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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Worth Getting Up Early

Devin, at the risk of some blood loss to the morning mosquitoes, climbed to the Lookout at 5.45 a.m. to capture this phenomenally lovely photo of Bondi Village Resort.

Thanks Devin, we appreciate your sacrifice. And we love this picture!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Plan Ahead

 If you are part of a group or club that goes on outings -- say a Nature Club, Outing Club, Photography Club, or Social grouping -- and you are planning an excursion this autumn, then you really should be considering coming here to Bondi Village.

Our big Lodge is ideal for a group of up to 18 people, with 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and plenty of room to get together (and to get apart).  Add in some of the cottages for more bedroom space, and we can take groups that are quite large -- while everyone can still gather in the Lodge for meals and camaraderie.

Autumn is the most spectacular of the seasons, with the fall colours, and is perfect for hiking, painting, photography, canoe excursions or just gathering together around good food with good people.

So if you are a club member, give us some consideration.  We'll help you organize your trip to make it the very best.

Indian Pipe

It is a strange and ghostly looking thing, Indian Pipe.  

Sometimes called 'corpse plant' (an unattractive name if there ever was one), it is easy to recognize and is the one of the very few plants that doesn't have chlorophyll (the stuff that makes plants green, and creates energy for the plant)
Instead, it is waxy, whitish colour, that gradually turns black as it gets old.   

Most people think it is a fungus, but not so fast...   It isn't.  It just uses fungus. And trees.  In point of unattractive fact, it is a parasite (but don't hate if just for that).  It has a relationship with both fungus and trees - taking nutrients from both at the same time. This means that it's habitat is limited, since it needs to grow where it can tap its roods into the mycelia (root like threads) of a fungus, while that fungus has a relationship going on with a nearby tree -- the fungus taps into the roots of the tree to get nutrients it cannot produce itself.  The fungus is more friendly -- it gives back to the tree nutrients that the tree needs but cannot produce, so that relationship is all warm and fuzzy and works to the benefit of both.

The Indian Pipe just kind of slides in the side door, and takes what it needs from the fungus, without giving back.  It doesn't take enough to harm either tree or fungus, and it is a useful food source for bumblebees, so there is no need for alarm, or to try to get rid of it. Just enjoy it when you find it growing white and pale near the base of one of its favoured trees.

We've had guests report finding them along the Lookout trail up the mountain. And this one was discovered in the back fields, near one of the horse jumps.  They grow in shady spots, and are not all that common, so finding them is a tiny adventure.

Found, and Profound

Walking through the back fields today with Taffy, we found lots and lots of black eyed susans.

And plenty of milkweed, in glorious bloom.  Not many years ago, the milkweed back there would be mostly chewed down to stalks by the monarch caterpillars, but today, there wasn't a caterpillar to be seen. The plants bloom undisturbed.  A fact which disturbs us more than we can say.

But our spirits got slightly bouyed when we found TWO monarch caterpillar chrysalises on the solar array.  Two.  When this was installed in 2010, there were at one point over 50 chrysalises taking advantage of the structure, which is a horrible indication of how few monarchs are around.

We so hope that this magnificent butterfly will be able to recover from what we as a species have done to its world.  Do what you can -- plant butterfly friendly gardens, and avoid like the plague the use of neonicinitoids and other sprays (like Round Up).  There is so little habitat for them to the south of us, that they can't even get here to breed, or get back home.  And the loss of this indicator species will leave us all horribly poorer.

Mason Bees

Mason bees are solitary little creatures, who prefer to nest, rather than group together in a hive.

 These little black or blue-green pollinators are very critical to our ecosystem, and while there are about 135 different species of them, they can all use a little help. 

We've got two tubes filled in our Bee House. (on the upper right) 

The female bee uses mud to seal the back of the tube (which is perfectly sized for 6 egg deposits!) She will lay one female egg at the very back, and deposit a food sack of pollen. She then builds a mud wall partition to separate that egg from the next. In total there will be 5 male eggs at equal intervals towards the entrance and one female egg at the very back. Each will have its own food source of pollen within the partitions.

