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.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Tree Surgeon extracts Helicopter

It all started with innocent fun. Rob was here last weekend -- his daughter is planning a wedding for NEXT year, and they were booking Lumina Resort. An excellent choice - they do a great job with weddings! 
As he did back in July, Rob was having fun flying his remote controlled helicopter. He provided us with some great videos of the resort taken from this nifty little flyer, and we were hoping he'd get some more, with the fall colours starting to show.
But part way through the exercise, there was a mal-function in the controls... the heli expressed an opinion of its own, and took off.  A loud crunch was heard, and that was about the last we saw of it.  Rob found the gps lying on the driveway... part of a rotor... but try as we might we couldn't spot the helicopter up in the trees by the entranceway.
That is until later in the day, when the sun angled in just right and POP, you could see the machine gleaming in the top of the pine. Interestingly, you could only see it for about an hour, when the light was right. Other than that, the pine tree held its secret visitor close.
What to do!?  It was far too high to reach with a ladder, or even a lift truck.                                                                        To the rescue yesterday rode Phil Pavey, of Pavey Tree. Undaunted by the tangle of branches or by the height, Phil geared up.  And UP would be the operative word...

Phil squirreled his way up until he was able to retrieve the heli.  From that vantage point, he threw down a line to Brian and David, who stretched that across the road like a zip-line.  Heli was fastened to the line, and zip! It was in Brian's hands. Just like that. 
We can't say it isn't a little the worse for wear. Impacting a tree is not good news for any helicopter. But it does look like it will fly again, after some TLC.
Huge thanks to Phil, who brought his expertise to the rescue. Trees are nothing to be messed with, by the by. You need to know what are doing if you are climbing, trimming, cutting, pruning... They are big and heavy creatures, so if you need some work done around your cottage, Phil is the man to call.
As a sidebar, it seems like this was Helicopter week at Bondi. Ed, who was visiting us again after a 44 year absence, was telling Nancy about some of the work he did in the high Arctic, helping tag polar bears. Ed flew the Jet Ranger helicopter from which the bears were darted with tranquillizer. He then had to wrangle the doped bears to keep them away from leads in the ice. Sometimes that didn't work, and they would have to land, get ropes around the bear, and drag it back up onto the ice. Sometimes he'd have to use the helicopter to help drag the bear out of the water.  And sometimes, if it was a female, they'd have to round up the cubs who would run away, and wrangle them (by tackling them, like a football player)  Sometimes, Ed said, the groggy bears would growl at him as he was face to face, hauling on their fur.  We don't know if Ed's in this video, but we found one of the process of tagging the bears.
It never ceases to amaze us, what our guests do...

Welcome back

 Ed's family used to come to Bondi all the time, every summer, for up to six weeks at a stretch.  In fact, as the family grew, so did their need for more bedrooms, and our Dad built a cottage just for them -- it is named for their family: Long-side.

That was a while ago. Kids grow up, get jobs, get married, move away... all the usual.

So we were just delighted to welcome Ed home to Bondi this September, after forty four years!

"The trees are bigger," he commented...

He and Claudia spent time exploring and re-exploring the neighbourhood.  We could tell tales about Ed (oh, wait... we did!) and we enjoyed catching up on some of his tales too. (did we mention he could also tell tales about us! Yikes! There was the time he and Brian completely dismantled an old gestetner machine, and put it back together into working order.  A huge smear of gestetner ink on the lawn was the only sign they had been at work. That old machine is still tucked in the basement. I could probably use it for 'back-up' if the computer fails)

His partner Claudia runs a hair salon in Quebec. She had fun in the stable, meeting the horses and working some magic on Squeegee's "do".

She confessed she has never done this before, so we look forward to this being added at the salon.  She called this "fish braid," but here, on the horse show circuit, we call it "french braid."  Go figure...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Aw, Shucks

The corn harvest is over.  Dave and Brian stripped out the last of the cobs, and David shucked them for the hens.

The chickens love their corn cobs!

We've eaten as much of the delicious sweet corn as we possibly could...

And the stalks have now been cut and sent off to become autumn decorations.

Shades and Shadows

 What wonderful weather we have enjoyed lately! These hot sunny days, and cool crisp evenings are just wonderful.

Come evening, the colours across the lake are incredible. There is something magical in the autumn light, as the Earth tilts towards winter.

Language No Barrier

 We had guests here this September from Germany.  They told us, when they arrived, that they hoped to see some wildlife.

Well, our deer delivered...

So did the local wolf pack. A moose in Algonquin... the loons in the bay... we did our best to turn it up for them!

