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. www.bondi-village-resort.com
Sunday, October 23, 2011
This week I was introduced to a tree.
Not just any tree. This tree, which looks like it walked out of the Lord of the Rings’ Middle Earth, is a yellow birch – a bona fide Old Growth yellow birch. And it’s impressive.
It has shed a lot of the crown, over the years, but it was still hanging onto leaves when we walked up to it. Yellow birch are slow-growing long-lived trees mostly found with other hardwoods and conifers on moist well-drained soils. It is an important source of hardwood lumber and a good browse plant for deer and moose. Other wildlife feed on the buds and seeds.
People are often taken aback by how old Old Growth trees can be. I certainly was.
Maturity is normally reached in 120 to 150 years in unmanaged forests. Yellow birch trees are commonly more than 300 years old and occasionally reach ages of more than 366 years. There’s one on record in Algonquin Park that is verified to be 366 years old. Another that is estimated to be over 600 years old. Six hundred... that means when this vast tree was getting started, a tiny twiglet in the Algonquin forest litter, Joan of Arc was being born... Henry V was defeating the French at Agincourt... Dutch fishermen were developing drift nets. It’s astonishing to think of the sweep of history that has marched past while this tree quietly grew in the Canadian Shield.
We don’t know (yet – we’re working on it) how old ‘our’ Old Man of the Forest might be. A little research produced the information that one of the largest specimens on record, near Gould City, MI, is 56.7 inches in diameter at breast height (dbh). The next one cited was 59.5 inches dbh. This one, our Muskoka wonder, is 147" (12' 3) inches on the circumference (we don't know the diameter for sure), which has got us all excited. (Jacquie and I took turns hugging this tree)
It’s a wonder we have any of these trees at all. Mortality of yellow birch seedlings is usually very high, reported to be as high as 97%. And they don’t into the seedling game without due thought to the process: Yellow birches produce seed at about 40 years, with optimum seed production at about 70 years of age. Good seed crops are produced at 1-4 year intervals with limited seed production in the intervening seasons. Seed is disseminated by wind, with most falling after the onset of cold weather. The winged seeds may travel nearly a mile over crusted snow though most end up within an area roughly equivalent to four times the height of the tree. Yellow birch seeds germinate and grow best on moist mineral soil enriched with humus; bare mineral soil and duff alone are unsuitable substrates. However, in undisturbed stands, germination of yellow birch seeds usually occurs on mossy logs, decayed wood, in cracks in boulders and on windthrown tree hummocks. Optimum germination of yellow birch occurs at 59 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit (15-16 deg C). Seedlings require overhead light, crown expansion space, and plentiful soil moisture and nutrients to compete with faster growing associates; conditions found in gaps are conducive to yellow birch seedling establishment. Some shade improves seedling survival. Too much shade has the opposite effect.
This is certainly the biggest, gnarliest yellow birch I have ever seen. It could well be over 300 years old. It is quite possible that it was growing while Shakespeare was penning Romeo and Juliet, or Henry V. It is scarred, twisted, decorated by fungus and missing large bits of the crown, but it is still here. Still wearing leaves. Still watching the forest. Still standing.
Don't overlook our specials for COUPLES! As well as families and groups, we offer great deals for couples looking to just get away.
You can check our availability on-line. We work hard to keep this current, but it may lag actual bookings. And it may not be 100% accurate...
We do have vacancies throughout July and August, but not that many... so you should scoop up yours! In fact, there are only about nine vacancies left for this summer!! We've got your cottage waiting, but you should call now!
We much prefer to keep the personal touch, and to discuss your booking the 'old-fashioned' way, directly, person to person! This helps us ensure that we've got your booking just the way you want it.
1 888 300 2132 or 705 635 2261 or email us. We've got your cottage ready!
Changing the Season
August is on the doorstep. We currently have no vacancies until September, and our guests are enjoying the lake, the calling loons, the quiet times and all the activities that go with a summer here at Bondi Village. Get out of the city, restore your soul...
This means that we are now accepting reservations for two night stays and weekend packages during September and October -- the fall colours are astonishing, and on our own 600 acre property, there are so many walking trails and lookout views that there's no need to battle traffic into the Park just to see the beauty! Algonquin is always amazing, but during high colour season, best seen mid-week. There are so many other wonderful places around where you can enjoy the autumn without the congestion of the road, and we are happy to direct you to them.
We have great deals during the fall season, for couples, up to small groups of 18 people.
And don't forget Winter -- we've got vacancies for Christmas! We'll provide the tree, and you bring the family.
We've got a fantastic place to gather, enjoy the scenery, relax by a fire, and spend time with family and friends. Whether a quiet couples' getaway, or a family reunion or a club outing , we've got your cottage waiting.
We'd love to hear from you. The experiences our guests have are precious to us. If you have photos you took at Bondi, we'd love to have those as well. You can email them to Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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We are very proud of Napster, our tail-painting cat, who uses his lovely artwork to raise money for charities. This lovely little creature passed away July 2015, but left a huge legacy, having raised over $12,000 for various charities through the sale of his artwork. That artwork, through prints and notecards, is still available. Click here to visit Napster's Blog and visit the gallery of his tail-paintings.
Now sold around the world, he was honoured to have his artwork sold around the globe -- he even has a print with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Click on the following links to enjoy a 'virtual ski' round some of our 15 km. of groomed track set cross country ski trails. Thanks to Altitude and Attitude, North Muskoka gets the kind of winter you can really enjoy. Huge thanks to Eric Prince, the creative mind that made this videos happen!
Click here to enjoy seeing a variety of our trails.
And Click Here for another cross country ski adventure.
and this one, in 2014, just days before the snow vanished, from Hawke Lake on down. Click Here
And Click Here for just one more...