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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mackerel Sky

It's called a mackerel sky, because it resembles fish scales.  But it signifies a change in the weather.

Yesterday was about as perfect as a winter day can be, mild, sunny, brilliant, and just seductive in the call to be outside.

This sky rolled over us in the evening. That's Sunflower cottage hunkered down on the right side.

And, because while the Weather Channel can be mislead but Mother Nature never is, this morning it is snowing like -- as my Dad would have said -- like it means to.  That's a weather change.

Stay tuned. There will be another one before too long. That's the thing about the weather.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Carnivals are for the Young at Heart

 There was broomball on Friday night, and a costume dance on Saturday for the 'grown-ups', but Saturday itself at the Dwight Winter Carnival was pretty much all about the kids. Which is just fine. There was certainly no shortage of small people there having a great time!

Here's a batch of photos from the day...  From Bob Barnhardt receiving the Bob Palmer Award for Volunteers -- and Scott Hayden reading out the nominating letter, right through the afternoon.
 Prizes were handed out for the best snow sculpture -- the turtle won!

Everybody gets a kick out of meeting Frosty, and shaking his hand (surprising warm, given he is a snowman). He had a big Fan Club, of all ages.

 Speaking of Fan clubs, Sparky was there too, representing the Volunteer Firemen, giving Marie a big hug, and handing out Firemen's hats and high fives to the kids.
 There was a real live Mad Scientist on hand, who attracted a passel of people, all getting down and dirty with an array of experiments.  I wonder, though, how many people realized that the snake peeking out of her lab coat was the Real Deal?  I know one of two folk who have a snake phobia and might have cleared the room.  He was a cute little boa, though, who came and went around her neck and helped out with some of the experiments!

The indoor Bouncy Castle was a big hit -- after they got the power source sorted! This is what happens when a castle blows a fuse...   it settles softly around its bouncing people!  No worries, however, nobody gets flattened by a deflating castle, and it was soon back up and running!

There was no big team of Belgians pulling a wagon this year. Instead, there was a team of tiny ponies, taking the tiny kids around the parking lot.

It wouldn't be a Carnival if it didn't have Moose Tongues!  Linda got a great one, even if it did seem to have an excess of syrup. Who could possibly complain about an excess of maple syrup???? No -one !!

 Food is always part of a Carnival -- in addition to the lunch available, there was the pie tasting contest.  Now, that's a tough job...

 Outside, the Zorb track was set up and ready for action in the afternoon.  Of course, if you'd had too many moose tongues, it might not have been the best plan! Kids and adults alike have a blast.
 The firemen were on hand with their Rescue truck, answering questions and letting kids climb around the truck and blow the siren.
 Log sawing, canoe races, snowshoe races and karaoke kept people busy outdoors all afternoon.
And the Algonquin Snowmobile club was on hand with their trail groomer. If you've ever wondered why we have the best trails up here -- this is the answer!

A great job from all the Carnvial Volunteers for working so hard for the community! Well done.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Downside of Wearing Wool in Winter

We all adore a Tired Taffy...

But this is how she came home from snowshoeing... 

She had the best time.    The snow was the perfect temperature to 'ball up' in her wool coat, however, making her look a bit like the Michelin Tire Poodle.

We're still waiting for her to finish drying off.

Come for a Walk in Our Backyard

Even before Taffy and I headed out for a snowshoe hike, we had a visitor. Several turkeys were right by the front door of my cottage.  Such BIG birds! It amazes me that they can fly as well as they do!

No, it's not just a picture of a white background. Look closely and you'll see the first snowfleas of the season. These are tiny insects, correctly called Springtails that live in the soil. They come out on milder Spring days, and look like someone sprinkled pepper on the snow.

It was so quiet, you could trick yourself into thinking you were all alone out there. Until you look around. Look how far the deer go at each stride as they bound away through the snow!

There was not a single track across the open field -- that was not the case along the tree line where we were walking!

