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, March 30, 2011

Look Who's Walking in the Woods!

We went for a walk.  I don't seem able to do that without an escort these days. Achmed loves to come hiking.  And, of course, Taffy came too.

We started along the shoreline, then moved up into the sugar bush.  The corn snow creates interesting patterns and shadows.

Snow moves away from the base of the trees, where the trunks hold the sun's heat.  This is good weather for maple syrup.  Sap rises in the trees when the nights are freezing, the days are warm, and there is snow on the ground to provide moisture to the trees.

A swift melt and hot spring might make people happy, but it's bad news for the forest.  This slower, more deliberate melt, is healthier. Although, now we are almost into April, it really is time for Winter to get the memo: It's Over.

Taffy was intrigued to find a deer trail packed through the snow.  Like ourselves, deer tend to follow the same tracks, turning them into little super-highways in the woods.  Rabbits, mice and squirrels all do this as well, but their tracks are not quite as readily apparent as these.  As the snow thins, the deer are more able to leave these trails and spread out in the woods -- where they will devour any bud and twig they can reach. This is a hungry season for the deer: as the snow lowers, the browse line gets higher, and out of reach for many of the smaller deer.  People who have been putting out corn and alfalfa during the winter will have helped drive up the deer's metabolism to the point that they need more food than Nature can provide.  It's not uncommon in April to find deer that have starved to death.   Often peoples' well-meaning efforts feeding wildlife backfire big time.

Achmed  (trying to get above the "Taffy Line" and not  get rolled over in the snow by the puppy) helped find this beech tree, complete with the claw marks left last fall by a climbing black bear.   Always stop to examine beech trees -- their smooth bark acts like a book, writing down everything that has happened to the tree.  Bears will climb these trees to feast on the beech nuts.  Squirrels do the same... the deer will dig around the base of the tree to find the nuts that have fallen.  Bears will be waking up now, after their long hibernation. They will be hungry, and grumpy, like some people I know when they get woken up early...

I was the one that found the Owl Pellets.  Owls, lacking teeth, eat their food whole.  They can't chew.  Instead, the rip their prey apart with strong, sharp beaks and scarf it down whole.  The meal is then slowly digested by separating the softer material (such as meat) from the harder material (bones, feathers, fur).  That hard stuff is not useful to the owl, who rolls it into pellets and regurgitates it.  Owls will return again and again to their favoured trees -- which are marked by these tell-tale pellets at the base.  These no doubt belonged to the barred owl who was calling to us a few nights back.

We finished up by crossing the road into the back fields, which were brilliant in the sunshine.  I thought Taffy had big feet... Wolf tracks are bigger!  Fox tracks are smaller.  They were all on display.    It never gets old, walking in the woods, checking out the wild neighbourhood, watching the seasons change.
Come on up. We'll be happy to take you for a prowl in our 600 acres.

1 comment:

  1. I think Oliver eats the way the owls do... love seeing all the nature info!