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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tiny Little Dragon

Khaleesi has come to Westeros...   Or at least the dragons are here.
Fynn found this on the dock yesterday. It is the shed  skin of a dragonfly nymph. That little critter has been roaming around under the water, snapping up and gobbling down mosquito larvae as fast and often as it can.

Most of the dragonfly's life is lived underwater, in this nymph stage. And don't they truly look like dragons?

Once hatched, the dragonfly has to wait patiently on the edge of the dock while the wings straighten our and harden. But then, it is into the air, to continue to hunt mosquitoes and black flies. And to lay more eggs to start the cycle all over again.

Well spotted, Fynn, and thank you for sharing your Nature Discovery with all of us!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Slightly Sketchy Meteors and Meteor Watch Day Itself

If you are looking for a slow moving meteor, with a quirky personality that makes its very appearance rather chancy, then you are in luck!   It is time for the Bootid meteor shower. 

Gets the name because it comes from the vicinity of Bootes -- and if you've ever been out on the lawn with Nancy during our Bondi Village Star Search nights, you'll know that as the base of the Ice Cream Cone that grows upward from Arcturus.  If you haven't, why not book a week here and come find out how to map out the skies above?

The source of the June Bootids is comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke (don't panic, you won't have to spell that on the test...)   which orbits the Sun once every 6.37 years.  The comet follows an elliptical path that carries if from near the orbit of Earth to just beyond the orbit of Jupiter.  The comet's tail is described as clumpy -- and when our planet passes through a dense spot in the debris stream, a meteor shower erupts.  It can be a chancy thing, due to the orbit, and the uneven density of the comet's tail.   As meteor showers go, this one is a bit sketchy, but since it coincides with Meteor Watch Day on June 30th, it's always worth looking up.

After all, if you see a shooting star, and make a wish, the legends say it will come true.

Loon, with a crayfish for his lunch.  
 Our cousin Robin Tapley is currently working out of Algonquin Park -- specifically out of the Wildlife Research Station there, and he's been sending back these incredibly fabulous photographs of the local residents.  This series shows what's for dinner -- which is appropriate enough, since I'm posting this at just past what should have been Dinner Time for myself...

Herons were once called  Siege Masters because of their
patience in hunting.  This one has obviously got the technique

nothing, but NOTHING tastes better than a fresh poplar leaf.
At least, if you are a Beaver. Check out the smile!

North America's largest land animal, often found not so
much on land.  This young bull is enjoying a meal of waterlilies,
and looks so content with his menu selection.

Go Fish!

Peter is here with his family from Macau, China.  They came to fish.

They succeeded!!!

Winner, winner... Fish for Dinner!

Barn Swallows, Flight School in Session

Mom, keeping a close eye on the kids with
wobbly wings

This is what Flight School for the baby swallows looked like today in the stable. We had two nests in the barn, and one at the lake.  The first nest in the stable flew three days ago.  Today it was the turn for the second set of nestlings.

stopping to catch their breath and rest their tiny wings

Golly, we adore these birds!
two of the babies having a talk about how hard school is

Beach Day!

just hanging out!
 Summer... Take the Lake. Just add kids. No need to stir.

There were so many ways to enjoy the lakefront today!   Here's a sprinkle of photos... not including those of the folks who were relaxing, reading, suntanning, chatting...

conquer the iceberg!

let's see if this will work....

scramble up, slide back down!

The littlest having the mostest fun

Brady, up on his very first try waterskiing! (we thought he'd just keep going round the bay,
and round the bay, and round the bay... and what a grin!)
fine style!
Who's doing the paddling here?

paddleboats are perfect!

Jacob getting a feel for the waves!

Pickle Ball

Some of our guests set up a Pickle Ball court on the basketball court this week, and it's been seeing a lot of heavy use.

One of the chickens found it quite interesting, and went over for a closer look.

Along with the basketball, volleyball, shuffleboard, horseshoe pitch, badminton and ping pong, Pickle Ball makes a fun addition!


 Clara found a four leaf clover in our lawn yesterday.

Now, that is not totally unknown, although David points out that HE has never found one.

Clover cottage got its name because when we were clearing the site, Rosemary found a four leaf clover right in the middle of what is now the living room.

Clara is not only lucky, she has excellent powers of observation!   We hope that luck rubs off on all of us!

Col Mitchell and Art that Comes off the Pages

 My friend Col Mitchell is an amazing artist. She works in paper. Not just ON paper, but by shaping the paper into the designs of her artwork.

She uses pen and ink on sculpted paper, and washes it with watercolours, and gets results that are breath-taking.

She is currently holding a solo exhibit at the Chapel Gallery in Bracebridge, and yes, you should go.

Hint... Christmas is coming... any of these would look lovely on the walls of my house (or your house, but let's face it, I would really, really love to have one of them :) )

You need to see them in real life to get the effect of the texture -- the fur on the Fox (titled Scenting Sunshine) makes you want to reach out and stroke it, and all done in paper...

Her birds seem ready to fly right off the picture.  These lovely cedar waxwings are particularly apt as some of our guests were visited by them yesterday at their cottage.

So, remember the name. Col Mitchell.   Surf over to her website and check out her portfolio.

She's amazing.

Hot Chicks Catching Some Rays

The hens love to bask in the sun.  This one was certainly making the most of the heat and the sun!

