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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth Hour

You are here.  That fragile, impossibly beautiful and achingly vulnerable globe hanging all alone out there in the star speckled dark... that is home. That is Earth.

Earth Hour is a small token of a thing... which does nothing at all to lessen its importance.  For far too many of us, we are isolated from the Natural World, displaced into concrete and tiny parks full of play equipment made of plastic, looking at the world through glass, or on a monitor.  There is a very true saying, that you don't value something that you don't know exists.

So, tonight, at 8.30, turn off the lights. Have dinner by candlelight. Talk to your family, your friends, if you can go outside and look for the stars.  I was on our lawn this week with a good friend who was dazzled (and I don't exagerate) by the brilliant alignment of Venus, Jupiter, the Moon and Mars, all in a parade across the early evening sky before the other stars had begun to show.  75% of the people in the so-called 'developed nations'  will never see skies as dark as those we enjoy.  Muskoka is the site of the first ever World Heritage Dark Skies Reserve, at the Torrance Barrens.  When World Heritage begins to notice that a place where the skies are dark is in need of designation and protection, the rest of the World should be paying more attention.

WWF has created an anthem for Earth Hour.  They ask the question, Do you have what it takes?

Take a good close look at our home planet.  And ask yourself, If not here, Then where?  If not us, then who?

The following are some quotes from the people who were privileged beyond measure to see Earth from a different perspective -- some of the astronauts who have flown on various missions, served on the International Space Station, and all of whom have been changed by the sight of sunrise across the planet.

The Earth was small, light blue, and so touchingly alone, our home that must be defended like a holy relic. The Earth was absolutely round. I believe I never knew what the word round meant until I saw Earth from space.- Aleksei Leonov, USSR

A Chinese tale tells of some men sent to harm a young girl who, upon seeing her beauty, become her protectors rather than her violators. That's how I felt seeing the Earth for the first time. "I could not help but love and cherish her.
- Taylor Wang, China/USA

The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space. As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. Seeing this has to change a man, has to make a man appreciate the creation of God and the love of God.
- James Irwin, USA

So, off with the lights. And go farther, think of ways to reduce your energy consumption, and get back to the Natural World. After all... Earth, is there any place you'd rather be?

Turkeys at Dawn, Moose in the Air and Candles at Dusk

I woke up this morning to the sound of wild turkeys gobbling on the hill to the north of Bondi Village.  The wild turkeys have made quite a come-back in this area in the past decade.  (They make a myriad of sounds.  On the linked video, listen for the Gobble, which is what we're hearing a lot of now.)

Although 'come-back' is an arguable statement, because my father and grandfather never saw wild turkeys this far north.  I feel like Alice, fallen into Wonderland, who replies to the question "Would you like some more?" by saying, "how can I have more? I have not had ANY yet?"  

But that is to quibble.  Since the Ontario Government worked a great trade exchange with our neighbours in Michigan, the wild turkeys were reintroduced into the province.  What, you may ask, did we give Michigan in exchange for some breeding pairs of wild turkeys?  I am glad you asked. 60 Moose, airlifted out of Algonquin Park. That was in 1985.  A good friend of mine was the acting veterinarian for the project.  My dad's friend was flying the helicopter.  And don't talk to him about moose -- twice he had his helicopter brought down by working with the MNR tagging moose; a job that requires not only a steady hand, but the ability to fly very close to the ground through a blinding swirl of propeller-induced snow and tall trees as well as in other seasons -- well, let me tell you the tale of his summer encounter.

 Dave was flying a Bell Ranger, a small two person chopper, on floats.  With a conservation officer in the back seat, they ranged the Park until they located a moose near water.  With some acrobatics to encourage the moose to get into the lake and swim, the pair were in business.  Dave would hover the chopper down on the lake, straddling the swimming moose while the CO hopped out, balanced on the float, snapped the tag onto the moose and hopped back in.   Chopper flew away, moose swam on - and later told extraordinary tales over the lily pads to his friends about how he had been almost abducted by aliens.  The advantage of the ploy was that it did not require shooting the moose with a tranquilizer. The water prevented the moose from striking, kicking, or turning quickly.  It all seemed like a wonderful plan.

