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, June 30, 2013


I just like the picture. It is so soft and quiet...  Everyone gone in for dinner, the sun sifting through the smoky haze to sparkle the lake... the raft resting up for another busy day with kids tomorrow.

This quiet time of day is the dreamy, dreaming time, the time when you can catch your breath. And let your soul catch up.

Just Add Kids

 Start with summer.  Provide water.

Just add kids.

No need to stir, they will do that on their own.

This is how you make great summer fun!

Bed and Breakfast, Whitetail Style

 I was in the back fields today, with my cousin Ross and his father-in-law. We were looking at the possible location of a beehive site for Muskoka Honey Bees.

Bees have very special needs when it comes to placing a hive. They can't dine off any old flowers -- their diets are quite specific.

While there, we saw a lot of deer. And we do mean a lot. At least eight were hanging out, enjoying the browse in the field.

And keeping a close eye on us.  Which makes us think that we were pretty close to where at least one of the fawns was 'stashed' for safekeeping

We found several deer beds in the tall grass -- this one was tiny, so we know this bed belongs to Baby Deer.

Here's looking at You!

 Sarah found this chap near one of the cottages.  He was just sitting there, thinking deep wonderful thoughts.

So she pulled up a seat and sat down for a chat.

When you go Outdoors, you never know who you will find!

Studies have shown that spending time outside, 'communing with Nature' as the saying goes, is the best thing you can do for your health.

Communing with a frog is a good way to start!

Smokey Sunsets

 Distant Fires have brought haze and smoke to much of Ontario.  Depending where you are, the culprit may be a huge fire in Quebec that has already blazed through 400,000 hectares of forest.

Or Michigan...

Or maybe Manitoba.

So let us be glad that we have had rain here, to keep the fire hazard down.  Watching a forest in flames is a sight to strike terrifying awe into the observer. We live now very insulated from the 'Real World' -- and we think that we control the world around us. We are sadly often very wrong about that.  We get reminded that Nature is in the driver's seat when we get tsunamis, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods... and forest fires.

We are a very long way from where these fires are burning, but our skies remind us that they are out there. If the wind is just right, you can smell the slight tang of woodsmoke.

And every evening, as the sun sets, we get to see the distant fires reflected in the sunsets, which are spectacular because of the haze in the air.

Again, thanks to our Sarah for these pictures, taken tonight.

Dorset, Oohs and Aahs

 The Dorset Community Group gets together each Canada Day to put on one of the best Fireworks displays around.

Launching launching from a barge out in the middle of Trading Bay, the fireworks can be seen from so many vantage points.

People line the shore, the town dock, the fabled hump-backed bridge.  And boats line the lake. 

Donations are collected to help defray the cost of the fireworks and to go towards initiatives of the Community Group -- which to date include things like the Children's Playground, the renovated town docks, the playing field, the website and many more.

This is entirely driven by volunteers. It's not possible to say enough good things about volunteers.

 They are amazing.

If you missed the Fireworks at Dorset, hopefully you caught them at Baysville, where their local Fire Hall puts on quite a display at the dam.

But if you missed both those venues, don't despair.  On the August long weekend, Firefest comes to Dwight Beach and the fireworks will be out in force there too.

Thanks to Sarah for taking these wonderful photos of the display on Saturday night.

And thanks to the Volunteers who make it all happen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

To market, to market

 Here's a great addition to the neighbourhood! Tuesdays, at Gouldie Park (next door to the Post Office), the Dwight Farmers' Market will be in full swing.

The first one took place this past week.  Despite some drizzly skies, there were plenty of folk out to check out what was on offer.

There were strawberries, fresh from the field; rhubarb and garlic and radishes - and as the farmer said, there is more produce coming in every week as the local crops come to harvest.   Beekeepers were there, with a hive so we could watch the busy creatures at work and marvel at them. Bees are such a critical part of the ecology, and they are in trouble, so we all need to do our part to help them survive (because their survival ensures our survival)

Maple syrup producers were there, and artisans, craftspeople, photographers. The local Garden Centre had a display... 

There was, in short, a little of everything.

Jim Allen, who calls one of Dwight's heritage houses home, brought great music that truly added to the atmosphere.

This is going to be a wonderful addition to Dwight. Just a short walk from the best public beach in the Township of Lake of Bays, it will be just one more great reason to spend some time in the village.

Deb Bradley's photo of a pileated woodpecker.

Glittering Getaways

 We are a great gathering place for groups, be it small family reunions, clubs, team-building and just friends wanting to hang out together.

