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.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Disc Golf, Come Play with Us!

There is a classic tag line that "Golf is a Great Walk, Ruined."

Not so for Disc Golf (Frisbee Golf) (Frolf) This is just plain good fun, for which you need absolutely no special gear, just a set of frisbees. And those you can rent.

The 9 hole Disc Golf course at BONDI VILLAGE is open for play.

The lake temperature is now over 80 degrees F., the beach is beckoning. The hiking trails are good to go, and we are right next door to Algonquin Provincial Park, so trails are pretty much unlimited here for hikers.

We've got wildlife on the lawn, from new fawns to bluebirds.

And we've still got some vacancies for the summer. Isn't it time you got out of town?

Shahira's Here!

We know it's truly summer when two things happen -- one is that the lake temperature skyrockets. It is now sitting at around 80 degrees or so Fahrenheit. Glorious. Everyone's been jumping in.

The second is that our summer staff students arrive. Shahira, who was with us last summer too, came yesterday. She hadn't even finished unloading her luggage when David materialized to present her with her "official" TEAM BONDI paintball jersey!

David is itching to get back on the Paintball range run by MJD Paintball out of Deerhurst Resort. They get into 'team play' there, with scenarios that boggle the mind. Nancy has agreed that she'll tag along ONLY if she can be dressed in a Referee's shirt so she doesn't get shot, and she'll be handling the cameras...

The guys are thrilled with their new team jerseys, and Dave certainly 'looks the part' -- fully accessorized.

Oh, the cat, Achmed, is not strictly speaking a necessary accessory for this game.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Of Twin Fawns and Great Gifts

The fawn count is rising.

We've now got a set of twins hanging out along the property line near Farside/Blackberry cottages. Napping in the arbour at Longside. Playing on the lawn.

Neighbours down Fox Point also report twin fawns near their property, and a doe and fawn were spotted way up the Lookout trail last weekend.

We don't even want to talk about the deer romping about in the huge fields behind the resort, part of which houses our disc golf course, but we will say that there are fawns there, too...

There must be few things on the planet more elegantly beautiful than a young fawn, all legs, eyes, white spots on (fawn) coloured coats.

Forever neighbour and wonderful friend, Phyllis Hungerford, from Lumina, recently celebrated her approaching birthday.

Lumina, like ourselves, being a resort that gets a tad busy during the summer, elected to hold the party in late June instead, and what a great job Phyllis' Vicki, Tec and all the extended family and staff made of that occasion. Lumina, just half a mile down the road from us, features a great dining room, overseen by Chef Shawn, and open to the public with reservations. You should go.

But this isn't about the Party, or the great food at Lumina, or even about Phyllis' landmark birthday coming up in August. It's about one of her presents -- received while sitting by the window in her house on Tall Pines Point, between Lumina and Bondi. Phyllis was privileged to watch a doe birth her fawn. Right there, by her cottage, with her watching. We think this is the fawn that later showed up sleeping in our garden. The timing would be right, and it's close enough.

Two years ago, Phyllis got to watch another doe give birth to twins, in almost the identical location. Now, that's the kind of Birthday Present that simply cannot be matched, and carries with it such good fortune and blessing. All of which, for Phyllis, is most well deserved.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

come on in, the water's fine!

Sand, water, kids. It's an unbeatable combination.
Justine didn't let the lack of appropriate beachwear slow her down... she just grabbed a noodle and Mom and headed into the lake.

The huge sandpile at the beach got her all covered up with sand anyway, so it required one more dip -- and a lot of coaxing from Mom Kate, before she got back in the car, wrapped in a towel!

Kids know how to make the most of summer weather! Between the lake and the playgrounds we've got here, there's never a shortage of things to explore!

The Drive

Tom Thompson titled the painting The Drive. For obvious reasons. It features the loggers running the timber over the Tea Lake Dam in Algonquin Park.

Ron Murdoch, who is recreating the mural on the side of his NorthArt Gallery and Heroes Antique Store in Dwight, more accurately describes it as "The Climb" as he cavorts up and down the ladder with his paints.