Until the day they hovered down over a large bull, carefully straddling his rack of antlers.  Out hopped the CO, tagging gear in hand.  But this moose was having none of this alien abduction stuff. Nobody was 'beaming HIM up'...   He ducked his head under the water and shoved one antler under the float of the helicopter. When he came back up, the movement on the float was just enough to tip the chopper... just enough to cause the far edge of the blade to touch the lake, just enough to cause the blade to shudder, just enough to cause the chopper to flip.   Dave and the CO were unharmed and swam grumpily to the nearby shore. The chopper languished in the lake waiting for its own alien abduction team to show up.  Dave did not have kind words to say about moose.  It is one of my favourite stories, and would always cause my father to go off in howls of laughter.  He himself was a bush pilot, with a prized Piper Cub J3 on floats. He understood. 

Algonquin Moose being released in Michigan, 1985
Meanwhile, back to the turkey-moose exchange. We gave them 60 adult moose. They gave us 150 wild turkeys. It was not, as one official noted, a pound for pound exchange. It also pretty much described NAFTA in a nutshell, but let us not go there.

Michigan wanted to repopulate the upper panhandle of the State, where moose had been pretty much poached into non-existence.  A strong deer population south of the panhandle meant that moose were not successful in working their way north again. Moose and deer don't co-habit well. Deer carry a parasite that is really just another pesky worm to the deer but in a moose migrates into the brain and causes death.  If you are in Algonquin Park, go to the Visitor Centre - they have an excellent hands-on display on this very topic.  Wild turkeys? Well, those Michigan had. A Plenty.

I am going to try to dig out some of our old photos of this moose-lift.  There are some pictures and a great desciption in this copy of the Algonquin Park Raven newsletter.

Once located, by Dave and his small helicopter, the moose was shot with a tranquillizer. It was important that the moose 'go down' from this on a lake, or in a large field because the bigger helicopter that came to airlift the moose out had to be able to land.  This caused the second helicopter/moose/blowing snow/waving pine tree incident that cemented Dave's lingering dislike of moose.  But I digress.  The moose would be prepared for lift-off and transported in a big sling under the helicopter back to the staging site to be readied for the road trip to Michigan. It is amazing to me that it was so successful, really.  It did produce some hilarious moments when the moose would come in, just above the tree tops, over Highway 60, legs dangling beneath a Huey helicopter.  More than one car took a tour into the nearest ditch.

But I digress again. Back to the wild turkeys. All 150 of them. Who arrived, and flourished, and spread. Now they are here and seem to be very well settled in.   We see them on our lawns, in the back fields, while hiking our nature trails.  And we hear them. They are currently rather amorous, and the cocks are putting on impressive displays for the hens.  Who would not be smitten???

Spring babies in Algonquin Park . Jerry
Schmanda Photo.
So, in this very circular fashion, I come back to the title of this post -- we have Turkeys gobbling their love-sick hearts out on the hills. Moose who are now merrily munching the brackish water and plants at the roadside not only right here in Algonquin Park, but well to the south of us in the Michigan panhandle, where their exported amigos have made good and successfully re-populated the area.   And tonight, it being EarthHour , the lights should all be going out.  Curl up with a good book (or, ok, watch tv if you must), light a candle, give some thought to this incredible planet, and the astounding animals that share it with us.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One Moose, Two Moose, Three Moose, Four

A rainy afternoon, and the urge to be out of the house, encouraged me to drive into Algonquin Park.

This is Moose Watch season. The long winter, nibbling on dry and boring twigs, brings these magnificent creatures out to the edge of the road come Spring, where they are hungry for the salty water and bushes growing near the road. 

People aren't the only creatures who are fond of salting their meals!   I saw four of them on a short drive up to Lake of Two Rivers.

This lovely cow was quite happy to have me take her picture. I didn't even need to get out of the car -- and took it with a Cannon Elf, so you know how close I was!  She and her friend were quite happy in the muddy bog next to the road.  The second moose almost vanishes into the low growing shrubs. You have to keep an alert eye while driving!

This bull, looking particularly scruffy at the moment, was right by the Ranger Station.  If you look very closely at the photo you can just make out his antlers starting to peak through.  He has been rubbing at the winter coat, trying to relieve the itchiness that comes with shedding that heavy mass of fur.  The horses here at Bondi prefer to have me help with that task, diligently weilding a shedding blade on their behalf.

