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, May 30, 2015

Playing Through? Or looking for a Foursome?

 This morning, on our Frisbee golf course, there were two lovely does 'playing through'.  They paused to watch me with great interest before wandering off towards the next tee...

News of the Best Kind

The Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation  recently acquired about 97 acres of land at the iconic Marsh's Falls on the Oxtongue River.  This places the property into conservation protection, and will lead to restoration of habitat for native species. It is all good news.  It is all, in fact Great News.

The Foundation is currently working with the Township to develop a plan that will permit public access to the base of the Falls, a place to launch a canoe or kayak, or have a picnic or a swim.  There will be no camping or campfires permitted at the site.
Every summer forever we have taken guests from Bondi to launch canoes at the Falls and enjoy canoeing down the beautiful lower Oxtongue River. Some continue along the shoreline and portage back into Haystack Bay. Some canoe over to the beach at Dwight and call us for pick-up. Either way, it is an outstanding way to spend a summer's day.

The river abounds with wildlife and unspoiled shorelines, and this purchase from the LoBHF will ensure that continues.


The robin's nest in the stable is a very happening place.  There are four very hungry little beaks poking up at every opportunity to see if Momma Robin has come back with a worm.  She comes zipping through the stable with 'take away' almost constantly!

Monday, May 25, 2015

many canoes

 As part of a fundraising campaign called 1000 Canoes, raising money for the new Health Hub in Dorset that will benefit not only all our residents but summer visitors as well, we launched four canoes in Bondi Bay.

Dave had one. Mike had one. Nancy (and the camera) had one.

And of course, Taffy had one, too.  She is an expert at the Dog Paddle.

Our four canoes joined numbers with others all around the Lake of Bays and Kawagama Lake, and while the weather that day was cool and windy, which kept numbers down, and while they did not reach the goal of 1000, the fundraiser did in fact generate $15,000 for the Health Hub.

Which makes it a winner, no matter how many canoes...

BMD Hipsters

 Hipsters... well hip-wading BMDers...

Mike was here this weekend, and he and Dave got a LOT done, including repairing one of the dock cribs and re-planking the surface.

The water is still chill enough that hip waders are the fashion statement.

That, and plaid.

Try Anything

This is Wiley. Coyote.

His mission is to keep the geese away from the lawn (Taffy can only do so much!)

He sways in the wind, and his tail is fluffy so it blows out sideways.

The geese don't like him.  But it's a big lawn, so they have a bad habit of just landing as far away as they can.

So far he has scared away 8 geese and given a real start to two tourists who were walking back across the lawn by moonlight...

Robin's Egg Blue

 We seem to have a plethora of robin nests this year. Everywhere.

One built just inside the stable, above the door.

One has set up housekeeping over the electrical box at Springside cottage

And this one chose the wooden ladder in the lean-to shed at the 3 car garage.

Four perfect robin's egg blue eggs...

Robin in the stable already has one hatched.  These won't be long!

We had guests here from England this week, who were enchanted by our robins -- the English robins are so very different!

Napster, Big Time

 Napster is delighted to announce that one of his paintings has been commissioned for an office in Gravenhurst -- and they don't fool around. They have big wall space, and they wanted a BIG Napster.

The company is called The Network, and they will be featuring Napster's work for sale there.

He's pretty chuffed.

Marianne posed with the 'big print' of Dolphins Chase the Moon.  We think it looks spectacular when it is large like this...

Go Napster!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Painted Waters

The sunset last night painted the lake.

Bailey, it was an Honour

 It has been a terribly hard week for me.  On May 13th, I had to say good-bye to my beloved thoroughbred, Blizzard, at the age of 23. He had been with me for 18 years, all of them wonderful.
On Monday, his stablemate and best pasture buddy Bailey began to colic, and it went sideways fast. We worked on him throughout Monday, with the vet, and throughout the night.   

.At 6 a.m. Tuesday morning, following complications from a colic, our beautiful 26 year old Bailey (Diamond in the Rough) laid down in green pastures.He did not wait for the vet. He heard the distant call, and followed his stable buddy and best pasture-mate Blizzard out of the whinnying green stables. 

This was a horse to dream about, his entire life, from his start in Ireland, to his jumping career in the Eastern US, to his eventing days in Ontario. 

