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, July 29, 2014

Cool Fun

 It was a cool evening on the beach for the Cookout, but there was a big bonfire, and a cosy BBQ putting out the heat, and everyone there (which was the whole resort!!) had a great time.

Nika (3) got the best and warmest dressed award when she came to the line for the Popcorn Seed Spitting contest.

But best of friends Shannon and Estelle got the Style points for their Synchronized Spitting Routine...

First facing forward....

And then the reverse backward bend spit. Which isn't easy. Best left to pros like these...    Shannon just slid past Estelle for the Silver medal spot, spitting 16'2.  The winner was Laura, here from B.C., with years of spitting on the Bondi Beach to her resume, and a distance tonight of 29'9".    Just shy of the evening's record set by her brother-in-law Marcus, at 30'11"

Dress for the weather. Get outside...

Walking with the Wild.

 This old log is supposed to be providing a take-off site line for a galloping horse coming in to jump over the thick hedge behind... It has been rolled about three feet away from the base of the fence. You can see the gap where it is supposed to be.

This is what is left of a yellow-jacket nest that was hidden inside another big, decaying log.  Fabulous designs in that beautiful nest. You just don't want to get close. Yellow jackets don't take kindly to being disturbed. Or eaten.

It is a little regretable that this nest was hidden in another of the older jumps up in our cross country schooling field. It is a good thing that the yellow jacket wasps are no longer there. It is less of a good thing that the entire log has been shredded apart.

And who, you ask, would do such a dastardly thing?  Why, hungry Mr. (or Mrs.) Bear.  It would be the work of a moment to shred apart a log like these.

Elsewhere in the field, we found flattened 'nests' where the deer have been sleeping.

Lots of signs of the wild turkeys, including feathers left in their wake, and a brand new hatch of busy little poults (one of which I was within inches of catching, but then began to wonder what I would do with it once it was in my hands, so it is free).  And this fine example of a slightly unwelcome but very lovely weed, Meadow Goats'Beard.
We also found wolf scat, indicating that the pack has been perusing the meadows too.  Taffy, brave poodle, always 'marks' wolf scat with a bit of her own urine, just to let the pack know who is REALLY in charge here...   (We are not sure that Taffy has thought this through to all its possible consequences.)

Something Old, Something New

 David and Megan are getting married September 13th... it is getting closer faster and faster. Funny how time does that!

In preparation, since they'll need a place to hang their hats, David has been building a house.  It is his design, from the CAD drawings up, and he and Mike have done an amazing job, with help from Brian and various tradespeople.

This week, one of the finishing touches included this piece of railing at the top of the stairs. It is from the iconic Bigwin Inn Rotunda, dating back to the 1920's, and one of the hottest resorts of its era.  People like Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, Carey Grant, the Rockefellers, Diefenbaker, and many many more leaned over this railing to look down into the lobby of the huge building.
What a great addition to a new house, bringing with it so much history from the Lake of Bays.   There are still sections of this railing available, through Nancy, to benefit the Lake of Bays Heritage Advisory Committee.

Welcome to Our World

How absolutely wonderful it is to welcome THIRD generation guests to our resort!   It is magical to see the continuity and family connections grow every year. For many of our families, their time at Bondi is the only time they are all together from their busy and far-flung lives.              It is with joy we welcome Noah Button
and Nella Ford-Jones...

And Noah Shantz Piccini.

Welcome to Our World, little ones. We can hardly wait to see you grow at Bondi over the years!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Swim like a duck

For the first time this summer, we had swimmers tackling the Island swim -- 1.6 km.

Six intrepid souls, including Shelley (our star swimmer with a 'knew knee') and Fred (faster than a speeding Orca)

Taffy had help in the spotter boat, from Anjali.  It is important to keep track of all the swimmers all the time.

Part way back, we were joined by a flotilla of young ducks, who thought it was a lovely day for a distance swim.

Arlene has swum from the Island every week that she has been here -- which adds up to a lot of island swim time!  She swims to the Point and back daily (when not engaged in water fights with her grandsons )   Lovely form in the water!


 Nobody finds mushrooms better than Fred and Anne.

They hadn't even been here a day when they showed up at my door with their "haul"  of chanterelles. 

These mushrooms, tasty as they are, seem to just pop up out of the ground when Fred and Anne arrive.  I hardly ever see them -- apparently I do not know where and how to look!

Wild mushrooms can be a wonderful addition to a meal, but you must know what you are picking and eating. If in doubt, leave it out.

fridge art

We love when our young guests bring us their artwork from their stay with us!