Quite placid at this time of year (which does not mean you should try to get TOO close to them, they are after all wild animals, and huge)  every moose sighting tends to attract an audience.

April and May are Algonquin Uncrowded, however, and in addition to seeing moose along the roadside, you have an unparalleled opportunity to see the Park.

The Explorers' Edge Fuel and Fun Package will even help pay you for the tank of gas to get you there!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chillin' in the Sun, Listening to the Ice

After a day in Algonquin Park, hiking Peck Lake Trail, Guido and Martina kicked back on the deck at the cottage with a well-deserved glass of white wine.

Providing the background music was the last of the ice -- I brought a handful up to the cottage for them. The action of the waves has rounded off all the edges, jumbled the shards of broken ice together, and they sound like wind chimes.

It's all gone now. Ice Out. Official in Bondi Bay on March 25, 2012.  Wow, that IS early!

I made a short video of the ice, so you can hear how it jingles. If you've never had the chance to sit by the lake at ice out and listen to this, it really is quite a lovely sound.

One of the sounds of Spring that we are delighted to hear!  This year the ice has gone very gently, with no flooding, no damage to docks or boathouses.  It just soaked up the sun, and then...  gone.

It is an Honour

The Bondi Resort Blog, and the Bondi Village Resort website, have been honoured with the Muskoka Technology Achievement Award for the Best Web Presence.       Nancy writes the Blog, and this is an huge honour. We have been nominated in the past twice for e-tourism awards, and to actually win this Technology Award is humbling.
The Bondi Resort Blog is supported and 'backstopped' by the Bondi Village Resort website, and special thanks must  go out to Nora Heuer of Baytides for all the work she did to help us refresh our website last year.   Mostly, thanks must go to those of you who drop by to read this Blog.  We average 9,000 page hits a month, and they come from all around the world. Each and every one of you is most welcome, and we hope you keep reading!   We also hope that you'll come and visit us, so we can meet in person, and not just on-line.     That happy event occured at the Awards presentation, where Nancy was able to meet "in real life" another nominee who has long been a "virtual friend."  Ahhh... connections.  Ahhh... Technology.      
Thanks to Muskoka Community Network for organizing these awards and hosting the evening.

Wave good-bye

Here it goes...  This photo was taken from Beaver cottage's dock this morning, about 10 a.m.  The ice has all broken into big floating pans, and is moving. 
Where it rubs onto the shore, or a dock, or even another pan of ice, it sounds like wind chimes.

This picture was taken at 3 p.m. on the same day.  Gone.  Now THAT should turn your thoughts to summer!

Well - to be honest - it is not totally gone.   There is still some piled up in the far corner of the bay, over by Chateau.  My guess is that will be all gone by tomorrow morning. Or even later this evening. It's a hot, sunny day out there. I've been working on gardens and spring clean up.   This will be a record for the ice leaving Bondi Bay. Since Grandfather started keeping a record in 1908, the earliest it has cleared our bay is March 31st.  By the by, to qualify as cleared of ice, the entire bay, including Haystack, out beyond Fire Island, must be free and clear.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

FUELing the FUN

Here's a steal of a deal!  We're partnered with Explorers' Edge -- and if you book BEFORE MARCH 31 (so phone now) for a minimum of a two night stay to occur prior to May 17th, you are eligible for a $50 Voucher to pay for the Gas, and another $50 Voucher to spent with partipating providers. That would be places like Restaurants, Attractions, Parks.

Linda and Paul snapped this shot about a week ago in
Algonquin. When not enjoying the great outdoors,
Linda produces a line of spurs, Spursuaders, that are ideal
for sensitive horses.  You can ask our horses for a
testimonial any time.
Late April and early May are sure-fire times for moose-watching in Algonquin.  Hiking is at it's best, with the woods dry, but few flies (who wait until the leaves pop out before popping out themselves.)

On May 6th, there is an ARCHERY TOURNAMENT taking place in Dwight.  Great fun, for all ages and abilities. Me, I cannot hit the side of the barn when standing inside it, but I'll be out cheering those who are firing on Bondi's Sponsored Target -- the rare and elusive Forest Dwelling Fur-Bearing Trout. (really. Would I kid about something like that?)  The 20 some target lanes wind through the woods at Logging Chain Lodge, and the realistic targets include a wide variety of options --including T-Rex.And the half of the standing bear target that was an entire standing bear target until a real bear took a decided dislike to the target the night before the event.     For novice archers, there are target butts at the Lodge, lots of expertise to help you out, and a great lunch. It all aids the Dwight Friends of the Library.

