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, March 22, 2011

Spring, Springing

On the first day of "official" spring, it seemed only fitting to get out there and check out the state of the season.  The sun is now carrying quite a punch.  Winter hasn't gone completely away -- we get reminders in the shape of a flurry of snow, a bitter blast of wind -- but spring is here. You can hear it, in the songs of the birds, who have now begun their siren calls for the mating season. A new species shows up daily now. The red-winged blackbirds came yesterday. The starlings the day before. Mourning doves are back.  Red polls, and finches, seem to be here in droves.
Along the shore, the springs are 'winning' -- extending their reach farther and farther towards the lake.  This one has carved its own canyon extending from the beach at Clover Cottage.  Taffy and Achmed explored the science behind erosion while on their walk with me.

Frost writes poems in rime frost every morning, and at every opportunity.   The snow is retreating.  We are heading into the Mud Season, but still, if you are willing to take a moment to look, there is beauty everywhere as the water starts to run again. 

I thought Taffy had big paw prints, until we crossed the wolf tracks near Springside cottage. They were enormous. Of course, wolves do have huge feet, to help them pad across the snow, but even so, these seemed larger than strictly necessary.  Luckily, the 'wolf tracks at the door' in this picture belong to the dog!

Every winter, the water level in Lake of Bays is drawn down, to allow for the snowmelt that will come pouring into the lake come spring. Like now.  One of the side-effects of this is that we have a lake with hills.  Which reminds me of the old joke about getting a pair of water skiis for a birthday gift and spending the whole summer looking for a lake with hills.  If you look closely, just in front of Taffy you'll see a long crack in the snow. That's where the ice has broken and dropped down. Taffy is standing on ice that is resting on the beach. From the crack, the ice has sagged down looking for the water level. Thanks to the shadow from the trees on shore, you can actually see that slope. Ideal for waterskiis!  Later, as the ice retreats, we'll see our original beach -- the way the bay looked before the dam at Baysville jacked the water level up five feet back in the early 1900's.

Adjusting the lake levels is a tricky business.  The loudest complaints come from those who have spent a lot of money building huge docks and boathouses, who think the water should remain at an exact level for their convenience.  Downstream, the complaints come from those being flooded out by spring water levels.  The quietest voices, but I think the most important, come from the trout, who spawn in very selective shallows in late October, and the eggs that hatch out now, in the spring.  If the water level stays high in the fall, the trout will spawn just the same, but the winter draw-down that prevents flooding will cause massive die-off by freezing the trout spawn.  To avoid this, the lake levels are drawn down in the fall -- to encourage the fish to spawn in what would normally be deeper water. Levels then come back up with the autumn rains, and are gradually pulled down again in spring before the big melt.  It's a tricky bit of science, and if humans get it wrong, the fish are the ones who pay the price.  You can always fix the dock... you can't always fix the eco-system.

Something to keep in mind...

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