This mural is part of the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Mural Festival and Outdoor Gallery taking place from June 26 to July 5, honouring the Group of Seven. This will be the third mural of the Group of Seven in Lake of Bays. The Dorset Heritage Museum has two, unveiled earlier this year, of works by Franz Johnston.

In Huntsville, you can stop by the Community Mural (outside the Town Hall) and add your own brushstroke to the mural Gerry Lantaigne will be creating of J.E.H. MacDonald's The Wild River.

Or you can simply stop by the NorthArt/Heroes Antiques location and cheer Ron on, at the top of his scaffold, armed with pots of paint and brushes.

I'm sure he'd enjoy the company! And you're sure to enjoy the painting!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bluebirds of Happiness

It's quite charming that bluebirds are connected to the concept of happiness and blessing.

Nancy's been lurking along the fence line,camera in hand, trying to get a shot of some of ours as they come and go from their nests. They are busy now the babies are hatched and hungry, but they are also shy. A telephoto lens comes in handy.

And how should one address a collection of bluebirds? Multiple hummingbirds come in 'charms'. It's a parliament of owls, a host of sparrows and an exultation of larks... so would not a group of bluebirds be called a 'happiness of bluebirds'?

It gets our vote.

The English language is particularly rich in naming multiples, although most of us settle for less and have lost the correct phrases. Cats, for instance, such as Napster and Achmed sharing the sofa, are most correctly referred to as a Clowder of Cats. And for our fishermen friends, Trout, on your best days, come as a Hover.

Checking out the Iris

Mrs. Tree Swallow spent part of this very hot sunny afternoon peeking out of her nest box, watching Carol's iris bloom.

Who could blame her? The colours are wonderful!

We think the swallows are pretty wonderful, too. Between our extensive collection of these fantastic flyers, the dragonfly airforce now out at full strength, and the breeze off the lake, flies are not an issue.

In fact, Carol spent almost the entire afternoon working in the garden, while Nancy and Dave tried to cut down the 'hay field' where the grass kind of got away from us around the replanted Century Apple Tree. Which is doing very well, thanks for asking. Plenty of leaves now!

David's comment on that was "it would be easier to hack through the Amazon rainforest with a salted cod." Nonetheless, we got the grass down to something more manageable, for which I'm sure the tree says thanks!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sun Standing Still

Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice. The name derives from Latin: sol (sun) and sistere (stand still), and that derivation comes from the fact that there is a moment when the sun appears to stop in its passage across the sky.

It doesn't stop... we know that... and if you are here in the summer, we'll help you find Jupiter, and perhaps even the moons of Jupiter that helped explain to Galileo that the Sun does NOT orbit the Earth, but that's a post for Dark Skies and summer nights on Bondi's expansive lawn...

The Solstice marks the official beginning of Summer. Which means you should have booked your summer vacation with us by now, but there's still some opportunity if you are, like the Sun, apparently standing still on your list of things to do.

There are huge celebrations at sites like Stonehenge (a site I have always preferred to visit when it is empty of people, and silent but for the wind in the grass, but never mind... apparently it is right up there with the G20 for security measures in England this year)

Speaking of England, there it is referred to as Midsummer Solstice. That's from an ancient British tradition in which there were only two seasons: Winter and Summer. Or, as one of my relatives once supplied, during a bout of depression, Cold Rain and Warm Rain.

Over here, of course, we define the seasons differently.
Snow, Mud, Road Construction and Hunting spring to mind, but I digress...

The summer solstice occurs on June 21st at 1:45 EDT. At that instant the center of the Sun’s disc will be located directly above the Tropic of Cancer at a spot near the border of India and Bangladesh. This is the date of the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, which yields 14 hours and 54 minutes of time that Old Sol is above the horizon. You might not be at your best at brightest at 1.45 A.M., but on the bright side, you've got lots of daylight to look forward to.