We've got a Super Special for a 3 night stay currently on offer. You won't beat the prices. Our rates include a bbq and a pass into Algonquin Park. Where you will likely see moose.  Did I mention now is the time to go Moose-watching in the Park?

Check Explorers' Edge for details on how the program works.  We think it's a Don't Miss This One idea -- spend some time at Bondi, relaxing, watching the wildlife here, hiking our trails. Break out the camera for some incredible photo opportunities while the rivers and waterfalls are running high. Check out the Park.  Enjoy dinner at one of the world class and unique restaurants in the area -- we'll be happy to discuss your eating options!   How about the Weekend Marche Breakfast at fabulous 3 Guys and a Stove restaurant?  $12.95. Kids get to dine for half of that.

Get the gas and $50 towards the restaurant paid for you...

On clear nights, we'll toss in a session on our lawn -- Owls, Howls and Stars that Shine.  We've got a barred owl on the hill, a wolf pack in the back 40, and stars that will take your breath away.  Come out at night and learn what real Night Life is all about.

Book now -- and come visit us before May 17th to take advantage of this great deal.

Friday, March 23, 2012

On the Edge

Tammy Gravini at the Bohemian Art Cafe and Gallery
Thursday I was in Bracebridge, for a Seminar put on by Explorer's Edge.  These are the fine folk who are promoting tourism in this region, recently 'renovated' by the Province of Ontario.  The Province divvied up the place into twelve Regions, all of which have something great to offer to tourism.  Muskoka was included with Algonquin Park, Almaguin Highlands and Parry Sound (at one point in the process, the Provincial powers-that-be had us lumped in with Markham, but happily we were able to get them to step out of the office and actually look at the province.)  The new geographic division began life with the catchy name RTO 12.  (Regional Tourism Organization 12).  That failed to roll trippingly off the tongue, so not long ago the re-branding came up with a new name for this lovely part of the world.  A part of the world, we hasten to add, that has been chosen twice by the National Geographic Travel Editors to be included in their top 10 destinations year round, and their Number One pick for Summer.  The name is  Explorers' Edge, so when you start to see that cropping up, do think of us.

Terry Gill offers moral support to the artists
The seminar yesterday was all about how to package and provide fun experiences for guests in the region.  Not that there is a shortage of 'things to do' up here, but to brainstorm ways to promote, enhance and partner with these activities, to ensure that our visitors have the best possible experiences while they are here.  It's always fun to be in a room full of folk from the hospitality sector, and it was a great day, facilitated by Experience PEI pros who made us all long to go out with the tide and try our hand at tonging and shucking oysters.

Since we couldn't do that in the Muskoka River, we split into groups to get hands on with some of the local 'experience providers' (I learned that new catch phrase -- apparently it is what I am when I take you out to learn about the Stars at night...)   My group headed to the Bohemian Art Cafe on the main drag of beautiful downtown Bracebridge.  Fun place.  Lots of interesting art (and artists) on site.  A small cafe in the back, and in between "the art experience".  Yes, they sat us down with paints and canvas and helped everyone try their hand at creating a masterpiece.

Our collection - very Group of Many
In this chapter we learned that Napster paints far better than I do.

Back at the seminar, we compared notes with the groups that went zip-lining and learned how to bake hamburger buns... There is no end to the interesting things you can do up here, really.  Then we brainstormed.  Starting with an inventory of the attractions and activities that are here already, each table tried to come up with some new experience that guests to the region -- as well as those of us who live or own second homes here -- could enjoy.

Terry Gill with one of his pieces
It was a fun day.  At my table we had Stephen, who wants to teach folks how to fish -- and perhaps partner up to offer a shore lunch and opportunity to learn to bake bannock as well as bait a hook.  And John, who is the Superintendent at Arrowhead Provincial Park, who has some ideas on ways to expand on the very popular Skating Trail. Ideas, I hasten to add, that include chocolate. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Thanks to Explorers' Edge for hosting this event.   That's not all they are up to at the Edge.  Book with us before March 31 for a two night stay vacation  before May 17th  and you'll get a coupon for free cash and a cash voucher  worth $100.  It's called Fuel and Fun.