By their second week here, Karin had all our critters under her spell.

This young buck, munching on leaves and apples at the apple tree beside their cottage, enjoyed the apples that were shaken down for his benefit.  There were also a lot of these apples collected and strategically placed on the picnic table in front of the deck, where Karin would sit and chat with the deer.

You can see Karin, right at the cottage door, talking to
the young doe just visible at the corner of the cottage.
The hens soon discovered that she also had tasty treats for them, and we'd find several of them loitering near the cottage door. They seemed more than happy to swap eggs for tasty scraps.

And then we found Taffy, happily ensconsed on the deck, next to Karin. She had discovered German sausage... and was a very very happy poodle indeed.

It seems that language, when we talk to the animals, is no barrier at all!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall Colours

 The trees weren't the only splashes of colour this past weekend.

The Waterloo Wellington Canoe Club was here for their fall weekend.  A little unclement weather didn't discourage any of them -- in the rain (described as "warm" by several of them) on Saturday, they paddled the Big East all the way to Bracebridge.

And we bow down before the ladies who were in the lake first thing on Sunday morning -- when the weather might not be well described as 'warm'.

A Taste to Remember

The Norsemen Restaurant
Saturday October 26, 2013

Internationally renowned Sommelier Peter Boyd and Chef David Scoffield have teamed up to create a spectacular five course dinner paired with wines selected from around the world to deliver the perfect food/wine match.
Tutored Wine Tasting
Start off with a Wine Tasting Lesson comparing different wine styles and varieties.

Five Course Dinner
Afterwards, a sumptuous feast including Salad of Lobster and Caviar, Roast Quail with Moroccan raz el hanout Spices and Roast Loin of Elk awaits you.
Don't miss out on this amazing adventure in food and wine.
Reserve soon - space is limited!
$95 per person, not including tax and gratuities
Please call for reservations: 705-635-2473
1040 Walker Lake Dr. Just 10 minutes from Huntsville, off Limberlost Rd.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Up the Creek (and the Lake) with a Paddle, Muskoka River X

This was the inaugural year for the Muskoka River X, the longest single day expedition paddling race. It took place last weekend, starting and ending in Huntsville, but winding its way over 130 km. of waterways and 22 portages.

The first portage brought the paddlers into Lake of Bays -- at South Portage. They followed Lake of Bays down to Baysville before portaging around the dam and heading down the Muskoka River.

It started early, in mist.  It finished very late, in fog and dark of night.

It featured solo canoe, solo kayak, double canoes and even Stand Up Boards.

And it was won by Dean Brown and Bob Vincent, who scorched around setting a record for the following teams to aim for, 14 hours and 12 minutes. Did we mention Bob is 71?  Way to paddle!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Room with a View

Heather sent this photo of the view from Anchor cottage early one morning last week.

Autumn... oh, yes...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Quality of Light

September is a changeable month, when it comes to the weather.  But one thing we can count on is the fabulous quality of light that comes with these clear, cooler days.
You really cannot ask for more beautiful days. Or more beautiful views.

Happy Hour

 Syl invited a few friends over to the cottage for Happy Hour.

How fun it is to be able to get this close to the deer!

We've got a few young bucks on the lawn now, too, with their spikey antlers still in velvet.  They'll be losing that velvet soon, and trying to chat up the does.  Who, it would appear, are pretty busy chatting up Syl (who brought tasty treats).

Here's a picture that shows why they are called White Tailed Deer.  That's the warning 'flag', hoisted high, as this doe runs away from the golf cart where Taffy is sitting...

Lego, and Come on Home!

It's been 33 years, give or take a summer, since Heather and Al and their kids, Alan and Holly, stayed with us.  What brought them back was a photo I put up on the Facebook page for Bondi Village Resort.

When they came this September, some things never change -- it wasn't a set of Lego that came with them, but Al's mechano sets that were all over the cottage table at Anchor.    When the kids were young, it was non-stop with board games, lego, sand piles and of course, the lake!  Heather brought along one of their old photo albums, and how much fun that was, looking back in time!

Their son, Alan, has moved from playing with Lego to writing about Lego, and they were very kind to bring us a copy of his book.  I'm rather wishing I'd had this when I was in MY lego phase! It's the most interesting thing.

And very kindly inscribed as well. It is a valued addition to the Bondi Games collection!

Great to welcome you back -- and we're looking forward to your next visit (already booked!!!)

A Day Late

some of our guests last autumn, checking out a bear tree
I haven't posted here for a while. Not because there was nothing to post. Far far from it.

