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.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pre-Beach Warm Ups

Some of our guests demonstrating one of the many correct and approved Warm-Up exercises that are recommended before Heading to the Lake.

It is important to have all muscles fully stretched and relaxed before activities such as jumping off docks, bouncing on water trampolines, zipping down waterslides, clambering over icebergs... or just floating...

Dorset... and Beyond

On her day off this week, Natalie took one of our bikes and set sail for Dorset.

She was lured by the siren call of Robinson's General Store, we're sure. That, and ice cream.

Getting there was a snap. Coming home, well, that was the chapter in which we discovered the Muskoka Hills, most of which were not in her favour in that direction.

She came home ready for a jump into the lake to cool off.

All in all, an excellent adventure.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I Can't Stop Smiling

That was Lesleigh's comment when Brian took her for a 'spin' in his PA-11 Piper Cub floatplane.  With perfect early morning conditions for flying, who could resist?

She was enchanted by the fact that this plane is hand-started -- Brian balances on the float, throws the prop to engage the engine, then clambers in and buckles up.  With earphones on so he could act as tour-guide, they circled the Bay to warm up the engine before flight.

The sharp line along the base of the shoreline trees is how high the deer can reach when standing on the ice in winter.  The lake itself was mirror still.

Looking at Muskoka from the air is a lifetime experience.  There is an excellent company based in Parry Sound, Georgian Bay Airways, that many of our guests enjoy. It's a great day's outing from Bondi Village, with a picturesque drive, lots of opportunities on the way to explore restaurants and antique and craft stores, and the chance to see some really different terrain. Georgian Bay is windswept with lots of open rock. This side of the great divide the shorelines are softer, with trees to the very water's edge and sand beaches. The difference is remarkable.

The experience is, as Lesleigh described it, "one of a lifetime."

Go Fish

Opening day of Bass Season, and our fishermen took to the Lake.

With success.  They practice catch-and-release, and were just delighted to land these beauties.

This should put an end, too, to their lament that the sport is called "Fishing," it is not called "Catching."

With over 300 miles of shoreline, and deep deep water, Lake of Bays is home to trout, bass, and (now) pike. The latter were introduced by people who did not give any thought to the consequences of transferring species from one body of water to another, and once into the lakes, it is hard to remove anything. As anyone who has tried to spoon dissolved sugar from a cup of coffee can attest.

This is why there are constant warnings about not using live bait in certain lakes, in only buying bait locally, about cleaning off the hulls of your boats if you use them in different lakes. The inadvertent introduction of species has given us a whole list of invasive things in Canada.

Lake of Bays is still home to beautiful native species, like these bass. We all need to work to keep it that way!  So think before you toss anything into a waterway, be it bait or the boat you just enjoyed on a southern lake with zebra mussels...

Look at the smiles on Dave and Mike, as they proudly show off their catch! 

There are many fishing derbies that take place in Muskoka. If you're in the area on July 14th, the Dorset Kids' Fishing Derby is on. For kids ages 12 & under accompanied by an adult. Lots of prizes & bait provided. $2 per child. Kooky winning categories like "funniest fishing hat". Register 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. behind Northern D'Lites. Judging 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. & prize ceremony at 11:00 a.m. Bring your own pole. Rain date is Sunday, July 15.

Flight School

Our barn swallows hopped out of the nest and into the sky today!  All three of them have made to this point, and are looking lovely, although it is true that they are still working out how to get their feathers to stay in place.

And don't get in their way when they fly. Turning and altitude adjustment are still a bit wobbly.

Mom and Dad are hunting hard for them. Insects and caterpillars are the favoured menu items.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Her Wake brings down the House

What fun evenings at both Dwight and Baysville this week, when the Friends of the Libraries in each village hosted the comedy, "Her Wake."

A short play, just half an hour long, the evenings were rounded out by a kitchen party serving tea, coffee, lemonade, desserts, and featuring fiddlers and singers (depending on which venue! Dwight had a single fiddler and a wonderful singer... in Baysville, the single fiddler, Tom, was joined by an entire group, the Fernglen Fiddleheads. Fantastic, either solo or in harmony)

There was an excellent turnout (more people in Dwight, but not by many, and it's not a contest!) On a scale of 'who laughed harder,' it would be an absolute tie. Although the fiddle group in Baysville almost fell off their chairs when the fiddle music starts up in the off-stage kitchen and the ladies pass some comments on the music.