So -- since April and May in Algonquin Park is definitely a MOOSEd SEE occasion, now is your chance to book with us, get your fuel, and use that voucher for one of the fun activities in the area -- like the Bohemian Art Gallery.

Going, going... but still hanging on.

Huge thanks to Dale Webb, for this photo of the village of Dorset.  The ice is retreating steadily.  This was taken from up at the Lookout Tower yesterday.

It's working its way out of our Bondi Bay, too.  Yesterday evening the fog was rolling out by the Island. What a beautiful sight - at times it would completely obscure the Island, then sift away, until it seemed we were in Brigadoon.  I had one ear out for some faint bagpipe music, but all I heard were birds. And frogs.  Many many happy frogs.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Chorus

That's fragile ice.  It is simply vanishing -- when it becomes this black, with a lacey appearance, it's not long for the surface of the lake.

With the open water, three Canada Geese have returned to the bay.  It's not many years back that they would have just touched down for a short rest before continuing their northern migration.

Now, they stay.  Geri, a friend of mine who works at the University of Winnipeg and spends a great deal of time in the far North, tells me the snow geese population has exploded, and they eat down the northern tundra, leaving little for the Canadas, who compensate by simply staying farther south.

Taffy is doing her very best to be sure those geese stay off the docks. Off the lawns.  Even out of the shallow water.  She takes her job very seriously.

It is an early melt.  The earliest the ice has ever gone from our bay was March 31st.  Don't bet on that one this year.  A few more days of this 26 degree weather and that bay will be wide open, ready to welcome Vic who is anxiously waiting to get his boat in the water and drop a line over the side.

The melt isn't the only thing that's early.  The frogs are singing.  Spring peepers are in full voice, the choir loud along the creek and by the pond.  This is the earliest I can remember hearing them.   The spring peepers are a clear sign of Spring, and we love to hear them.

 It is astonishing how something that small can make that much noise.  Or music.   If you've never heard the chorus, you can listen to a short clip of them singing right here -- I recorded it near the creek beyond the horse pasture.  Enjoy.

Boyne Creek Moose

The drive in from Huntsville just got to be an adventure.

A moose was sighted there yesterday, merrily munching.

Jerry Schmanda provided this lovely picture -- it was taken in Algonquin Park.

This is the season for Moose Watching.  North America's largest land mammal... truly fascinating, and during April and May (and apparently late |March!) they are commonly seen near the Highway 60 corridor.

Come on up and find out why you just MOOSEd go wildlife watching!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring? So they tell us

The first day of Spring. So they say.  It felt more like High Summer.  The thermometer hit 35 degrees in a sunny corner this afternoon.    The morning began with heavy fog lifting off the ice.

 The sun soon began to burn its way through the mist.

Over at Dwight, the rivers have met in the middle of the bay. That is the narrow blue line you can see across the picture.
The earliest date for Ice Out in our bay is March 31st.  We think this year will see that record tumble.  The ice is black. Fragile.  Barely enough to support a Canada goose.   The land is drying up right in front of our eyes.  It is a little un-nerving, seeing crocus in bloom, plants poking up through the ground, puddles evaporating and realizing it is still March. 
This weather should be putting people in the mood for Summer!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Morning Mist

Winter let go fast up here.  The earliest the ice has left Bondi Bay is March 31st.

This year, Brian has a bet on that it will be gone by the end of this week.

He could be right.  The weather day called for t-shirts, shorts... and boots.  Although by late afternoon, I was able to prance about in sneakers and have dry feet.

These are the Spring days, drenched in sunshine, that make being indoors intolerable.  They call out for the downing of tools, shutting off of computers, and heading outside.  Friends have already reported seeing Moose in the Park.

Birds return daily. Today on my walk with Taffy, we spotted a woodcock...

Welcome back Spring. We've missed you.

This weather should also turn a few peoples' thoughts to Summer -- we still have some vacancies scattered throughout July and August.  You should book now, to be sure you've got your cottage waiting!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is There Anybody There?

Here is another short video clip of a sound.  Since I seem to lack the techno-savvy to record just the audio and upload it, I am reduced to this method, of taking a video clip of the darkest night and letting you play it back just to listen.

