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.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Crying Wolf

Early morning walk in the back fields. That was the agenda today, while the resort was slowly waking up, while some guests were enjoying a quiet swim, or a morning paddle in a canoe along the shore.  Hiking in the fields always gets a woof of approval from Taffy.

Today Achmed joined us. This cat loves to go hiking. He's been known to accompany us on Nature Hikes that last for several hours, diligently helping to point out sights such as woodpecker trees, or bear claw marks.

We always are treated to something special. I think it is a reward for getting up early and getting out there.  Usually there is a deer, or two... A buck in velvet. A doe with her fawn.  Wild turkeys. A bluebird. A red shouldered hawk.  It was pretty quiet today though. So I thought.     We came up the top of a slight hill, and there in the field ahead was a timber wolf. (you can just barely pick him out in this picture, on the left side)  That's rare. We hear the wolf pack all the time, but seeing them is something else entirely.  Wolf and I looked at each other, mutually startled. Then the wolf took off.  Which was fine by me, since I was trying to keep track of Achmed and Taffy -- having pets along is not always a great plan when you encounter wildlife.  It's not a great photo... my camera, of course, was in my pocket. The wolf didn't plan on hanging about while I got it out and focused, so about all you see are ears sticking up, and his gray back humped as he bounds off.  My 'pack', Cat and Dog both, just stuck by me and we all hiked happily home again for coffee and treats.  Taffy pausing long enough to carefully sniff the trail, but showing no interest in pursuit or introduction, and Achmed darting through the tall grass pretending to be a lion on the plains of the Serengeti, oblivious.  All in all, a good start to any day.

Oh, Beaver...

From time to time, the beavers relocate out of Damalot, the dams let the water go, streams form, and flat grassy areas appear. This is popular with the deer, the occasional moose, a host of animals who enjoy the diversity of the environment.  It is also popular with the poplars, which have a chance to grow and replenish.  Beav can be tough on poplar trees, with their tasty bark.   So, the beavers move.
Beav didn't go far though. Just popped into the Oxtongue River. Swam upstream.  He's been spotted, along with his family, at Marsh's Falls.  Some of our guests got some lovely photos of him, which we are hoping they will send us when they get home so we can post them.  Zach and Bryce sat up on the rocks at the Falls watching the beavers at work for quite a while.

Felling trees is what Beav does. Nobody does it better. The beaver whittles the tree in to pencil thin-ness until gravity takes over. Once the tree is down, the beaver will cut it into manageable sections and drag it to the water. If need be, he will build canals, slides and chutes to get it there.   But, oh, Beaver... you need to be careful!
This tree fell right onto Highway 35, near the bridge over the falls.  Beaver had to get right out onto the pavement in order to trim up the branches he needed.  We would so hate it if our beloved Beaver got that run-down feeling from playing in traffic... so be careful Beaver. And drivers, do take care!!!

Begin and End the Day, in Style

 Arlene knows just how it should be done...

She kick started the day with a swim, in a mirror still lake...

A little conversation, a little excercise, a little restoration for the soul in the soft waters of Bondi Bay...

All of which set her up perfectly for the end of the day, with a little contemplation and conversation near the BBQ...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Plenitude of Pileateds

John took a wonderful video of a pair of young pileated woodpeckers right outside Clover cottage today.  These are strikingly lovely birds, and big!!!   I was charmed by the young bird pecking at the swaying grass, while the sibling was hacking out huge bits of tree.
They were tough to photograph, with the morning mist and their inability to hold still and pose.  When they are striking into the tree, they are really just a blur, it happens so fast.
We are enchanted by woodpeckers, and fascinated by how they are able to hammer into wood, tearing out big chunks, and not fall off with a concussion.  In fact, science studies these birds to help produce better helmets for us!   There is an incredible adaptation at work here, not the least of which involves the tale of the Woodpecker's Tongue.
We are hearing them a lot lately -- in flight, they utter a loud "Quick, Quick, Quick!" call that is very distinctive.  Ashok asked me why they are in such a hurry...  The only reply I had was they didn't want to be late getting to the cherry tree, or finding a bug for lunch in the old stump.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Algonquin Bound

 We are a great base for jumping off for a day in the Park.  Every year, our guests take traditional day trips. This morning Lee, John and Ralph were busy strapping down the canoes and kayaks -- they are branching out to a different route in the Park today, exploring new territory.

And what a perfect day it is for that!

Ralph is relieved that his glasses were found. Yesterday, coming back from his run (he is a marathoner!!!) he went for a quick dip to cool down. Only after he came out of the lake did he realize he didn't know where his glasses were.  Could he? Surely not...   But yes, Lee, trolling over the edge of the canoe spotted the glasses on the lake bottom. Good thing our water here is so crystal clear!  A little diving did the trick, and Ralph can now see his way clear to the Algonquin expedition!