The 'gals' are working hard now that our guests have arrived for the summer, keeping up a supply of super fresh, super tasty organic eggs.

They deserve to take a breakwith a sun bath, a dust bath... or both...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Blessed by Bluebirds

I was absolutely delighted today to catch up with the two pairs of nesting bluebirds that are in residence along the pasture fenceline near Sunflower cottage.
We wait every year, with fingers crossed, hoping for their safe return.  If you sit in the shade by the cottage with a bit of patience, you can watch them flitting back and forth. They have nestlings now, so lots of hungry mouths.  

The barn swallows both hatched out within a day of each other, so the two nests are making sure that the barn is a very happening place for swallows these days.  The little ones are getting very close to being too big to fit in the nest anymore!

And Momma Robin, having successfully got the first hatch out and flying, has taken up residence in her same nest again, going for Round Two.  Or should that be Round Robin Two?

Photos Shared

the loons are in the bay almost daily.
This one came right up to the dock for Stacey

Stacey was here from France this past week. Ostensibly, she was here for her High School Reunion, but she was also here because this is the Lake where she grew up, and it was great to have her back here with us.

She kindly shared some of her photos, taken here at Bondi Village.  

The canoes make a colourful reflection

deck chairs at the Main Dock are ready and waiting

the antique weather vane near Farside cottage

Our gardens are blooming wonderful

Here is a place to calm your soul!

and discover the beauty in small things that surround us

And Over She Goes

We saw this boat hung up on the rocks above Marsh's Falls about a week ago.  Dave and Meg go biking early every morning -- they were the first to spot it.  

And they (proving that once again timing is everything) were the ones who captured this video.  Arriving at the Falls on their bike ride, they noticed that the boat was no longer on the rock.  Looking around for it, they spotted it just above the Falls, and they quickly scurried to the edge of the falls with phone in hand...

We have no idea who belongs to this boat.  If you do, they can probably find it somewhere along the river...

Summer. Ready.

 These are the scenes we love to see.

Guests enjoying the waterfront -- with an assortment of water toys in evidence.

The floaters were a big hit... but so too the SUPs which were both out all day.

And then there is lunch, at the beach, under the shade trees.

 And a cuddle with Taffy. A perfect day.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Today we went to Dorset, to enjoy the Community BBQ and complimentary cruises on the S.S. Bigwin.

Sailing on this beautifully restored more-than-a-century-old ship is a "Must Do" on the bucket list when you are here in North Muskoka.  With its electric engine, it slides silently across the waters of Lake of Bays, and is a dream to be aboard.

With me today was an old friend, Stacey Odlum, who now lives in France with her husband Emmanuel.  She was here for her High school reunion, and it has been such fun to have her staying with us at Bondi again.

 Taffy was also invited aboard, and was having fun channeling her inner Captain Jack Sparrow. That and being petted endlessly by the children on the cruise!

My friend Judy Van Clieaf who writes for What's Up Muskoka was on board as well -- one never knows, Taffy may make the local paper's page of celebrities!

The SS Bigwin is sailing all summer now.  During June, you can hop aboard for some of their special cruises, like the one to Bigwin Island for lunch.  During July and August they are sailing every Thursday from Port Cunnington Lodge -- appetizers and a cruise around Bigwin Island to be followed by dinner at the Lodge. Now THAT is a deal we intend to take part in!

Swallowtail Season

While we've seen only two monarch butterflies so far, there has been no shortage of the lovely yellow swallowtails.
They are here in force, and have been clustering on the apple trees and lilacs while they were in bloom.

Now they cruise through the gardens, sipping nectar from Carol's flowers.

And, in a behaviour that some find odd, gathering on patches of mud near the stables.  Swallowtails need access to mud -- and they adore tiny puddles.  It's important to ensure that gardens have moist areas, for these and other animals that prefer to visit places that aren't dry as dust.

These were at the stable door today, where we empty the water buckets, so it's always a little bit damp around the edges. 

Butterflies are called flying flowers, with good reason. These are stunning.  

They have been joined by Painted Ladies, and Mourning Cloak butterflies.  If you are here, take a camera, and some patience, and take yourself out to see how many you can find!

Joy in small things

  Our cousin Robin Tapley has pretty much The Dream Job. He is currently working deep inside Algonquin Park, at the Wildlife Research Centre, a place where the average trekker and camper don't get to go. He has along with him guests who have signed on for Photo classes, and he has his trusty camera...

And he gets photos like this.

If you are patient near a beaver pond at this time of year (which is a challenge -- be sure to wear a bug jacket!!!) you can get to see these busy creatures going about their Beaverly Business.

Pure joy is sampling fresh sapling leaves at the edge of the pond -- a welcome change after a winter of living on the bark of the trees harvested, sunk and stashed for the winter.   The rapture on the beaver's face is endearing.

In Algonquin Park there are several sites right along Hwy 60 with beaver houses.  Our own Damalot -- a collection of five separate dams along our River Loop trail -- is currenty in the process of becoming a beaver meadow and regenerating the trees that the beavers will need for their return. They have pretty much opened up the forest in that area, but it is fascinating to see what is left behind when they stop tending the dams, before it turns back into an open moose-feeding field.  There are canals, channels cut into the pond bottom, the houses, the dams... all there to explore.