Taffy found it! Right there, at the bottom of the snow... SPRING!!!!

And there were rabbits everywhere. Big wabbits, little wabbits, wascally wabbits -- and this chap, a Snowshoe Hare.  I think his snowshoes were almost as big as mine! They are very hard to see because this time of year they are in their lovely white winter coats, but their tracks give them away.

Looking up in the spruce trees is like being in a cathedral. Only better.

What a lovely artist's fungus, wearing a white winter hat.

Speaking of 'wabbits' there were so many up in the spruce bog that that they had beaten down trails. Rabbit Run.

Leaving the  Hawk Lake trail, this tree simply glowed against the evening sky.

Squirrels were also abundant. Sometimes they come down from the trees -- and wow, can they ever jump!

So there you are, a walk in our winter, with Taffy showing how it is done!

Pony Parade

 Pony man Squeegee earned his hay flakes this weekend, squiring youngsters about the property.

Kate and Trish and Justine had dropped by for a visit -- and bless Kate, she took the pony to give Laila a ride as well.

We loved the bright colours in the winter clothes.

Not to mention the bright colours in the arena!

The little ones loved collecting the free range eggs, too -- although luckily this time round they were all in the nest coop, where they should be, and not hidden here, there and everywhere!

Finding Fish and Fish Finders

Vic came up to go ice fishing. Now, on Sunday he sat out there for about four hours, watching the slush around the ice hole, and pondering the error of his fishing ways.  The fish finder, hovering in the dark depths below the ice, indicated that there were no fish in the sea. None at all. 

Four hours of jigging the line and pondering the line and he called it a day. We went out to dinner, at Muskoka on the Rocks. (excellent choice, by the way, with or without fish on the menu)

Monday, fueled by a breakfast of free range eggs, our intrepid hunter gatherer set out again.  Two hours later, he had these beauties.  And he had caught and released two more. The fish finder, on Monday morning, indicated fish by the hundreds. Or at least, very very many fish.

Perhaps they commute through the bay? 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Something to Warm a February Day

Congratulations to David and Megan, who announced their engagement this week with a great family get-together at 3 Guys and a Stove.
They have been a couple since back in Grade Ten... and we are not allowed to say how long ago that was... so while we cannot say it came as an earth-shattering shock,  it was still a delightful surprise.

 There's still a space of time before the wedding day.  That's because the pair need to practice up... Megan needs to perfect her technique when being gently teased by Dave...

The tricky act of feeding each other cake (essential on the Big Occasion) requires a great deal of rehearsal to get it just right...

And, of course, that kiss, executed while sitting down at the Head Table... to the accompaniment of clinking table ware and glasses... that too requires a bit of practice.

Congratulations you two. We wish you all the very best in this great adventure, and look forward to welcoming Megan into the Bondi Family.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Usefully Long Legs

Having lovely long legs can come in handy in deep snow, or if you need to scratch that particularly itchy bit behind the ear.

Setting Out

Miriam, David, Natalie and Lauren cottage down the road. They were here this past week to enjoy our trails.

We see plenty of skiis here. And plenty of snowshoes, but few as lovely as this classic set Miriam owns!

Cheers to the Real Thing!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

First Steps

This is Isla. She is three years old and today was her very first time on cross country skis.

She shuffled and slid her way from the cottage to the stable, figuring out how these things on her feet worked.

But it didn't take her very long to get into the stride.  She skied out to say hello to the horses, looking like a total pro.

Then the skis came off and she joined her brother James to check out the toboggan hills. 


 Lorne has been coming to stay with us for a lot of years. We are not allowed to say how many. That would give away his age, and a Lady never does that to a Gentleman.

His friends spend much of their time riding the snowmobile trails, but Lorne is no longer comfortable doing that.

So this year, Jack brought along a special toy, just for Lorne.  I'm not even sure what to call this, other than awesome...  but it took Lorne to Dorset along the lake so he could enjoy the action of the day and get out there with his friends, so awesome might just be good enough as a description!