A really cool website that lets you look at the Earth in real time, to check out where night is currently falling and dawn is currently springing eternal, is Earth and Moon Viewer.

But now that summer is here, and it's official, and the lake is about 23 degrees Celsius and calling your name, it's time to get out of the city, get back to your Self, let the kids spend some time that isn't governed by a referee's whistle...

It's time, like the Sun, to Be Still, and Let your Soul Catch Up.

Friday, June 19, 2009

From Burkino Faso to the Bondi Lookout Trail

Our hiking and ski trails are open to the public. Today we welcomed visitors to hike at Bondi who'd come from REALLY far away!

Pam Morris, seen here cooling off in the lake, works with the Wycliffe Bible Translators in Burkino Faso. That was pretty cool --because Nancy sponsors a Foster Child through Plan Canada who lives in Burkino Faso! Naturally this lead to the typical conversational query, along the lines of 'oh, so you're from Canada... do you know my cousin in Winnipeg?"

Nancy's Foster Child, Camil, lives in Boulsa. That's about 3 1/2 hours drive from Tougan where Pam works, but it was still interesting to talk about the country.

Pam's sister works with a Mission in Spain, so the family is pretty far flung. It was great to see the girls and their Dad have some time here at Bondi, wildlife watching and just hanging out.

Tiny Little Footprints

Carol, in her unending mission to improve the gardens, found her plans changed yesterday. She found twin fawns snuggled up in the arbour past Longside cottage. They were peacefully following their mom's orders not to move... so Carol moved instead. At least we have plenty of gardens for her to chose from! She didn't have her camera handy, sadly, and when we returned for the Photo Shoot, Mom had already moved the babies!

This is the same arbour that hosted the nest box full of flying squirrels earlier this year. you can go back into the Blog to read about that adventure in Squirrel Salvation!

Evidently, this arbour, covered with vines, is a haven for wildlife!

Visitors here hiking today saw a doe and fawn on the Lookout trail. Probably Fawn #4...

And Nancy found this tiny little footprint. Putting an Olympic quarter next to it gives it some scale. She found it in the indoor riding arena -- evidently from the myriad of tracks, the deer have been having a bit of a party in there, out of the weather, and away from the bugs!

Get Off your Wazoo!

It's almost that time again -- the Lake of Bays Association SILENT BOAT RALLY is coming up faster than you think, on July 12, in fact. For the third year, we are delighted to be hosting this event on our north beach. Private entrance off the Port Cunnington Road, lots of room for cars, canoes, boats, kids and bbq's... Shallow sandy beach, and we've even kept a spot at the Main Dock for Graeme to park his lovely Heather Belle (and thanks to Sue, who won a prize with this photo of the Heather Belle at Bondi's dock!)

We wait eagerly to see what boat Mark will be in this year -- two years ago, he brought his classic Dispro. Yes, indeed, Mark took a trip in his Dippy Dip Dip!
Last summer, he hoved into view with a real birchbark canoe.

For those who perhaps lack the selection available to Mark, Barry, El Supremo Organizer of this event, can help you organize canoe rentals right at the beach. All you need to bring is a swimsuit and enthusiasm!

This is a great day. People get out on the water under their own steam (or, in the case of the electric boats, under the steam in a battery) Canoes, kayaks, rowboats, paddle boats... everything quiet. It's a reminder that we don't need 600 hp on the back of the wake boat to enjoy the lake...

It's topped off by a great bbq, good fellowship, and the chance to wander about the property at Bondi -- toss a frisbee at one of the Golf Targets, spot the bluebirds nesting on the pasture fence, say hi to the pony... maybe see the spotted fawns (we now have at least 3. We think 4...)

And the ducks who nest in the corner of our bay, they appreciate the day as well! Not to mention the loons, and mergansers...

So don't forget to get over to the LOBA website and register for the day. GET OFF YOUR WAZOO AND IN YOUR CANOE!