He came to us to teach Kelly List to be a fearless cross country rider. He handed wings out for free to his other 'jockeys' and that list is long. Special hugs to Krystina Clarke, who loved him so, and who helped him on his final journey. As age shortened his stride, he went on to teach so many more people so many things. Gracious and forgiving with beginners, fearless and bold with the more advanced, he taught with patience and good humour everyone who was honoured to sit on his back.

 In the stable, he was beloved of all, with his constantly wobbly nose that he used to give the best back-rubs ever, his cheerful sense of humour, and his unfailing attitude to please, this horse will be most sadly missed by very many. 

Myself included, as he collapsed from toxic shock and died with his head in my arms and took a chunk of my heart with him where he's gone. RIP Bailey.

And as I was green and carefree, famous among the barns
About the happy yard and singing as the farm was home,
In the sun that is young once only,
Time let me play and be
Golden in the mercy of his means,
And green and golden I was huntsman and herdsman, the calves
Sang to my horn, the foxes on the hills barked clear and cold,
And the sabbath rang slowly
In the pebbles of the holy streams.
All the sun long it was running, it was lovely, the hay
Fields high as the house, the tunes from the chimneys, it was air
And playing, lovely and watery
And fire green as grass.
And nightly under the simple stars
As I rode to sleep the owls were bearing the farm away,
All the moon long I heard, blessed among stables, the nightjars
Flying with the ricks, and the horses
Flashing into the dark.
And then to awake, and the farm, like a wanderer white
With the dew, come back, the cock on his shoulder: it was all
Shining, it was Adam and maiden,
The sky gathered again
And the sun grew round that very day.
So it must have been after the birth of the simple light
In the first, spinning place, the spellbound horses walking warm
Out of the whinnying green stable
On to the fields of praise.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Farmers, all

Gardens grow. But not without some help.

With Brian side-lined following his hip surgery, it fell to David to fire up the rototiller and turn the garden over.

And then to get the corn planted.

The neat little machine he is using to step the corn in dates back to the early 1900's, and is still the handiest thing we've found for this task.

Megan has been helping Carol with planting and weeding as well.  Mike has been providing much welcome 'back up', and Brian is supervising.

Nancy and Taffy are just trying to get the geese off the lawn...  and round up the chickens.

First Harvest

The asparagus is ready.   One of the chickens went in close and personal to check it out.

Splish Splash

 First swim honours went to our guests this weekend -- all of whom took the plunge.

And not just a swift hop in, leap out swim either.

The water is calling...

Today's Swim Pic goes to Linda, who spent quite some time in the lake, and who has big plans to do exactly that again tomorrow.

where horizon meets sky

Fishing in the early morning mist. Somewhere out there, just past the fishing boat, way past the goose... is the Island..

Thursday, May 14, 2015

giving back loaned wings

It has been a terribly sad week for me.  On Wednesday, we said good-bye to Blizzard, my 23 year old thoroughbred who has been part of my life here for eighteen years.  He succumbed to an unexpected case of lymphangitis, and infection deep in the lymph system, and despite heroic measures, we were not able to turn it around.  From its onset, it was clear within a matter of days that we were not going to win this battle. It was a disease that moved with hideous and cruel swiftness.

The Bedouin, who owed their very existence to their Arabian horses, said "that Allah  took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it, and created the horse. Thou shall fly without wings, and conquer without any sword,  O Horse!"

In England, there is a proverb, "if God made anything more beautiful than horses, He kept it for Himself."

There is great truth in that.  

teaching Sarah to fly, summer 2014
For the 18 years he has shared in my life, Blizzard has unfailingly shared with me his strength, his courage, his loyalty, his trust. He learned what I wanted to teach him, and he taught me what I needed to know. 

And he has loaned with joy to all who were lucky enough to sit on his elegant back his wings. To ride him as to ride the sky.  This week,  it was time to give those wings back.

He raced under the name Senator Blizzard, came to us from Manitoba, competed in Horse Trials and dressage under the name Anam Cara (Soul Friend) and was known to his friends simply as Blizzard.  He made life richer, better.  He will be missed.

1992 - 2015

"Your youth, and his courage,
His strength and his power...
the best Gifts to Man
are the Horse and the Hour.
You asked, and he gave
and was glad in the giving
And the world was your playground
And life was worth living."



