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, February 28, 2015

Pancakes, Syrup... come on over!

Come stay with us this March.  Just tell us when you book that you're coming for the Pancake Breakfast special, and along with the cottage, full use of all our ski/snowshoe trails and  toboggan hills, along with great chances to see wildlife, or to just kick back and relax by the fire, we'll provide you with pancake batter, free range eggs and, yes, a bottle of Maple Syrup so you can celebrate Spring and start the day in style.

Visit the local art galleries and artists' studios, stop by one of the local sugar shacks to get into the spirit of the maple season. Day trip into Algonquin Park -- the moose will be starting to move out of the woods by late March, and the Visitor Centre is ALWAYS worth a visit.  Spend some time with one of the local dogsled ride providers...  Ski at Hidden Valley for 10% discount, or check out the Skate Trail at Arrowhead while conditions last.   There's still lots of winter sports up here, and the weather is trending back into glorious...

Life Imitates Art. Art Makes Life Better

North Muskoka has always been a powerful magnet for artists.  There are coffee table books jammed with pictures of the incredible creations that happen here.

The Group of Seven hung out up here. There is currently an original  A.Y. Jackson painting available in Huntsville at The Framing Place.  It is well out of my price point, but it might well be within yours.

I make a point of having artwork that is made by my friends and neighbours. Not only does it support the community, it fills my house with joy.

There are Studio Tours that coincide with the autumn colours. There are summer exhibitions. And now, in Huntsville, there is a new centre for our artists, in the old Train Station in Huntsville, and there is a charming show currently staged there.  You should come up, during March. You should go skiing, snowshoeing, sit by a burning fire, watch the deer cross the lake, sign the kids up for the Ski School at Hidden Valley...

And you should go to these exhibitions. You should drop in on the artists in their studios (most are open by chance or appointment -- so phone first).  You will be amazed. You will be delighted. You will be enriched.

Every year I discover new and brilliant works from amazing artists.  This year, I have found Mark Kulacs' studio.... 

This may not be a good thing for my bank balance... (after all, I still have to go and collect my latest purchase from Lorraine Thayer, of Bearly Thayer Studios in Bobcaygeon -- I fell hard for "Cave Cow" -- for the sheer joy and whimsy of it -- and it s coming home to live with me.  The only downside of this is that I have no wall space left... but that is a minor detail. 

I think I'll have to open up some space for one of Mark Kulac's works as well!)

Everybody has to Eat. Warning: Some People will find the images disturbing

'holy', said Taffy... sniffing... She's a funny little thing. She
did a careful assessment of the carcass, then marked over the
wolf pee... as if to warn that THIS is her property and
they should take care.
 The wolves brought down a deer two nights ago, over at the western edge of the property, close to the lake. (just past Farside cottage, where the path goes through the woods)

Beaver, moose and deer are the staple food for the Algonquin timber wolves, and it takes a lot of meat to keep a pack fed.  This is not disturbing the balance of nature, or putting the deer at risk of extinction, this is the way Nature works.

That kill will feed not only the entire wolf pack, but ravens, foxes and even the bald eagle.  Who, we are chuffed to report, did a fly-by yesterday across the front of the Lodge, absolutely delighting Alex and his family who saw the bird from the living room windows. Wow.

It was the ravens who gave David the 'heads up' that there was something there, and he went to explore.  The ravens were not impressed that he had dropped by, because they had to leave (in their world, he is a larger predator than they are. They will back off.  In his world, he doesn't eat raw frozen venison... they have nothing to worry about in that department.

Give the wolves another day or so, and there will be nothing left. They don't waste.

There were eight deer tonight out on the lake.  I don't know where the wolf pack spent the day... but we'll be out tonight several times looking for possible northern lights.  Perhaps they will sing...

Out and About

 Who could stay indoors on a day like this?? No wind, not particularly cold, drenched in sunshine.

We had an almost full house, and it was great to see so many people outside enjoying the winter day.

Whether on snowshoes, on foot, on skis or on toboggans, the guests were on the move.  There are so many places to explore -- the local cottage roads with no traffic are ideal for those who like to hike.  Our snowshoe and ski trails and toboggan hills are all groomed and in perfect condition.

Some took a day trip to the Frost Centre, and some stayed here to explore our trails.

Some went for a long time, out all day in fact.

Others, like little Katherine who is just learning about winter and the world, were only out for short stretches.

Big or small, fast or slow, old or young, this was a day for everybody.

talk about Blue Eyes!

Sled Heading

 These are scenes from a ride.  Dave and Mike were out last weekend enjoying the snowmobile trails.