Simine did this great picture of her favourite place -- at the stable, with the horses and Taffy (at least, we're pretty sure that's Taffy in the doorway) 
Unless it is, perhaps, a chicken...
Not always easy to tell...

Thanks Simine!

One Upset Artist

Napster was heartbroken this week when the copy of Macleans Magazine arrived in our mailbox.  The August 4 & 11 'double issue' of this great Canadian magazine contains a preview of thh Blog of Lists, due to be published in the next issue.

Now, we love Macleans magazine. We enjoy the articles, even when we don't agree with the viewpoints, and we enjoy the Blog of Lists -- such as the 5 incredible historical artifacts stolen by Canada's most thief (who knew???); and 10 weird things you can only do in Canada...

But... this year they included a list of the 8 Top-Selling Animal Artists. 
1. Congo, the chimpanzee, in London, at $26, 352.00
2. Ruby the elephant, in Phoenix, at $25,000
3. The Orangutans of Krefield Zoo, Germany, at $4100.

 Well, you get the gist, and you can see the picture. We would normally link to that page, but we couldn't find it on-line yet.

"So," said David, "how much has Napster sold?"  We did the math.  He has just cracked $12,000 in Gross Sales.  All of his profits go to charities, including a Wing and a Prayer, Aspen Valley Wildlife, various Animal Shelters, the local churches and libraries, Cancer society, the local foodbank, and more.  That is a LOT of money raised by a small, portly ginger housecat over the past four years. 

And by our math, that would put him in slot number Three.

So we wrote a letter to Macleans. You can support it, by firing off a letter to  to support Napster's artwork and his tentative claim to fame.  After all, he is Canadian, and he's doing great work...  and he has works around the globe...

Come on Macleans, do the right thing, and recognize this Canadian cat!
Bird on a Wire


Coming Saturday, to a Beach at Dwight... the legendary Firefest celebration is happening.  Brought to you by the Huntsville/Lake of Bays fantabulous Volunteer Firefighters, this is an occasion Not to be Missed.

The evening starts early, with a bbq, kids' activities, emergency services demonstrations, fireboat rides... and then, the best fireworks display in the township happen, on a barge in the middle of Dwight bay.  Come by boat... or come by car and park at the Irwin Memorial School -- there is a shuttle bus running to get you to the beach.

Thanks to my friend Christina Handley for the fabulous photograph!

Huntsville, a place to visit, next to some great places to Stay!

Huntsville made the list of a national magazine as the HOT SPOT to visit... Well, gosh, we knew that already.

And the best place to stay when you are visiting Huntsville? Why, with the Resorts of North Muskoka, unique and authentic accommodations that aren't cookie cutter hotels like you find on Travelocity and other mass sites. 

Come on up, stay awhile, and check out the Real Muskoka experience of these great resorts.  Including us...

We still have a few vacancies in August, and there is plenty of summer left. And just an aside, the weather in Toronto is not the same as the weather up here. Ever.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Napster goes to Legendary Cowdray House

Earlier this summer, Andrew, one of our long-time Bondi Family, was here for the annual Williams/Hadden Family reunion.

He confessed that there was a big event in his future: he had been invited to 'ride out' at Historic Cowdray Park, in West Sussex, and he didn't know how to ride.

Nancy gave him some very basic basics...   And since Cowdray Park is legendary for the Polo played there, Bailey introduced him to some elementary 'stick and ball' techniques, so he might at least speak the language...

He took a Hostess Gift home with him, to present to Lady Cowdray. Appropriately, he selected a Napster print: Autumn Fox. We love this one. We think it is one of the Cat's very best.

Cowdray is an impressive place -- and one of the World's great polo centres, so the horsey set congregates there and we think they will appreciate this painting of a fox in the autumn colours...

We don't know just where they will hang it in the 44,000 square foot 'house', but hopefully there will be room somewhere. 

Perhaps in the room devoted to meditation... or to the courses in Animal Communication that they regularly offer.  

Wherever... we hope that the Cat's artwork brings a smile.  It has brought a lot of smiles to his charities -- for whom he has raised thousands of dollars over the past four years.

Just Beachy

 David gave a little coaching to Tony, who shot that popcorn kernel an impressive 22'8"...

While in the 'bull pen', warming up, Molly and Kira demonstrated Synchronized Spitting of the popcorn.   We were impressed.  The ducks were over the moon with glee.

