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, April 22, 2014

Checking in with the Neighbours on Earth Day

 Earth Day. And it's raining. So what to do but put on a raincoat, some rubber boots, and step out the door.

We only get One Earth. We should appreciate it, care for it, fall in love with it and never get over that.  We should understand that we share it.

We know people who look out the window on a rainy day and grumble, but they are missing so very much.

We found where the mice had been under the snow during a long hard winter, nibbling the bark from the little spruce.

And Taffy insisted that I come check THIS out...  turned out to be Wolf Scat. (yes, poop)   It was right at the top of the hill across the road, by the tubing slide, so very close to the resort.  Look at the fur in the scat -- this wolf had a meal of deer! Not so good for the deer, but most wonderful for the wolf, who wants to live too.

Go a little farther, and there's a big old (very old) maple tree that has past its prime.  How to tell? Well, when the pileated woodpeckers start hammering into the tree, it's a sure sign that there are insects and grubs in there, which would not be there in a healthy tree.   It is absolutely amazing how huge the chips are that the woodpecker smashes out with his beak! Look at the pile of chips at the base of this tree!

While looking down, on a northern facing slope where the snow is still lying about a foot deep, these beautiful oyster mushrooms, sometimes known as chicken of the woods, were vibrant on a fallen birch limb.  It is not always the big things that should draw your attention!


Crossing the road out of the fields and into the sugarbush, right at the trail edge was this striped maple, with the bark all scraped raw on one side.  That is the sure sign that last autumn one of the bucks used this tree to polish the velvet off his antlers so he would look sexy for the does.  The bucks will rub the antlers against the tree, almost like sharpening a knife blade, polishing up the rack and getting rid of the last itchy bits of the velvet that has nourished the antler while it grew.

If you stand still in the woods at this time of year, you can literally hear Spring coming.  The entire bush is flowing with tiny creeks and bigger streams, the snow melting off the hillsides and scurrying downhill through last autumn's leaves, creating breath-stealingly lovely miniature cascades at every turn.

There is a wonderful smell to a Spring woods, too, something rich and earthy and fresh. If you are fortunate enough to be a dog, there is a whole lot MORE to smell.  Taffy had to check out the messages written on this stump. No, I was not able to translate it...

Where the beech grow in big stands sweeping up the side of the hill, the deer had been digging for the mast (the beech nuts) that may have wintered over under the leaves.   The wild turkeys will dig up the bush like this as well, also seeking those protein-packed beech nuts.

Through the leaf litter underfoot, unstoppable, tiny shoots are pushing their way up to the light.

Ice falls still hold onto the rocky outcrops of the Canadian Shield in the woods, where the sun can't get a good angle on the northern sides of the hill.  Without leaves on the trees, you can see forever through the trees, and it pulls you away from the trails to wander and explore.  When you get higher, you can see even farther...

We found moss as green as Ireland.

And just beyond that, we came across an old dead tree that the porcupine had stripped of its bark, again searching for the insects and grubs that live underneath.  Porky had tossed down big slabs of the bark at the base of the tree.

The forest changes its face constantly. Here, where the beech stand gives way to the birches, it is an entirely different micro-environment.  Down the hill, there is a stand of red pines.  And where we started along the trail, we walked through hemlocks, and then a maple sugar bush.  If you know what to look for, you will be endlessly enchanted.

Of course there were ducks on the pond, the pond that was as dark green as the evergreens overshading it.  Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are very busy discussing nest sites, and he is being very very attentive.  Not that he'll stick around to raise the ducklings, but like all marriages, it begins in hope...

And, as we came back onto the lawn at Bondi, next to the horse pasture, there were geese. They were actually in the pasture, enjoying the big puddles and poking about for lunch, but Taffy suggested they'd prefer to be back in the air. She has this fascination with chasing geese, who refuse to play by her rules, and keep flying away...

Having been out and about, checking up on our neighbours who share this wonderful piece of the planet with us, it's now time to come inside, hang jackets to dry, and curl up by the fire for dinner.  Happy Earth Day.  Go on, get outside, be kind to the planet...


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