This lone wolf was up on the hill near the Solar array on March 13.  I heard the pack howling earlier in the evening, about 10.30, when Taffy, Achmed and I sauntered up to put the horses and chickens to bed for the night.  This solitary wolf chimed in about half an hour later. 

Knowing the pack is in this close got me all tingly, so the guests here for the March Break came out with me to see Stars, learn constellations (Mars is glorious just now, as are Jupiter and Venus!) and to give a little listen.   Mars is currently lying in the constellation Leo -- we learned how to find that by lining up the back two stars in the Big Dipper and following them in the opposite direction to the North Star until they brought us to Regulus.

Naturally, when I went out with guests on the 14th, we didn't get a reply... seems to be just my luck this winter when trying to get the wolves to sing to me.  This clip, however, can ride to my rescue, proving that the Wolf Pack IS here, and in fine voice.


Hidden Valley Highlands has some of the best skiing in the province. It's a happening place, from the first day it opens right up to the end of season, providing fantastic family fun for all ages.

Our guests give the Ski School two poles up every year.  Dave and his friends love the convenience of being able to ski whenever they have a free moment.

World class skiers -- most recently Dara Howell -- learned their craft getting their thrills on these hills.

And, in addition to great hills, there is always something funky happening.

This SATURDAY MARCH 17, at 1 p.m., it is the Season Wrap Up PUDDLEJUMP.

You should go. If not to ski, at least to watch.  And to cheer.  Go... get your Splash On!

After all, what is Spring without a paddling through puddles?

Monday, March 12, 2012

You can Hear Spring Coming. And That's Not All.

Sue Ion photo
Coming back from late chores at the stable last night, at eleven p.m., Taffy and I came to a full stop in the Parking Lot.  What stopped us what the local Wolf Pack firing up on the hill. 

There were, to judge by the voices, a lot of them.  Quite close. In the back fields where we hosted the Paintball Biathlon and where the horses school over cross country fences. 

Mike Baum photo
On the hills to the north, a Barred Owl chimed in to join the chorus.

I ran inside, grabbed the camera and ran back out. Yes, they were still howling, although some of the big hitters, the long drawn out howls, were more spaced apart.

Why the camera?  Well...  it records video. And video, oh dearly beloved, records sound.

So the picture is nothing to write home about -- a light pole in the parking lot. Wow.  But if you close your eyes, and just listen, you can hear the distant wolves. And the owl.  And, near the end, Taffy adds a woof or two, not pleased at being left behind in the house while I went back out.

So we offer this, a little night music from the Lake of Bays.

Waiting for the Sequel

Here's a loud cheer to Jared Pratt, Jason Kuehnen and Benyamin James for putting themselves out there, being bold, being original, being creative. Being themselves.

We are more used to seeing Jared loading grain into the car for the horses and chickens. He operates the Agro-Centre in Huntsville, and is our Go-To guy when it comes to animal nutrition.

Jason we don't encounter as often. But his parents met while Margaret was staying here, and his father -- and Jason -- have crafted most of the brick-work about Bondi.  We have a copy of his first book of poetry, too.

The pair of them, along with their friend Ben, staged their first Art Show on Sunday.  Now, this is a feat in and of itself.  It takes a heck of a lot of courage to 'put yourself out there', open to the criticism that is drawn to artistic endeavors like moths are drawn to flame.  Art is deeply personal.  It's like hanging parts of yourself up on the wall for discussion...  So well done Jason and Jared.  And Ben -- who accompanied each artwork with a tale, stories from fractured landscapes.

mad cow anterior view by Pratt
Just to stage this show, the amount of work staggers the mind.  Jared transformed the Agro-Centre into a gallery. Complete with rugs on the floor.  I don't want to look behind the curtains hung along the back, where I suspect all the Cat and Dog food in Christendom is currently hiding, snugged in close to all the garden seeds in captivity.  Just to clear the space was Hurculean in scope.  Not stopping there, the lads had it polished till it gleamed, the work carefully hung, and a great little snack table provided by Vanessa's Kitchen.  I had to plead ignorance on that front as well -- although she told me she is new to the business, so the fact I had not heard of this caterer might be excused. You'll hear more of her.  She did a fabulous job.

'spawning salmon' by Kuehnen
They all did.  So, here's a cheer to celebrate work ethic, creativity and courage.  Relax, folks.. the Kids are All Right.