,.Deborah Mitchell and Lesleigh Turner had them rolling in the aisles with their portrayal of Martha and Cassie, down East at their friend's funeral, passing comments and juicy gossip about the other mourners.  Fortified by a little 'sweetener' in their copious cups of tea, the gossip gets even juicier as the gals get a little juiced.  Written by Frank Macdonald, the play was named Outstanding Canadian Production at its debut performance at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival

Thanks so much to Deb and Lesleigh for bringing the show to life, and to the Friends of the Libraries and both the Librarians for bringing the show to Lake of Bays.

An Update on our Orphan

Jan sent us this update from the Aspen Valley Wildlife. This is our orphaned fawn (Fawn Bondi) who is now living at the Centre.  Seen here with one of her friends. 
It's wonderful that she is doing so well, it's wonderful that she has a close companion. Nothing can replace MOM, but at least she isn't all by herself!

Napster, our famous painting cat, is currently offering discounted rates on his artwork as he fund-raises for the fawn. He has $200 so far, but baby food for Bambis is pricey stuff and we are trying to raise more. He can be reached at his Blog, or by emailing Nancy through the Bondi Village Resort website.

Aspen Valley can also take donations by interac, or through cheques or in cash if you are going by... Please help us make sure this little one gets to grow up big and strong and healthy!

It's 80 Degrees... why doesn't the Iceberg Melt?

It's a tough job, working for the Bondi Maintenance Dept.  The two charter members of the Local 4, BMD, spent yesterday afternoon in the lake.

Their mission -- to set up the water trampoline, and the newest of our water toys, the new Iceberg climbing slide.

They dipped the thermometer, and it came out reading 80 degrees. (it is an old, but reliable device, that never managed to learn metric, but we keep it in the boathouse as part of our traditions)

Oddly enough, they found there was little sympathy for their labour, since that day was blistering hot, and Carol was working in the gardens, Nancy was working with the horses, Natalie and Sue were cleaning windows at the time...

Bandits Come to Call

One of our neighbours dropped by this week with some small friends. Leslie has a cottage down the road from us. Her grandpa found orphaned raccoon babies on his farm in Haliburton. And, following one of their family farm traditions, they adopted two of the tiny things, bottle raising them.

We can understand that. There are few things out there more adorable than babies of any species, and the little ring-tailed masked bandits are undeliable among the cutest things going. Finding them orphaned and helpless, their eyes not opened at the time, we can understand why Leslie stepped up and took on the challenge.

They melted Dave and Brian completely.  While we don't advocate the raising of wild animals, who are, well, wild and who will one day need to grow up and stop being cute and cuddly, under certain circumstances, we can see why it happens.  These little ones will most likely end up living on Grandpa's farm, fishing for frogs in the small pond, and hanging out in the loft of the barn. Where they will be far too habituated to people, to be frank, but where they are welcomed and will probably make out just fine.  That is always the problem -- what to do with them when they grow up... These are lucky ones.  And they are not the first hand-raised raccoons that have grown up with this family, living on this farm, so all will probably work out for them

This week they are visiting at Leslie's cottage, learning about the lake (which was too big, and scared them to start with), playing with leaves and acorns and chasing each other up trees.  Emma and Connor have had them into their school too, for show and tell, and that's all good.  Anything that let's our city kids learn more about wildlife and interact with things natural is a good thing.  We were enchanted with their busy little paws, almost little hands, grasping and exploring everything in their universe.

Named Sky and Sparrow, the babies tumbled in the grass, chased each other around the tree, fell off the picnic table, were hugged and handled, photographed and admired.  Then, just like that, they did what babies do. Fell asleep, plunk... right there on the picnic table.  Connor and Emma were despatched to collect their cat carrier case from the car so they could nap in that while driving home to the cottage.

And really, what could be cuter than a sleeping baby?  Over the years, our Dad, Paul Tapley, had several tame raccoons, raised from infancy. Also a lovely tame skunk, named Flower, who would follow him about, and who was NOT de-scented but who never flipped a tail wrong.

Welcome home

Every June we are happy to welcome Joanne and her 'gals' home to Bondi.  Almost all of her daughters were able to join her this year for their get-together get-away.  (Taffy offered to fill in for one of the absent... but we're sure it wasn't quite the same...)  The weather could not have been kinder, the lake was warm, there were hikes, swims, hacky-sack on the lawn, bbqs, and a whole lot of laughter.  Something we love to hear.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Her Wake comes to Dwight and Baysville

Debra Chantler photo
The Dwight Friends of the Library and the Baysville Friends are proud to present two performances of the witty theatre production "Her Wake," written by Frank MacDonald. Originally produced by Pacheco Theatre in London, Ontario, the show features Deborah Mitchell and Lesleigh Turner as two Nova Scotia women at the wake of a friend.
As they share stories of the deceased, the laughs and satire abound.