Good as Gold, and Barenaked

Canada leads the world in Women's Hockey. When our ladies step onto the ice, they really are as good as gold. They have always won. Our gals have never been less than Olympic champions.

Which pretty much also means that they dedicate all their time to the pursuit of the sport and excellence therein, which pretty much also means, like many of our elite athletes, they are chronically short of ready money.

Deerhurst is hosting the Good as Gold open golf tournament this weekend to help with that. Along with Olympic gold-medal winners Hayley Wickenheiser, Vicky Sunohara, Jayna Hefford and the rest of the team, other luminaries are participating include Jason Spezza and Ray Emery of the Ottawa Senators, Mike Bullard and George Stromboulopoulos.

But what's a band of girls without back-up, you ask? Enter the Barenaked Ladies. This is their only Canadian tour site this year, right here... and who does not enjoy this group? (although I'm still waiting for my autographed single of If I had a Million Dollars...)

For non-golfers, you can participate in the Breakfast of Champions, and take in the concert with the Ladies...

All while helping Canada's Women's Hockey team gear up to once more Go for Gold in 2010, right here in Canada.

Keep your stick on the ice, everyone! Game on.

No Summer Election

What a surprise -- no summer election. There are days when we wonder if there is anyone present in the House of Commons, between summer recess, Christmas break, Progrogued parliament, it all begins to sound like a good gig, doesn't it? Or are they (tongue in cheek) just too chicken to go to the polls? (we're just kidding, honest!)

Our friends at Beauview are convinced that people have held off from booking summer holidays until the decision was made about the election. So, great news for them, we still have some vacancies, and you can indeed flee the city for a week with your family, for some well deserved soul-restoration.

But if politics has been holding you back, come on up anyway -- the chickens were disappointed to hear there was no election. The Bobs have been training hard for the Race to the House.

StepHEN Harper, Jack LAYINGton, Michael EGGnatief, Tony ClemHENt, Paul FOWLerty, Leona AgluCLUCK, we (MOST RESPECTIVELY and with great good humour) have got 'em all fit and ready to run. Not to mention that 'dark horse' outsider, Osama BEEN LAYIN'

After all, if our Clam Race could so accurately predict the outcome of the American elections, why not save ourselves time and dollars and let the Bondi Bobs determine the Canadian parliament next time round???

So don't delay -- book your summer week with us, and take part in the Great Canadian Parliamentary Chicken Race. Heck, we could be more popular than Mine that Bird...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Beautifully Bewildered

Carol's gardens are in bloom. This is the time of year the iris blossom, creating a riot of colour. Carol has so many different varieties of iris that it is an adventure just to wander through the garden to see them all. From snowy white "Cotton Lace" to the almost midnight black "Black Dragon", we have an entire rainbow out there.

One of Carol's favourites is this -- called the

We hope you enjoy the photos of this unusually marked -- an unusually named! -- iris!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Bird in the ... chimney???

Nancy dropped by a friend's house this week, to return a book. Mike greeted her, brandishing a huge fishing net, and tastefully attired in a leather apron.

The occasion? He had opened up his wood furnace to toss in some paper, and been thoroughly hissed at by a furious female merganser. She had somehow managed to fly straight down the chimney, into the cold furnace, and was well and truly trapped.

Efforts to shift her resulted in her retreating farther into the soot and ashes, hissing furiously. With Nancy holding the net firmly across the open door of the furnace, and Mike carefully wielding a long stick into the depths, the merganser was persuaded to make a break for it.

Joanne whipped out the camera to get some pictures once duck and people returned to the light of day.

She ruffled up her crest, to show she was not taking any of this lightly, but once untangled from the net, she happily took flight back onto the lake, shook out her feathers to remove the dust, and then loudly announced her escape to the whole lake.

