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. www.bondi-village-resort.com
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!
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...
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 KellyList 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
We'd love to hear from you. The experiences our guests have are precious to us. If you have photos you took at Bondi, we'd love to have those as well. You can email them to Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org
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We are very proud of Napster, our tail-painting cat, who uses his lovely artwork to raise money for charities. This lovely little creature passed away July 2015, but left a huge legacy, having raised over $12,000 for various charities through the sale of his artwork. That artwork, through prints and notecards, is still available. Click here to visit Napster's Blog and visit the gallery of his tail-paintings.
Now sold around the world, he was honoured to have his artwork sold around the globe -- he even has a print with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Click on the following links to enjoy a 'virtual ski' round some of our 15 km. of groomed track set cross country ski trails. Thanks to Altitude and Attitude, North Muskoka gets the kind of winter you can really enjoy. Huge thanks to Eric Prince, the creative mind that made this videos happen!
Click here to enjoy seeing a variety of our trails.
And Click Here for another cross country ski adventure.
and this one, in 2014, just days before the snow vanished, from Hawke Lake on down. Click Here
And Click Here for just one more...