Recently we were visited by a group that pretty much ticked all the above boxes -- the girls in the family gathered for a Gal's Getaway Weekend.

Part of the fun was a crafting bee, with the most amazing collection of beads.  Watches were whizzing out of the production line and onto wrists -- and they were lovely.

It wasn't all stringing beads on a wire, however. There was lots of time to kick back with good food, good drinks, good friends.  There were games and team challenges and some cheating at Pictionary (we are told)

All in good fun.  It was great to be able to host this group, and we are looking forward to their next booking (already made!)

Saturday, June 22, 2013


It pays to LIKE our pages!  Pop on over to Facebook -- and LIKE our Bondi Village Resort page.  Then  skip on over to the Explorers' Page.  They are offering a funky fun new cash voucher program for visitors to the area.

Between July 2 and August 30, fans on their Facebook page can register to receive $50 in cash vouchers that they can spend at participating attrations: restaurants, shops, activities, museums, etc.  (with what are colourfully termed "experience providers")

By booking a stay with us at Bondi Village, you can double it up and receive another $50 worth of vouchers to lavish on those same Experience providers.

If you have already booked with us this summer, email us, and we will provide you with an accommodation Code that will let you prove to Explorers' Edge that you are staying in the area. 

If you haven't already booked with us, what are you waiting for???

A Berry Good Game

 Our 12 target Frisbee Golf Course is popular with all ages and abilties.  This week Luke and Max were visiting us from California.  Once they discovered this game, they grabbed their parents Lisa and Bob and off they went. Again. And again.

This is a super game. No fancy clothing, no equipment (we supply the essential three frisbees) and even really little kids can play.  The course winds through our back fields, and there's lots of 'stuff to see'.  The family took a detour to check out the solar panels catching the sun.

Wild strawberries are just getting ripe.  This was the boys first introduction to the 'real deal' -- the tiny litte berries that never make it into the supermarkets, partly because they are too small and difficult to harvest efficiently for the big food chains, but mainly because they are so darn sweet and delicious that they rarely last more than a moment after being picked.   A frisbee-full was gathered to take back to Grandpa and Grandma waiting back at the cottage. 

The best Thing you can do for Yourself this summer

Studies are repeatedly showing what we knew all along.  It is imperative that people get out of the cities, out of the houses, out of the doors...
We need that time in Nature, that time surrounded by green woods and blue lakes to let our brains calm and reset. Nature makes you smarter.
Time spent outdoors in an natural environment also makes you healthier. So don't just ship the kids off to summer camp -- book a family week where you can ALL benefit from some time in the Great Outdoors.  We still have some vacancies for a minimum 3 night stay this long weekend in 3 bedroom cottages.
Or better yet, book a week -- enjoy all our facilties, 1200' beachfront, quiet places to greet the morning on your dock with coffee, secret places to paddle your canoe, hikes through woods and fields, pick wild berries, listen to loons and owls, explore the forest for the claw marks of bears on trees, feed a chipmunk at the cottage, just relax on the deck, immerse yourself in the soft waters of the Lake of Bays...   Just stop -- and let your soul catch up.

Here's Where we come to Drink

 On the beach at Lantern cottage this week we found these tracks.

The doe -- and right to the left of that the tiny teensy tracks of a little fawn -- had been wading in the water along the shore.

Mom is teaching the little one the best places to be, and one of them is right here at Bondi. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013


We had a Close Encounter with a Snapping Turtle this afternoon. There are links to two videos in this post, and you should watch them.
She was, of all places, inside the pony's pen up at the stables.  No doubt she is looking for a safe place to lay her eggs... but the pony's house isn't a good choice. Eggs laid there would be squished by the movement of the horses in that enclosure.
While that's not a safe nursery for turtles-to-be, it was also an unsafe place for Squeegee.  While he was quite fascinated by this "moving rock" that had suddenly appeared in his quarters, he made the mistake of getting a little too up close and personal.  Snappers on land can be feisty. You need to exercise great caution if you are moving one.  Squeegee exercised more interest than caution. 
And paid the price.  He was still curious after this encounter, but as you can see in the photo, he was much more careful to observe from a safe distance!
David came out, wearing heavy gloves, to help me move this lady. She was very big, and very heavy. We thought that moving her back to the lake would be the best plan.  
You can watch Operation Turtle Relocation here, as David picks her up and puts her in a big plastic tub for transport.  Forget everything you've heard about turtles being slow -- check out how fast she can snap and attack! (you can't blame her -- she has no way to know we're trying to do her a favour, and on land she is vulnerable. We get that, and forgive her for the display of bad manners) 
Once back at the lake, you can watch her leave the bucket here at the completion of Operation Turtle Transfer.   You can hear her hiss at me...
in the big bucket, but not keen on staying there!
this old gal was probably swimming about in Lake of
Bays before our grandparents moved here in 1905.
Today’s snapping turtles have hardly changed from 215 million years ago when Proganochelys, the most primitive turtle known, lived. Proganochelys had already most features of today’s turtles, although it was unable to pull its head and legs into its shell. (come to that, neither can our modern snapping turtle) In comparison the age of the dinosaurs was approximately 150 million years ago, 100 million years more recent than the first turtle. Turtles were one of the few reptile groups, which survived the impact of a six mile wide meteorite on earth and the following nuclear winter about 65 million years ago, which is known as the K-T boundary.
dinosaur tail!!!