And Isaac?  He was too entranced with the exploring in the lake to take part... This year...

Painting Inspirations

 The flower gardens are looking gorgeous this summer, even if the vegetables would like some steady heat to help them shove up out of the ground faster...

Recently, we have a visit from a local group of artists. They call their group the Palette Packers, and they arrive with not only lunch to make a day of it, but all their easels, paints and equipment.

Setting up in various spots around the resort, they were drawing inspiration from the hollyhocks, delphiniums, hawk sculpture and the lake views.

Of course, as soon as he saw the easels, Napster (our painting cat) hiked over to say a friendly hello.  And Taffy had to carefully inspect all the gear.

Shirley, Gill, Marie and Carol were the artists here that day.  Their work, and that of the rest of the club, will be on display at their Annual Art Show, held August 6th and 7th at the Huntsville Library.

The styles and subjects are as varied as the artists themselves -- although we hope we'll be seeing a few hollyhock and delphiniums represented at this year's show!

As you can see from this sample, their work is lovely. So put this on your calendars!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lawn Ducks

 There are about a dozen of them, when they all show up... Mallards who boldly stride up from the lake all the way to the Resort Office, where they can help themselves to some of the grain Carol puts out for the free-range hens.

And some of the grain David offers, by hand...

They fly back to the lake, but they arrive on foot.  That's a long walk for a small duck...

Elm Sawfly

 This little guy was climbing up the door to Carol's garden shed. 

This is the larvae of the Elm Sawfly.  Now, we don't have a lot of elm around here anymore, but we do have willow, which will apparently serve in a pinch.

Sawfly larvae have more than the five pairs of stubby abdomimal limbs (prologs) typical of most true caterpillars, the prologs lack the hook-like crochets found on caterpillar prolegs, and sawfly larvae usually have only one simple eye on each side of the head as opposed to the six eyes typically found in caterpillars. Caterpillars mature to become butterflies and moths. Sawfly larvae produce wasp-like insects. However, both elm sawfly larvae and some true caterpillars feed in the open on foliage. Elm sawfly larvae cause sporadic defoliation of elms and willows. They are also known to feed on foliage of several other tree species. Adult elm sawflies also cause damage by cutting gashes in the bark of small limbs with their mandibles in order to feed on tree sap, sometimes resulting in girdling and death of the limbs.

We left him to go on his way, but we hope there aren't that many more of these guys around this year.  We like our trees, too...

Cutting a Rug on the Deck

 The folks in Lantern cottage were getting into the swing on Thursday, after their cocktail party get-together. 

Colin started it off with Carolyn...

But Mello soon took over... (when he saw how smoothly she could dance!!)

And not to be left out, Carol got out on the 'dance floor' as well.  Fun is always where you find it, and what you make it!

In Pursuit of the Trivial

 The Bondi "Eh" Team perhaps didn't have all the answers... but they far and away took the award for the best dressed team at the Dwight Public Library's annual Trivia Night last Wednesday.

Careful attention to detail included such wardrobe items as Mike's camoflaged shoes, and Dave's sock'n'flops (flip flops with socks).  High fashion indeed for the red-neck look.

With a little help from Jay, they had a full team of six, and acquitted themselves very well indeed.  Jay was the one who knew which country's airline is known by the letters LOT.   Of course, Paige (photobombing this shot) and her own team also knew that, since they had flowin in from Poland on that very airline!

Trivia Night is a great evening out. For $10 /person, and the price of some pizza and snacks, you get five rounds of 20 questions, lots of good humoured argument and debate, and the highs and lows of knowing and not knowing...

This year, nobody could catch the What Nuts team, however, who marched home with the coveted trophy and a whole handful of medals!

Happy Birthday, Brian

July 14 marks Brian's birthday.  We are told that in France there is a huge celebration (we're not entirely sure it is for him, but what the heck, we'll take the fireworks any day!)  Celebrations closer to home saw him out to dinner at 3 Guys and a Stove, one of the top restaurants in the area.
There was a very small cake on that occasion...  
 But the desserts all arrived with extra spoons for sharing.

There was a bigger cake, and a bigger crowd the following evening at the Cook Out, when everyone gathered to sing Happy Birthday to both Brian and our guest Frances (her day was Thursday!)


No candles... but lots of marshmallow roasting, and popcorn kernel seed spitting competition.

And what was very nearly a 21 gun salute from the potato cannons...

So happy day, Brian. And remember, He who has the Most Birthdays, WINS!  Celebrate every one.