The play is short, and before hand you enjoy -- at Dwight -- the music of Sean Connon and fiddle playing of Tom Hutchinson, over a cup of tea or coffee and decadent desserts.  Baysville has brought in a fiddle group to provide the warm- up music for the play.

The show is at Dwight on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20 and in Baysville THURSDAY JUNE 21. Doors open and refreshments are served beginning at 6.30, with the play at 7.30.

It's only $15, and proceeds go to Library programs and improvements.  Deb is a long time friend of Nancy's and has deep Bondi roots of her own, so we welcome her to the community for this great show that keeps the FUN in Fundraising, and we are looking forward to meeting Lesleigh

Catch a sneak preview here.... and be sure to come on out to the Community Centre to enjoy the Real Deal.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Wake up to a view like this one!

Rob Stimpson took this stunning photo of a sunrise on Lake of Bays this week.  And yes, that is a photo, not a painting.

Although it looks like a dreamscape, doesn't it?

Thanks for letting me share your work Rob -- you take astonishingly lovely photographs.

And this one should remind people why they should be coming to Lake of Bays for some rest and restoration of the soul this summer. 

Spot the Fawn

I put this on Bondi's Facebook page -- saying "it is time to play Spot the Fawn."

It got a LOT of hits, and comments, and some shares and likes. 

Turns out that for all of those who were able to spot the little chap, brilliantly hidden along the pasture fence near the creek, there were just as many who were baffled.  Can you Spot the Fawn in this first photo? We'll give you a clue... look between the green branches and the fallen log...  Sometimes a different angle makes all the difference!

How good the fawn is at hiding!  What a wonderful defense for a creature so young and small, who doesn't have the stamina to outrun a predator and needs a safe place to grow and get stronger. 

Here are some more pictures, getting closer and closer. These will help you become expert at the Spot the Fawn game.


Tiego is just three years old. He had never sat on a pony.  Mom Anna wasn't sure he'd want to, so we told Squeegee the Stupendous that he had to on best behaviour.

Squeegee replied that he did not know any other kind of behaviour.

Tiego climbed up, a little cautious... Pony started to walk... Tiego started to grin, then smile, then laugh.

Then yell "RUN!"  Off we went, one on each side of him, while the pony trotted along cheerily.  We'd go till we were out of breath, then walk again.  Only problem with that was that Tiego was NEVER out of breath.  "Run!" he'd call again.

He had so much fun. And we are all exercised for the day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Feed Me, I'm Yours

Hatched on June 6th, look how big our Barn Swallows are already!

And just look at the size of that hungry little mouth!  The parents are kept busy catching insects and stuffing them into these bottomless pits.

With their deeply forked tails and swift wings, swallows hunt insects from just above the water to heights of 100 feet. Swallows eat a LOT of mosquitoes, and blackflies, and other large biting insects so we are huge fans of these beautiful and charming birds.

Natalie Heats Things Up

The day Natalie arrived to be our summer helper this year, Brian unveiled the new campfire.

Given that it has been hot -- not to mention dry --  there is a no open fire ban in the neighbourhood. That's a good thing. We like our forests, thanks very much.  Still, there's nothing like a soft Muskoka evening by a fire...   So this will provide that experience!

The Bondi Maintenance Dept. and Housekeeping HazMat Division all took full advantage of it this evening!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Reflecting on Summer Weather

It was a perfect morning. It lead into a very hot day -- making me wonder why anyone would want to be in the city when they could be up here in North Muskoka. Predictions are for a very hot summer.  Maybe it is time to book your summer week with us, to be sure you have that week to restore your soul on the Lake of Bays.  We still have some vacancies. You get all the pluses of a private cottage with the wonderful added benefits of resort facilities and services on a big uncrowded property where you're more likely to see wildlife than you are in Algonquin Park.

Brian seized the moment for a little soul restoration of his own this morning, with his Piper PA-11.  A great day's adventure is to go for a flight with Georgian Bay Airlines, have lunch at Harry's Fish Restaurant, and enjoy the scenic drive to and from Bondi and the Bay.

Turtle Time

It is that time of year. The turtles are out, looking for a place to lay their eggs.  The shoulders of the road are very tempting, with their sandy gravel that makes for easy digging.  And that's an issue.