Which he could not bear to miss... Who could?  Inside the cottage, Arlene, Anne and Carol had cooked up a superb picnic lunch (and had dinner already on the go in the slow cooker!)

They picked up the complimentary Park Pass from our office, checked that Achmed the Cat was not hitch-hiking along under one of the canoes, and are off for the day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


 There are always little sunfish under the main dock. "Uncle" Mike did the honours baiting the hooks... and unhooking the fish for release again.

Isabella, Ashok, Ronan and Anjali got right into the spirit.

Proving once again that it is all about the fishing, not about the catching.  There is one fish who seems to be repeatedly pulled out of the lake and released, only to head straight back to the baited hook!

No Burn? No Problem

Anjali came to the Cookout wearing the cool t-shirt she made at the Dwight Childrens' Festival at the Library. Several of our families went to this, and the kids had a blast. For $2, you really could not go wrong!

We are under an Extreme Fire Warning right now, with a No Burn Order in place, so there was no bonfire at the Cookout. That didn't put a damper on the fun, though.  After we munched on hotdogs, stuffed on veggies and dip and plunged into the fruit platter, the watermelon came out.

And so did Emilie!  She comes on Tuesdays to provide our guests with massages, but her talents go way past that. Emilie is a belly-dancer, and she came to the Cookout tonight to show off some of the numbers she is developing for her one-woman show. This show will be going to several of the area Seniors' Residences later this summer and next winter, and we predict it is going to be very entertaining for them.  It certainly entertained all of us!

Brian, Dave and Mike had the Potato Cannon very finely tuned. Some of our guests had never seen one before. They got up close and personal to the action.

The seed spitting was hotly contested.  Congrats to Gennadiy for letting his grand-daughter drag him up to the start line, and for giving it his best.  He claims that he has never participated in this before, but we're not sure... he demonstrated beautiful form, and sent the seed 19'7"

Look, Ma! No Hands!

Carys and Dylan had an adventure today collecting eggs...

But Philippa had a bigger adventure. She stood up, all by herself, for the first time!

We were just lucky to get the shot!

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Here's a photo we just love.  The Adema family have been coming to the Lake of Bays for generations. They have their own cottage, but it's not quite large enough for everyone, so branches of the clan stay with us for their summer vacation.  This wonderful picture was taken on our dock last week.  That's Great Grandpa on the right.  Great Grandson on the left. Grandson in the middle...
Now if that isn't what summers at the lake are all about, we don't know what is. Thanks so much for sharing this picture Cheryl!


Achmed loves nothing better than a warm lap, a big hug, and a ride on anything with wheels.

He was over the moon to score a ride with Leona this week. 

We had to post a sign at the gate warning people to check their car roof for a hitch-hiking cat last summer.  He hasn't given up his 'need for speed' dreams yet, so the sign is still there.
Riding with Leona, though, we think that is just fine...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ski Skills

Marshall got up on skis almost his first try. Today, he was pretty determined he was just going to keep skiing and skiing... around the bay. And again!  Finally he let go, and aced this most beautiful splash-down.
Katie had a huge cheering fan club on the dock

 And displayed lovely form... what a great new skill to add to the fun repertoire!  We've been teaching kids and adults to waterski for more years than we care to recall.  It sure beats just lying in a tube... although that is undoubtedly easier.  There is a great thrill to be speeding behind a boat, crossing the wake, handling the waves, feeling the pull of the boat through your arms and the water slap under your feet.  It's a fabulous, life-long sport.

Sometimes it takes several tries before the skier finds that 'sweet spot' where balance and strength come together to let you overcome the water's drag and the water's pull.  David gave Bethany some pointers -- that's one of the best ways we've found to teach, to have one of our BMD out there in the water with you!

Well done all you kids today, winners all, for giving it a try!

'Nother Nice Fish

Colin certainly has the touch when it comes to landing nice fish in Bondi Bay!

This is the second big bass he's snaggled out of the water this week.  The finny fellow was swimming along near the rock cut, munching on small fry.

And yes, Colin let him go, so doubtless he is back out there...

Just don't think it's going to be easy to catch him! You need to possess Colin's Fishing Knack!

Families come in different styles

When Joan arrived at Beaver cottage a week or so back, this was the sight that greeted her family -- the doe nursing the fawn right there beside the cottage.

"How often do you get to see that?" she asked.  It's true.  Bondi is a great place for families -- the deer know that!  Momma Doe is very proud and protective of her little dappled fawn.