The trails are at their very best at this time of year.  We link directly to them, about one mile away (so it stays quiet at the resort, but it's easy to access the many trails in the Algonquin Snowmobile Club area and beyond.

So, for those who haven't had a chance to be out there, this is why it is so popular. You get to go places that are pretty distant for hiking/skiing/etc., and you get to see some truly wonderful stuff .  Like the Oxtongue River at the Rapids, still undauntedly unfrozen at -40.  

Like the ice falls on rock cuts and cliffs...

And just the natural beauty through which these groomed trails wind.

Lighting up our Lives

The Weather Network tells us that there is chance to see Northern Lights tonight, Feb. 28.

We'll take that. We'll take ANY chance to see the Lights. We don't always get to see them this far south of the Pole, and they are always worth getting up and getting out to see.
While the Northern Lights are still classed as "just a chance", there's something in the sky that is for certain sure, given that it is a spectacularly clear night -- and that is the spectacle of the waxing gibbous moon dancing along with Gemini and Jupiter.
Although that moon will be bright enough to scrub out a lot of the skies from the night sky, there are at least three that should be able to stand up to the moon's glare.  Castor and Pollux, in the constellation Gemini can shine through the light.  So can Procyon (the Little Dog Star) and Sirius (the Big Dog Star)
And just as in Dirty Dancing "Nobody puts Baby in the corner," there is nothing that can dim Jupiter from the night sky.  Just east of the Moon, the 'king planet' is far brighter than any star (except the sun, which is tricky to see at night)
The moon will also not be able to wash out all our Northern stars -- so the Big Dipper (the Great Bear) and the Little Dipper and the North Star should all be visible.  We're going out with our green star laser to make sure our guests know which star is which.  
Maybe we'll get to see the northern lights... maybe we'll hear the wolves howl... maybe the barred owl will give us a passing hoot...  Or maybe it will just be us, out there under a clear night sky on the last day of February, with stars overhead. 
Either way -- it makes for great evening!!

Crop Circles

 wooooaaahhhh.... These mysterious patterns appeared in the parking lot this morning...

Very eerie...  Almost like those circles that appear in crops overnight...

Possibly, an alien invasion???

Or just Brian, having too much fun with the bulldozer on his way to get another round bale of hay for the horses to enjoy?

hard to know for sure....   (laughing)

Napster gets a little Love from Macleans Magazine

Recognition from Macleans Magazine

Autumn Fox, one of his most recent pieces
Thank you to Aaron Hutchins of Macleans magazine, who got the nod to follow up on Napster's artistic journey.

This article has just been posted to their on-line edition. You can read it here.

Napster is very very pleased, and grateful, and hopes that this added publicity will help him push his donations fund even higher.   This past week, he made a donation toBEAR WITH US, in Sprucedale, where Mike MacIntosh rescues injured black bears.  This was a specific donation towards the rehab of Hope, a desperately ill little bear who is still suffering a form of paralyses in her hind legs.  Napster knows what it is to be ill...  and he also knows that every little bit can help.  When we found an orphaned fawn in our back fields, he was pleased to be able to donate towards her care at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

Loon Dancer, signature print for A Wing and a Prayer,
famous for their rescue work with loons.
While he snuggles on the back of his favourite chair watching the birds at the feeder and the deer on our lawn here at Bondi Village, these charities that help animals are the ones closest to his heart.

Skaters.  This piece sells in Amsterdam for
 Eyes on Animals.
In addition to his favourite charity, A Wing and a Prayer, over the past years he has been asked and has been happy to help out a whole list of charities. Both the local Lake of Bays Libraries feature his work, and he fund-raises for them. As he does for both the local Anglican and United churches.  The Huntsville branch of the Cancer Society has auctioned his work. The Huntsville Animal Shelter was a big benefitting cause as well. In Guelph, the Wind Dancer Pony Rescues auctions off one of his paintings each year at their PonyPalooza event.  He has also made contributions to the Me to We group on their way to Africa a few years back, the local Food Bank fundraiser, and animal shelters in Hamilton and B.C.  In addition, one of his works sells as a fundraiser card for the charity Eyes on Animals, based in Holland and working throughout the EU to improve the conditions of animals being shipped for breeding and slaughter across multiple border crossings.

Cardinals.   He painted this with help (holding the paper
and the paint palette) from  Denise Newell and the ladies
here with the Old Salts.
In short, for being a pretty small player, he has done a tremendous amount of good for a lot of charities.  He would very much like to thank Aaron for the article -- and for explaining that the amount in the BlogList referred to single sales. Hard to match those numbers, since he doesn't sell his originals... and likes to keep his prints affordable for all.  But still...