Both Lorne and Jack had a blast, and attracted a lot of attention from passing snowmobilers out there on the lake.

Goes Around, Comes Around

 "Come on," said my good friend Ben, who has worked on Liberal Party campaigns since Adam was a lad. "It will be fun."

So off we went to Bracebridge this week, to meet Justin Trudeau.  The man is working hard covering territory and making speeches (Damn good speech, by the way) on his way to contest the leadership of the Liberal Party.

Now, many many moons ago, my Dad worked on Pierre Elliott Trudeau's first campaign.  I have mementos.  I have one of the original campaign buttons from that era. 

And I have a mug... which bears a caricature of Pierre, rose in his teeth, and the iconic phrase "Fuddle Duddle."   You had to be there...  

I took both of these items with me.  And Justin, bless his very gracious heart, signed the mug for me.

Also in the crowd was Inga, who had with her a Christmas card from 22 Sussex Drive, with a lovely picture of Pierre and his three sons.  Justin signed that for her as well.

There was an excellent crowd on hand, and I've got to say I was really impressed by his presence, his confidence, his courtesy, and -- oh, yes, his ideas. That too.

Ben was right. It was fun.   And I think that I may now have the only Fuddle Duddle mug in captivity that spans the generations.  Thanks for that, Justin Trudeau.

Carnivals and Cold Water

Winter Carnivals are among the very best ways to spend a winter's day.  Today the weather for the Dorset Snowball was incredible -- in fact, the colours just didn't look real! It dawned very cold, but soon warmed up to the kind of winter day where you just don't want to go back inside.

There's plenty to do for everyone, from the tiniest of the tiny to the biggest of the big.

The Fire Dept. from Dorset and Stanhope put on a demonstration of a cold water rescue. This is something you only want to watch. When they ask for volunteers, just say NO.  It helps to be in the right gear -- dry suits for those in the wet areas, a rescue kayak, and a crew on shore to help. Cold water is no laughing matter.  The guys did an awesome demonstration, to a spellbound gang on the shore. You can watch it here.

Later in the day, snowmobiles were running this stretch of open water. 

Up town by the Fire Hall there was plenty going on. From moose tongues (a pastry, for those who don't know) with a huge choice of toppings, hamburgers and fries for the hungry bunch, to a lot of indoor exhibits if you did get cold.

The patient team of horses made sure nobody who didn't want to walk Dorset from end to end had to -- every time we saw the wagon go by, it was crowded.  If you've ever wondered why this big fellas don't slip on the hard icy ground, check out the ice-shoes the horses wear. 

We still have some of these on display at Nancy's stable, left over from the days when the work horses were here at Bondi helping with the farm work.

It's not really part of the Carnival, the Zac Cole Playground, but it was a happening place. Kudos to the Community Group for creating this great kid space!

 The gyro-ride and zorb-balls were very popular.

You might bump into Mr. and Mrs. Snowball, wandering through the crowd, enjoying their Carnival and their Community.

Or you could try your hand at some old-style woodwork with the Shantyman's Tools, time warping back to the beginning of Dorset when it was full of lumbermen.  At the Museum there is an incredible display about the Gilmore Tramway and the Logging days in Dorset.

Junkyard Johnny has Got2Drum, and had his audiences under his rhythmic spell.

The rink was busy all day long, with shinny, families and pick-up games.  The Dorset Fire Dept. does a great job keeping this rink open all winter long.

And I never once saw the toboggan hill without a passle of kids on it having fun!

The Snowmobile Club brought in the big groomer, so folks could see just what goes into keeping the trails up here among the very best in the Province. It doesn't happen by chance, so here is a shout out to the volunteers who give their time so families can play!

And soaring above it all was the Re/Max hot air balloon. Just look at that line up!

So very well done indeed Dorset!  There are carnivals up here all winter long. Dorset's is one of the very finest.