One usually expects that it becomes quiet after Labour Day, what with school and work starting up again, but this year we've been really busy. Which is good.

We've welcomed guests here from Spain, Germany and England.  Our Spanish guests came for a walk with Nancy, hoping to find a tree with bear claw marks on it.  We found one, about half way up the mountain trail.  "Look," Nancy said, "you can see where the bear has clawed his way up the tree." She matched her hand to the bear's paw to illustrate, since language was a bit of a barrier.  Earlier, she had explained how the beech tree bark will take any mark and keep it forever. We'd found a tree with a lightning strike scar, for example.  So here we were, fitting fingers to bear claws as the bear climbed up and around the trunk.  To where someone had carved a name on the tree.

"Ah," said the guests, "Yes, we see. The bear is called TONY."

 We have clever bears...

We welcomed back the Old Salts Canoe Club, who were here in force. What a wonderful crew they are, too!  Monday they asked Nancy to come out and see if she could get the Wolf Pack to answer. It was overcast, so no stars, but dampened and undaunted we talked about the Owls, hooted a bit. Talked about the wolves. Tried a howl.  All was silent in that department. On the Port Cunnington hill, however, a fisher started screeching.  Not a sound I like to hear...  I always worry about the cat.

They asked to go out the following night, when it was clear, to look at Stars, so out we went again.  This time, I had to interrupt the Star Show because the Wolf Pack wouldn't STOP howling. They gave us a fabulous serenade. Not just once. Not twice, but on four separate occasions, with the main pack being answered by lone voices farther off.  Then the owls fired up, with two barred owls hooting back and forth to each other.  It was nothing to do with me, but I seemed to get some street cred out of it anyway.

We have clever wolves and owls, too.

We welcomed back Syl, who is like the Pied Piper when he travels about with his wheelchair, followed not only by the chickens, but by chipmunks and deer. He posted some great pictures on his FB page, but I haven't been able to figure out how to copy the videos. If I do, I'll bring them over here.

For the first week, the stable was hopping too. Marianne brought her husband Barry here for a week's getaway, but she also brought her little roan horse, Rusty for some remedial lessons. Every day we were up at the stable working with him, and with her, and wow, what progress they made!  While Barry was at the cottage cooking up a storm with veggies fresh from our garden, Marianne was finding her centre again with her horse.

So that was the week -- wolf howls, loon calls, owl hoots, fisher screeches, deer galore and brilliant stars. Guests off to ride the S.S. Bigwin, paddle the Park, hike our trails, bake apple pies with our apples, gather eggs from our hens, and so much more.

Whew... I think I need a vacation!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Coming Soon

Mountain biking over rough terrain seems to be gathering in popularity by leaps and bounds (no pun intended, as the bikes leap and bound over the roots and rocks)  Me, I prefer feet as a mode of travel over bush trails, but what do I know?
These pictures are just teasers. There is a bike park that will be opening soon not far from us. This weekend, with permission of the owner, I took Mike and Dave over to see if it got two thumbs up, or two feet sticking straight up...
It's not finished, quite, so it's not open. Quite.  And yes, since I was the only one out there with a map, and I was not with the bikers, they did take some detours that were longer than perhaps anticipated before they found me again, but those are details and are being cleaned up as I type.
Bikes aside, it is going to be a wonderful multi-use trail for both bikes (non-motorized!) and walkers!   Boardwalks cross the boggy bits, the scenery in the woods is quite lovely.  Sharon, who was walking with me, really enjoyed the wander.  Taffy gave it four paws up, the highest rating she can give.
And the bikers? Well, they lived to tell, got a workout, and reported that it is going to be just great! Can't wait to get this open to the Public!

Paddle Your Own

The first step to paddling your own canoe is having your own paddle.

Sean handcrafted these for the family -- one for himself, one for Jenn, and one extra special one for Kelvin.

Art is Where you Find It

 "I'm ready for my close-up," the little doe seems to say to Sean Lehan out at the apple tree.

We get used to seeing wildlife on our lawns, but it is still a thrill for our guests. 

Sean will no doubt get some wonderful photos - which will then turn up in his artwork.  He is an amazing artist.

 Last year he painted our twin fawns in the back fields. We treasure that painting.

You really should click into his website to see what he is creating.

We are particularly impressed with the
 painting he recently completed for his aunt and uncle, who live at Blue Mountain.  Not only has he captured the essence of the new "orchard runs" opening up at that ski centre, but he has incorporated the faces of his grandparents into the work -- they loved spending time on the hills at Blue, and this is just the most amazing tribute.

We are huge fans of art that speaks to the heart...