It is a thankless task, really.  Taffy chases the geese off the lawn, following them out onto the end of the dock to be sure they got the message.

They come back.  She chases them off.   They come back....     But she is ever vigilant to keep them off the lawns and docks, and out on the water.   Even if she is of the opinion that they are bird brains, and very slow learners.

Some Dew...

 Early morning, checking out the dew drops.

Our lawn is full of clover, wild strawberries, and violets.  Plus dandelions. Yes we confess. But we don't mind them.  They are the first food of the year for many of our species of bees, and also provide food for the goldfinches.

Seems a small price to pay, dots of yellow in the lawn, in exchange for the good they do for the creatures living around us.

Something Borrowed

We have had robins nest in the craziest of places -- including one who cheerily set up housekeeping in one of the artificial Christmas trees in the riding arena (because there were not enough real trees around in the great outdoors?)

This one has borrowed an old swallow nest in the stable, just above the door.  Which means you often have to duck, as she comes winging her way back and forth.

The other end of the stable is still the domain of the barn swallows -- we seem to have two pair this year, which is exciting, since they are getting quite scarce.

It's lovely to be sharing the space with these little creatures.  And the stable is a safe place for the nestlings, so hopefully we will have a successful year for their hatching!

Stormy Weather

 The first rain caused the whole place to suddenly jump into green.

Now the trees are starting to unfurl their leaves.

Last week, a thunderstorm rolled through.

One of the wonderful things living here is that we can watch the weather come ramping up the lake from the South.

Taffy and I were drenched in sunshine when I took this photo.  About half an hour later, we were drenched in thundershowers.

But the skies -- how brilliant and dramatic are the skies??

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Come Join the Dance

At this time of year, there is a chorus outside the window every evening.  The spring peepers are singing their little hearts out like a well rehearsed choir. 

But at just about dusk, another voice comes to add notes to the chorus.

The woodcock is here.  His mating ritual involves flying upward in the darkening sky, in a huge spiral, all the while calling out his buzzy 'peent' note. 
When he is as high as he can go -- often more than 100 feet up there, he flutters back to the ground with a erratic movements, making what are described as melodious whimpering chirps -- not to mention the soft trill of his wings.  Just before reaching the ground he levels off, skims along the surface and sets down almost in the exact spot from which he took off.

 He then struts about a bit on terra firma, looking pretty sexy.  (and looking around for his lady love)  

And then starts it all over again.

Right now, his stage of choice is the horse pasture and garden, right behind Sunflower cottage.

Have a little listen... you can hear the frogs singing back-up.

Just Like That... Green

 We got rain yesterday.  Not much, just enough.

It has dried up quickly this Spring.  We've been raking and picking up branches, cleaning the beaches, getting lawn chairs and picnic tables and bbqs cleaned and ready.

But yesterday, it rained.

And SNAP.  Just like that. it is GREEN!

It is amazing how fast the grass pops into colour with that first watering.

Not just the greens have popped -- the hyacinths and daffodils and star-flowers have all come into their own.

In the woods, the trilliums are just hovering on the edge of popping into bloom.

It's Spring.

In Algonquin, the moose are out along Hwy 60 in full force.

It's a great time to visit.

If you haven't booked the May long weekend, you might want to think about that. Now.


They do look a bit like the walking wounded, but things are actually on the upswing.   Brian had a hip replacement in late April.  Carol broke her wrist...   This was Brian's first day on just crutches and not a walker.  Carol is so impatient to get that cast off...  It is driving her batty that her gardens are starting to bloom without her.

The rest of us, David, Megan, Sue and I have been raking like crazy things, and we are well on track to have the resort ready for the May long weekend.  Even if we don't have two of our very major players on track by then!

Most welcome

The barn swallows showed up on May 1st.

They are always a bit later than their cousins the tree swallows, who are already busy selecting nest boxes and getting to work.

These are among our most favourite birds.  We love the sound of them in the barn, twittering and chatting.

They are becoming very rare, so this pair is precious, and we wish them well this summer.

Still. Beautiful.

 The lake in the early morning is mirror still.

Which leads to fabulous reflections.

And also leads to opportunity to just sit, soak it in, and reflect.

I shot these on May 1st, while wandering down to the dock at Clover.

Be still. Let your soul catch up.