 When the tube is full, the bee seals it off, and starts on the next tube to repeat the process. The eggs hatch, the larvae eat up the pollen and build themselves a cocoon where they stay through the winter and hatch out in the Spring.

These great Bee Houses are made by our cousins Ross and Anne Marie,  at Muskoka Honey Bee (and we can get them for our guests, if you want to buy one. They are $40) 

These bees won't sting you -- I've got one of these houses right on my house, in the middle of the garden. We need to be doing all we can to promote the well-being of our bees (including making sure there are no plants treated with neonicinitoids anywhere in the country!) 

The bees get their name from their ability to 'build' with mud, like a mason creating a foundation. One of the bee facts that we just love is that when the busy little bee needs to sleep for the night, she will crawl into one of the empty tubes, and lie down on her back with her little bee feet in the air.

Okay, then...

'You called?'
So here is how it goes...

 Me: haven't heard the wolf pack much this summer. I wonder if they're close enough that we'll get any response when we go out after the cookout for Dark Skies and Wolf Howls... My record this summer has been poor.

Megan (who lives right next door to Bondi) Oh, they're back! They were right outside our house last night, sounded like they were practically on our deck!

Brian: Yep. There's nine of them.

Long silent pause.

Megan and I: and you know this because?

Brian: I was biking last evening, and heard them in the back field, so I stopped and howled. They came trotting across the field to take a look at me. Nine. 

Me: And?

Brian: oh, I just kept on biking..
Me: okay then..

(which fact, we hasten to add, does not in any way mean that they will grace us with a howl tonight after the Cookout...  but I have my fingers crossed!)

Master and Commander

 How much fun is this??  Isaac is two years old.
And within a few minutes of being in this hand-wheeled paddle boat, he had the moves.

To say that he was thrilled to discover that he had the power to make this 'thing' go -- be it forward, backward, or around in a circle -- would be an understatement.

We particularly liked when he got himself stuck into the big dock -- and began to chant "Beep Beep Beep! Isaac Backing Up!"

This little thing is ideal in the shallow water here.  He could not have been more proud of himself if he'd been captain of some huge ocean going vessel.

It is so wonderful to see kids learn about their world, in three dimensions, and not from some computer screen!  This is what childhood is about -- how to interact with the world, and how to make things go! You are the best, Isaac!

look at that smile!

Go Fly a Kite

It was a breezy day, and we blame Mard...(but in the best possible way)

He came out of Beaver cottage with a kite.  Up she sailed into the cloudless blue...

And within a matter of minutes, people came out of other cottages, shook out kites of their own, and our sky was filled with colours.

What wonderful fun!   The breeze coming in over the lake was perfect, and the huge open lawn meant that the "kite eating trees" could be easily kept on a leash.

There is something about a kite that just makes us smile.

Friends and Adventures

We have so many youngsters here this summer -- and each week they have all 'buddied' up, beautifully! 

This great shot of Ronan and Dylan is typical of the smiles we've been seeing all summer long!

This is something that the Resorts offer -- that sense of camaraderie and community -- that just doesn't come with a private rental. There is so much here for the kids of all ages, and always other people to share the fun.

Of course, having 1200' of shallow sandy shoreline at Bondi Village doesn't hurt either...

The Only Place

When the temperatures spike like this, the only places to be are IN, ON or BY the lake.  There is always a lovely breeze coming in over Bondi Bay.  The sand pile and play cabin are shaded, so very popular.

And the water... well, at 78 degrees F (25 C) at the end of the dock, and much warmer right in the shallows, where else would the little ones want to be?  Or the 'big ones', come to that?

Whether its swimming out to the various rafts, with the water trampoline, iceburg, and waterslide, splashing or sitting in the shallows, just plain swimming in the quiet waters of the bay, or jumping off the dock, that lake casts a spell.

Boats are always busy -- be it the paddleboat, or SUP, kayaks, canoes or just pool noodles (do they count as boats? I suspect not) there's plenty to do  to keep cool.  Here's a little gallery of what's happening at OUR place...

We still have some vacancies during August. Shouldn't YOU be here????

to swim, or to chat, that is the question. BOTH! that is the answer!