Thank you for sending on some wonderful pictures of your grandchildren enjoying Bondi!  They really enjoyed the gigantic sand pile and shallow waterfront!

What a super photo of the pair of them!

All the little ones get a huge thrill out of Squeegee, our super little pony who is a total gentleman.

The girls weren't the only youngsters who had to have an afternoon nap!  Our baby ducklings were quite content to keep the faith, and have a little snooze themselves.

Things You Find

Ashok was canoeing with his family today, and out on the Island he found a pair of legs.

Just that. There was nobody wearing them.  Ashok thought that was pretty cool... so he brought them home to show me.

We think they belonged once to a seagull, who met with an untimely end. Perhaps a snapping turtle... perhaps a fox... 

They made a pretty interesting Show and Tell, however!  Thanks for sharing them Ashok!

The Family that 'sits together...'

Stuart, "now that I'm 50" he said, "I am going to lay
down a challenge."
 The Traditional Wiener Roast is always a ton of fun.  Carol has the hot-dogs produced to perfection.  Sue's got the S'mores down to a Science. Brian not only slices the watermelon, but comes out with the potato cannon -- much to the delight of young and old. I think this week was one of the very best shots, range-wise. They almost landed a potato on the Port Cunnington Road!

Abigail was the tiniest, but full of "try!"
David has the soft drinks and the pointy marshmallow sticks...   And I get to record the placings in the Seed Spitting!  Hotly contested this week, too, I might add!

 Congratulations, Andrew, on 30'7" -- that's some impressive distance for a popcorn seed to fly!  From the tiniest 3 year old, on up to the "Intermediate Boys' division" it is just a good old time, and it is truly fun to see families come to the line, a little in-family competition to help build family ties and memories.

After all, how often do you get to say: "Well Spat!"


Ashok gave his Mom some pointers. She displayed beautiful style and elegance.

David opted for the "over the shoulder" delivery.

Kira got extra points for stance and intensity

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bass Player

Colin scooped this beauty yesterday, right in Bondi Bay.

After the photo op, he released the bass.

Interestingly, it didn't swim away, but swam in a big circle, came back to Colin, and gently bumped into his leg several times.

Maybe saying 'Thanks?'  We are fans of fishing. We are even bigger fans of live-release. After all, the fun is in the catching!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Someone went to Princess Auto

You will certainly see the boys coming this summer with their Bondi Maintenance Dept. official golf cart...  

They've added so many bells, whistles, sirens and now -- flashing lights! that you can't miss them.

Dip, Paddle, and Dive

The lake water is at 80 degrees. Which is suprisingly refreshing, and irresistably tempting.  Which means the lake is where we are finding our guests.

Thursday morning is our marathon swim.

For some of our guests, this is the longest swim they've attempted in open water.  Lots of canoes come along for support.  Pat had it figured -- she had Sophie in the bow, and Frances in the stern, and all she had to do was enjoy. Although her story was that she was the one watching the swimmers...

It's an easy pace -- there is time to wave. And chat.  Both Kathy and Kurtis gave us the royal salute.

Taffy was a quite excited by the action.  This week she was with me in the small rowboat, which was a bit too tempting for her to jump out, so I had to put her on a leash.  She seemed a little concerned for David.

"I saw you dive in," she seemed to say. "Are you okay?"

And Robert, in his yellow canoe that is as much a part of the Williams' Clan as Robert himself, he had the motive power solution -- all he was really doing was dipping the paddle in for effect.  And why not?
It was just a perfect start to any day.

Pony Power

Judy dropped by on Wednesday, and brought her pony out for pony rides.

Very popular with the little ones, that.

He looks very smart, posing by the volleyball court.

There was some discussion about hitching Jack's chair to him, and letting them just drive off into the sunset, too, but cooler heads prevailed. At least this time!

Ski Whiz

There is a lovely stereotype about the tourists who come across the Canadian border in July with skis loaded on the roof of the car, expecting to hit the slopes.

Well, those chickens have come home to roost.

First, the boys of the BMD found some skis at the Recycle Centre at the local Transfer Station (aka Dump)   Home they came. After all, they have re-invented downhill skis into the runners for the Fish Hut, part of an Iceboat and other funky items.

When Judy showed up with racing ski vests that had been autographed by their ski idol Warren Miller, well, it was ON!

Undaunted by an absence of snow, the lads saddled up (well, loosely, not bothering to change into correct ski boots)  and headed for the sand pile at the beach.

Now, we suspect that they had the wax wrong.  But you have to give them top marks for enthusiasm!

You can watch the show here.