It was a great opportunity to get a close up of these amazing fishing birds. We see them in the spring, when the males are in their wedding white breeding plumage, and every summer we look forward to seeing the large broods of youngsters being shepherded along the shores.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vesle Skaugum, Little Norway

It began as an outpost of Limberlost Lodge -- guests would arrive by horse and carriage in summer, or by skis in winter. And some of those original buildings are still on the site. But then WWII rolled across Europe. The Norwegian Air Force moved to Canada to complete pilot training exercises -- flying out of the airport at Gravenhurst where there is a museum celebrating this component of what was known as Little Norway. The airmen, overflying the northern Muskoka wilderness, noted its similarity to their home country terrain. They also noted the narrow section of land between Dotty and Oxbow Lakes. Soon, this was acquired as a recreation and training camp. Called Vesle Skaugum (which I believe means "clearing in the woods", but I could be wrong...) a replica of the King of Norway's summer home was constructed, along with dining halls, dormitories, officers quarters, etc.

From here, the Norwegians trained to return to their homeland. There was a POW camp near Gravenhurst, and the Norwegian 'flyboys' used to pick up a bag of potatoes at the grocery store, overfly the camp, and 'bomb' the PoW's with potatoes.

After the war, the site became a Kiwanis camp, and more recently has been reincarnated as Olympia Sports Camp, one of the country's premier youth camps, with over 40 acres and a seemingly endless supply of summer programs! Owner David Grace has ensured that the rich history of the camp is carefully preserved.

Sunday, the Camp opened up for the Lake of Bays Doors Open tour. Camp staff did an outstanding job of walking people through the camp, pointing out some of the more eccentric details (including a ping pong table that was only about 2' 1/2' wide!) that remain from the Norwegian occupation. The hand-carved lamp 'torches' have fit beautifully into the Olympia theme of the camp.
Several old photos were also on display.

Thanks, Olympia, for letting us get this great glimpse of this historic building!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bluebird: 1, Chickadee: 2

Gary from the Algonquin Inn dropped by again with his camera. He got some great shots of Mom Bluebird, bringing home dinner to the nestlings (Yes, they've hatched! We have two breeding pairs here... HOORAY)

The background for one of these photos is the indoor arena, quite a long distance away, but it certainly serves to highlight the birds themselves.
He also caught Mom Chickadee in action. She's in the next door nest box (try saying that three times fast!)

What Gary noticed, while waiting to catch a shot of Dad Bluebird, was that the chickadee was returning twice as often as the bluebird with tasty green caterpillars for the hungry kids inside. Is she just a better hunter, or does she have more mouths to feed, we wonder?

She looks a little harrassed... Or, as David describes her, Bird With Attitude...

The Muskokan features one of our does!

Bondi received an 'honourable mention' in The Muskokan magazine June 4th edition! At least, one of our deer made the cut, and starred on the editorial page.

You can check the link and see the photo. She's on page AO4.pdf in the June 4th issue.

Of course, if Kerri thought this deer was cute, just wait till she gets a look at the Lawn Fawn!

Robert Bateman Get to Know -- we have a Winner!

We are SO excited to announce that Quinn Dalgarno, part of the Bondi Family, has won the Robert Bateman GET TO KNOW photo contest with his picture of a frog, titled, At the Water's Edge.

We've long been fans of Quinn, and were truly impressed by the photos he began taking last year, when he got his own camera. Several of his shots have been featured on our Blog.

Quinn is in Grade 8, and as part of the contest he is attending a Congratulations Ceremony at the Toronto Zoo with his family.

Want to bet he comes back with some amazing photos from THAT trip, too??

Congratulations Quinn. We are so proud to know you, and we think this photo is AMAZING!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fawn on the Lawn

We are delighted to report that our little fawn is still hanging about.
The other day, we found her hiding behind a single stalk of tall grass at Tamarack cottage.

Then we found her doing her Yoda impersonation in the grass near Beaver cottage.

And Nancy was able to get a little video of her, again at Beaver cottage, as she settled in for a nap at the base of the tree.

She's getting stronger, and she runs like -- wait for it -- a deer. Carol had the chance to watch her frolicking on the lawn with her mom, jumping, spinning, generally checking out how those long legs work.