We had a paddle by and a big wave from a kayak from next door Lumina
Resort. Always happy to share our lovely bay, we hope he paddles by again!

Arlene has NEVER missed a swim to the point, in all
the years she's been coming to stay with us.  So... man the canoes and kayaks,
and just try to keep up!

Vivi and Nora tried tubing for the first time. Big smiles, and lots of thumbs up.

Taffy LOVES the kayak. But then, what's not to love?
Alex and Victoria took out the paddleboat. We suspect that
Alex did most of the peddling...

SUPs are always popular.   Me, I shot this photo from the hammock.
Enough said...

The Bondi Boys

Carrie created these wonderful t-shirts for the cousins in the Lodge last week. 

She tells us it was easy -- a stencil, and some sprayed bleach...

But we think it was way more than that.  How wonderfully creative!  Full marks and admiration to Carrie!

The t-shirts looked awesome at the Annual Family Photo, on the steps of the Lodge.

The Velleman and Slattery families have been staying with us for 31 precious years. That annual photo keeps getting bigger!

It was so much fun this summer to have the next generation tearing up the beach, and we can't wait for next summer!!

Something to Talk About

Emiliano was discovered deep in philosophical discussion with the hens...  

As soon as they come to a consensus on which came first, the chicken or the egg, we'll let you know.

Hanging Out at the Beach

 Some days just call for a hammock and a shady tree...
When that Siren sings, what is there to do but succumb?

Shelley and Dan took full advantage of the hammock at the main dock at Bondi Village..

And Kitty even found herself lulled into a nap, Kindle all but forgotten beside her...

John has his hammock slung, but was busy getting the kayaks and sailboat ready for action, so it was still swaying gently, empty and inviting. But he'll be there soon, we're sure!

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Special Treat

 We have the best geusts!!  

Ilona invited everyone at the the resort -- especially the  kids -- to come to her cottage today for a puppet show!

What a treat!  The little ones were entranced, and the bigger ones were howling with laughter.

We watched the Gingerbread Man run away from almost everyone...

And Little Red Riding Hood get rescued by the Woodsman from the Big Bad (but oh so adorable) Wolf.

The children all got the chance to try their hands with the puppets, too.

What a lovely time in the shade beside Sunflower cottage here at Bondi Village Resort, the perfect break from time at the beach in the sun!

Thank you Ilona for doing this -- you truly rock.

Sailing Away

There was an impromptu sailing race today. The challenge was thrown down, who could get around the Island faster...

Roger was cheerily reporting on this, when I asked him who had won.  "Well, Captain Obvious,"he replied, "I wouldn't be telling you if I hadn't won!" 

Adam and Brian, in the other sailboat had a wonderful time, even if they did sail into the silver medal position.  First time that Brian has been in a sailboat since his hip surgery this spring, so thank you Adam for taking him on board!

Making Friends, Making Memories

 Making new friends is the best thing about a vacation.  Ronan and Dylan met up this week, and had more fun -- just look at those smiles!

They told us that Bondi Village Resort is their 'most favourite place.'

No surprise. It's ours too :)

Let's go Fly a Kite

There are some really cool things about our property  here at Bondi Village Resort -- one is that we have a really big open space. And we do mean really big.  It hosts soccer games, baseball games, volleyball games, Capture the Flag, and a host of other activities. 

The other is that the resort is like a small community -- there are other kids to play with, other adults to mingle with, activities to share. You just don't get that at private rentals.

Like the other day, when the breeze was just right, and Mardi came out to fly a kite.  Within a matter of minutes, he had been joined by about five other kites, from five other cottages, and it was now a great social occasion.

Looked good, too...  This one belonged to Tony.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Welcome to our world

 The first ever cookout for the newest member of the Bondi Family -- Jamie, born 5/15/15. He slept through much of the excitement.  

Meanwhile, big brother Eli was tucking into the s'mores...

And (with some coaching help from Dad) giving the popcorn seed spitting contest a try.  (3'1"!)

Making Friends

 Horses in the back yard!  How exciting for the kids.  After the Cook Out on the beach, I found a crowd lined up on both sides of the fence!