While the ancestor turtles were tinkering with designs of shell and size of turtle, the design of the snapping turtle as we know it today dates hasn't changed for 40 million years. These are creatures who are entitled to regard the brontosaur and mastodon as brief zoological fads. Humans have been around about 3.5 million years. Snappers are still trying to figure out "us newcomers."
you can clearly see the sharp"beak" and
nostrils - and the inside of the mouth. Not a
view you want to get close to!
When you look at one, you are getting a glimpse back into an extremely distant past.
You have to respect these turtles -- with their heavy, pointed beaks capable of snapping off a small branch and their five massive claws on each foot, they are formidable swimmers and hunters. Luckily they are non-aggressive towards people -- unless they are cornered on land or you are pestering them. In the water, around swimmers, they will just slip away. Best to just let them be.  Snapping turtles can weight up to 40 pounds (18 kg) and be about 14" (36 cm) long in their rough carapace. 
While they do have to surface to breathe, they can rest underwater for up to four HOURS... try holding your breath, and you'll be impressed right away by this ability. They can live well over 75 years, with some reports of individuals who are well over 100. Some, reportedly, can make it to 200 and more. They've been around.
there is some old damage to the rear of the
shell -- at some point, she got into trouble!
You count the rings in the shell, rather like counting tree rings, to determine age, since they continue to grow throughout their lifetime. Since they are so long lived, they don't begin to breed until they are about 19 years old. And here's a funky fact: the female can hold the sperm in her body for several seasons, so if she doesn't find a mate the following year (or years) she can still produce fertile eggs.
The greatest threat to this species is now the car -- they get hit when they come out to the edge of the roads in spring to lay their eggs. And since it is the females that are out there, getting struck by cars, this is a big concern for the population. So if you spot a turtle on the road, slow down, go around them. It would be a shame if a species whose ancestors survived the meteor strike that wiped out the dinosaurs were to succumb under the wheels of a Smartcar...
That snapping jaw can generate enough force to shear
off a finger... never pick one up with your hands in
Slow down... give turtles a brake!  They are an essential part of our ecosystem and work hard to help maintain water quality and keep lakes clean by eating dead matter.  We need them, and their habitat, to regulate water quality and quantity, and ensure the survival of fish and wildlife, as well as our own health and well-being.
If you want to learn more about these amazing reptiles, the best website we've found is the Tortoise Trust.
Wise Old Turtle
The female lays up to 24 eggs -- and occasionally as many as 50! in the spring, and then goes away and leaves the hidden nest and the newly hatched turtles, to fend for themselves when they hatch in 80 to 90 days' time, usually in September and October. The sex of the turtle is determined by the temperature in the nest. Below a certain temperature, the turtles will be males. Above it, females. Easy to remember, because the dudes are cool and the chicks are hot...
And our snapper was much happier to be back by the lake shore, away from that pesky pony, and the two-legged creatures that were distressing her. Good luck, Lady!

Bits of Blue

I'm still stalking the 'perfect' photo of the male bluebird. He's got an annoying habit of moving every time he sees me reach for my camera.

There are hatchlings in the nest now, however, so both birds are busy coming and going. Which gives me a window of opportunity, since he may soon be more interested in stuffing lunch into hungry mouths than in watching me watch him.

Mrs. Bluebird has been far more co-operative in the posing for the camera department.

There is a lot of activity along the fenceline right now, since the tree swallows also have their babies hatched. So, too, the barn swallows in the stable.

This swallow seemed to be saying to Mrs. Bluebird, 'You've got the wrong street address, dear... yours is two boxes over..."

The Beautiful Game

There was a busy soccer game in progress this afternoon on the lawn near Longside cottage.

We couldn't help but notice that one of the deer had volunteered to play in goal...