Snapping turtles are endangered.  Having survived for thousands of years, they are finding it hard to cope with modern traffic. And heaven forfend that anyone slow down to avoid a turtle, after all, that might make one two minutes late to get to the nearest TV reality show... said she, with some disgust.

Turtles are time machines, and when we look in their hooded eyes, we are seeing years past. We are also seeing some of the most incredible adaptations around.

In Algonquin Park, turtle fencing has been put up to try to keep the turtles and the traffic separated.  That is good, but turtle fencing can't be everywhere, so when you are driving in turtle territory (anywhere close to water, if you aren't sure) please please please take care.  It is easy enough to help a turtle off the roadway, if you learn how. Keep your fingers well away from the beaks of thes snappers, though. They have the name for a reason.

The gender of the turtles is determined by temperature -- it is easy to remember: Chicks are HOT, Dudes are COOL...

It's worth taking a moment to ponder this... and to admire the turtle. This gal will lay up to 60 eggs in this scraped out nest at the road edge. The turtles will develop under the watchful eye of the red-winged blackbird across the road.


Fawn Finds Friends

Fawn "Bondi" has made a small friend at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. She is one of five little fawns currently living in the barn.  And while Staff report that she is doing well, she did spend a lot of time calling plaintively for her mother. It's no fun being orphaned. Moms matter.
Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, on Crawford Road as you drive 141 over towards Rosseau, is open two afternoons a week to the public. With limited access. You don't get to see the babies, who are being rehabilitated and will be returned to the wild.  I was very lucky indeed, Brenda gave me the great privilege of making friends with Monty, one of two beaver kits currently in residence. (one has just arrived from way up ar Timmins and the forest fires). Beaver kits crave touch. Demanding to be held and cuddled, snuggled and petted, without this attention the kits don't thrive. Any spare moment any of the staff or volunteers have is filled by these little ones.  Out back, a beaver habitat pen is under construction. The beavers stay at home for two years, so these will need to be cared for that long as well. They will have their own pond, and creek, and room to roam, trees to gnaw, dams to build. Which is lovely, but expensive to construct.
Along the walking trail there are several large habitats -- some of the residents for various reasons cannot be returned to the wild and must live their days out in the care and custody of caring people.  One large pen houses a coyote. There is a pair of Arctic wolves.  Another pair of timber wolves. (with their enormous paws)  And Momma Bear, who came to the Sanctuary after being in a zoo for most of her long life.   Her big pen full of trees and den areas with sunny places and private corners is a huge improvement on what she had before, although there is no substitute for Real Wilderness.

It takes a lot of money to care properly for these creatures, who through no fault of their own have been torn from the wild. It takes a lot of volunteer hours as well.  Thanks to Jennifer Jillks, one of our faithful Blog readers, who sent a Paypal donation to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to help support 'our' orphaned fawn.  Thanks to those who have purchased some of Napster's artwork and bracelets as well.
We are very grateful for the Rescue centres, the places like A Wing and a Prayer that cares for injured wild birds; Bear With Us where bears are rescued from all across the country, and the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
It has been stated many times, many ways, by many people, but is no less true for that.
"Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members ; the last, the least, the littlest."   Cardinal Roger Mahony (1998)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Freckle on the Sun

We tried to see the famous Transit of Venus across the Sun. We were all geared up with welder's lenses and a pin-hole camera.

We were defeated, sadly, but an overcast sky.  So, if you were with us, looking hopefully at the cloud cover hoping for a quick peak, here's what you might have seen.  The best description I heard was that it looked like "a freckle on the Sun."

Sadly, for those of us who were unable to witness this 'live', we have to wait until 2117 for the next chance.   Which, on a more positive note, would give you LOTS of time to vacation at Bondi Village and enjoy our Dark Skies program...

Fourth Fawn

This is apparently Fawn Week at Bondi Village.

Working along the fence line in the pasture yesterday, Dave found this little fellow snuggled in under the trees.

He was so well hidden that Dave almost tossed a tree branch on top of him, but caught it in time and shifted it to the side.

Look between the cut branch and the rail on the ground to 'spot the fawn.'  Right where the leaves touch the rail, in fact.  Very hard to see.
We were worried that perhaps this was the fawn that belonged to the dead doe... that perhaps we had 'rescued' the wrong fawn, but Mom came along with a few hours and took the little guy back into her close care.


In honour of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, our barn swallows hatched yesterday.

We found three sets of eggshells on the floor beneath the nest.

Congratulations, to the swallows. And to the Queen.