of it -- and it s coming home to live with me.  The only downside of this is that I have no wall space left... but that is a minor detail. 

I think I'll have to open up some space for one of Mark Kulac's works as well!)

Everybody has to Eat. Warning: Some People will find the images disturbing

'holy', said Taffy... sniffing... She's a funny little thing. She
did a careful assessment of the carcass, then marked over the
wolf pee... as if to warn that THIS is her property and
they should take care.
 The wolves brought down a deer two nights ago, over at the western edge of the property, close to the lake. (just past Farside cottage, where the path goes through the woods)

Beaver, moose and deer are the staple food for the Algonquin timber wolves, and it takes a lot of meat to keep a pack fed.  This is not disturbing the balance of nature, or putting the deer at risk of extinction, this is the way Nature works.

That kill will feed not only the entire wolf pack, but ravens, foxes and even the bald eagle.  Who, we are chuffed to report, did a fly-by yesterday across the front of the Lodge, absolutely delighting Alex and his family who saw the bird from the living room windows. Wow.

It was the ravens who gave David the 'heads up' that there was something there, and he went to explore.  The ravens were not impressed that he had dropped by, because they had to leave (in their world, he is a larger predator than they are. They will back off.  In his world, he doesn't eat raw frozen venison... they have nothing to worry about in that department.

Give the wolves another day or so, and there will be nothing left. They don't waste.

There were eight deer tonight out on the lake.  I don't know where the wolf pack spent the day... but we'll be out tonight several times looking for possible northern lights.  Perhaps they will sing...

Out and About

 Who could stay indoors on a day like this?? No wind, not particularly cold, drenched in sunshine.

We had an almost full house, and it was great to see so many people outside enjoying the winter day.

Whether on snowshoes, on foot, on skis or on toboggans, the guests were on the move.  There are so many places to explore -- the local cottage roads with no traffic are ideal for those who like to hike.  Our snowshoe and ski trails and toboggan hills are all groomed and in perfect condition.

Some took a day trip to the Frost Centre, and some stayed here to explore our trails.

Some went for a long time, out all day in fact.

Others, like little Katherine who is just learning about winter and the world, were only out for short stretches.

Big or small, fast or slow, old or young, this was a day for everybody.

talk about Blue Eyes!