And he would very much like to express his purr-fectly best wishes to all those who wrote in on his behalf, and especially the Old Salts Seniors Canoe Club for their devotion to his artwork, to himself, and for putting together that petition.    He had no idea you were doing that for him, and he is deeply humbled.

He also has his paws crossed that this will help him to advance his sales, so he can make even more donations in future.

Thanks Aaron, for taking the time to respond to the emails and petition, and to call up to interview Napster for Macleans.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dance Like No-one is Watching

Venus, bright and clear, with Mars above, and above that
but faint (get your binocs) Uranus. And of course,
what about that MOON!!!
Dance of the Planets. That is what it is called when several of the planets and the moon align.

It was a fiercely clear night last Friday, when the dance began.  That is when Venus was tagging along on the crescent of the moon, and Mars was just coming out to play. With binoculars, you could just pick out Uranus as well, above and a little to the left.

Clearly visible above the shining crescent of the moon was the rest of that orb, lit up by Earthshine (the reflection of sunlight back from the Earth to the Moon)

My camera isn't up to the standard of some that can get these clear, but I like this, with the star and moon tangled up in the branches of the maple, and the full circle of the moon visible in the earthshine.

We'll be able to see this conjunction dancing overhead for the next week or so, as the moon moves through its phases and the planets drift apart, so fingers crossed for clear skies.

Meanwhile, as Venus outshines Mars in the late evening sky in the west, don't forget to glance to the east, where Jupiter is outshining just about everything else up there...

So there you have them... our Moon and planets overhead, reminding us all that sometimes you need to just dance.

Dorset Snowball, Year 25

It kicks off with a parade... and a pancake breakfast, and runs all day on Saturday in Dorset.  Hot air balloons, horse drawn sleighs, tons of activities inside the Community Centre where you could warm up, and outside, with games and displays.  The winter carnivals up here, in Dwight and Dorset and now also Baysville, are some of the hidden treasures of the area.  Absolutely ideal for all ages, but especially fun for the kids!
This is just a tiny sample...

Craig invited some intrepid souls to camp out overnight in the Shantyman's tent, along
with a great display of snowshoes.

All the kids love the Zorbs... but if you fall, good luck getting up!

Go spin on the Gyro... (for me, maybe not!)

Mr. and Mrs. Snowball were there, along with a little Snowball!

The OPP in position with the radar gun to get speeds for the home-made toboggan runs

cardboard, duct tape, some coloured markers and an intrepid pilot...

home made cardboard toboggans came in all shapes and sizes

One of the littlest pilots in her home-made sled

The Shantyman's Tools display -- creating wooden brands of the Dorset Snowball logo

Taffy enjoyed joining the kids to ride on the horse-drawn sleigh

Junkyard Johnny entertained -- always a terrific show

the old ways, and the new... horse power and the snowmobile trail groomer

Have you made your donation to the Dorset Health Hub/ Nurse Practitioner Station?
Colin, Nikki and 4 other bold souls spent the night in a quinzhee to help raise funds.

Wildlife and bird calls...

There were little ponies for the kids, and these big fellows for everyone

Pat Lynch, from Dorset, with one of his hand-made Black Bear paddles

Snowmobilers fuel the restaurant economy up here in winter! This was the Parking
lot at Trading Bay.  It was a perfect day to be out on the trails.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Say Yes

 For all of our Bondi Family who are following the adventure... if you cast your mind back to September, when Megan and David were married in Huntsville, you will recall that Megan had been selected by the TV program 'Say Yes to the Dress Canada'

We were not told when the episode would air... but it took to the screen on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the 10 p.m. time slot on W channel.  Which won't help you a bit unless you have a time machine.

But despair not, all those who were hoping to see the program!  It will re-run on this SUNDAY, again on W.  And again NEXT Wednesday, probably in the 9.30 time slot.

It will also eventually show up on their Youtube channel, and we'll happily post that link when it comes available.

The episode is titled 'A Little Bit Country'

You'll get a chance to see Megan and her brides' maids walking down the Main Street of Huntsville through the midst of the Antique Car Show...

And of course, you'll get to see David (and best man Mike) waiting for Megan in the church.

You will even get to see the dress...

And now you can see the episode '' A Little Bit Country."  Watch for David and the raccoon :)

Say Yes TV crew outside the church after the ceremony

from the episode, when Megan is at her final dress fitting.