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, December 6, 2017

A change in the Weather

The daylight dwindled, the hens came running home to roost, the sunset caught fire ... and now the wind is howling, driving snow ahead of it and causing trees on the hill to abandon hope and crash in the dark Morning could be interesting. Doubt the hydro will survive. Batten the hatches me hearties... this just might be winter. Dec. 5.

Holidays -- four nights please.

We are accepting bookings over the Christmas / New Years holiday, but because we are also anticipating the imminent arrival of the newest member of the Tapley family,  we are not taking bookings of less than 4 nights. (sometimes family comes way out ahead of cleaning cottages   and we are all on Baby Watch!)

You can snuggle in by the fire, enjoy the ski trails, check out the skating trail, snowshoe through our wintery woods, or just kick back and relax. You can also join the 'pool' of what day the baby is going to arrive. ❣️

Algonquin Moose -- the Big Guns

The 'big guns' are out in Algonquin Park. Check out these photos -- taken on Nov. 26 and Nov. 28. Robin Tapley's up close and in your face portrait leaves me breathless. What a beauty! And Wayne King, who found this big fellow right along the Hwy 60 corridor -- Algonquin is awesome in every season.

The difference a Day makes...

Our friends from Dorset, the Botanigals (check out their great products in herbal teas, powders, plants, natural products)  sent us this great video this morning of their squirrel. 

Yesterday, he was happily stuffing himself on nuts left on a chair.   Then it snowed...


Image may contain: flower and text  It was my great honour to again speak at the Dwight Remembrance Day service this year.  Here is a copy of my text.

It’s been a century since men went to battle in the nightmare that was Ypres.  The ferocity of the fighting, the victory won at such great loss has seared it into history.  In 2015, on the centennial, over 800,000 visitors came to the war memorial site, to remember and think upon the horror of a place where combatants first saw the use of poison gas, the stagnation of trench warfare,  where constant shelling churned clay soil and drainage systems in the fields into mud so deep that men and horses drowned in it.   From August to December, the British forces alone lost 95,000 men.
The Canadians were moved into the line for the third battle, their first major appearance on a European battlefield. 
Through terrible fighting, withered with shrapnel and machine-gun fire, hampered by rifles which jammed, violently sick from the gas and gasping for air through soaked and muddy handkerchiefs, they held on until reinforcements arrived. In these 48 hours, 6,035 Canadians, one man in every three, became casualties of whom more than 2,000 died. They were heavy losses for Canada's little force whose men had been civilians only several months before
And that’s the thing – they had all been, short days before, just people. Not soldiers, not heroes, just people.
War tries hard to make us forget that.  War IS intolerance.  It creates “the other”.  It’s a form of sickness that makes us believe that the ‘other side’ needs to be destroyed.  In WWII the world stood up against the unspeakable horror that was the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel recounted in his memoir Night of being marched past open burning pits full of bodies, seeing soldiers throw in babies still alive. Because they were Jewish. They were different. They were other…
If war is fought to secure freedom, then it is fought to secure tolerance. Our freedom relies on the ability, the willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one does not necessarily agree with.
I have a story, from right here in Dwight.  Beverly Payne, many of you will remember, lived here most of her life. She collected postcards, 20,000 of them. They came from the most unusual places. One of them – the one her son finds the most interesting – is from the Sino Japanese war.  Now there was a war that demonized the ‘other’, with all sides depicting their enemies as somehow less than human.
Bev had an uncle, and he flew with the legendary volunteer force known as the Flying Tigers, about 100 American pilots who fought for China in this conflict.  You’d know the planes, from the fierce fanged  faces painted on the cowling.  During one incident, the American killed a Japanese soldier – and in his pocket found a postcard.  Turned out it was from the soldier’s wife.
Bev’s uncle mailed it home to HIS wife, commenting, “it makes you think. They are people, just like us.”  .

People. Just like us.  Anne Frank was a girl with a diary.  John McCrae was  a young man who loved poetry. Tommy Prince was an Anishinaabeg hunter.
Sometimes we think that we have won the freedom, that we have made great strides forward.  But tolerance, well, that is a fragile thing. 
Rosa Parks couldn’t sit at the front of the bus until 1955 – ten years after WWII Until 1967 in England, men were jailed for being gay. In 1990 Ireland finally shut down the Catholic run homes for Illigimate babies who were taken from the mothers and many of whom died terribly young. It was 1991 when Switzerland finally gave all women the vote.  Canada didn’t shut down the shame of the residential schools until 1996.  There are still private clubs in America that won’t admit Jewish members.  We are perhaps neither as tolerant, nor as free, as we like to think.
As we pause to remember and thank those who have fought to secure our freedoms, perhaps we should pause to consider that as well. Promoting tolerance and protecting freedom is the best way we can honour them.
This year, in Suffolk, townspeople, people just like us, decorated the ancient church with 5500 hand knitted poppies.
At Ypres, this year, 430,000 people just like us came to pay homage. Harry Patch was seventeen when he survived the gas, the trenches, the shrapnel and the mud at Ypres. He died in 2009, at the age of 111. Every year on the anniversary, Harry would lock himself in a private vigil for his fallen friends. Young men, just like him, who paid the supreme price for the darkness and intolerance that swept the world into war.
Let’s never do that again.

Farewell you beautiful soul

October 25th was the date I posted this on FB.  It still hurts. Such a beautiful cat, and all the guests adored her.  I miss her twining around my legs while I type. I miss her snuggling with the young cats in their basket.  I just plain miss her.

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It's been ten days, so we're pretty sure it's done... Indigo didn't come home. She had been enjoying time spent visiting our tourists, so I let her spend the afternoon outside. She gets rounded up before dark and locked in the house, but that night she didn't come when she was called. I hoped she'd be at the window come morning -- she's done that a few times -- but hope is a terrible thing, and there was no cat at the window. There are wolves on the property, very very close. There are owls on the hill. There are many things in the dark that will ensure that a house cat may well not come home. I am heartbroken. She was a beautiful soul, and a favourite not just of mine but of all our guests. 

We've called.
We've searched.
We've cried for her absence.
She was a charming little soul, a joy to have, a huge comfort to the kittens when they first came, polite to guests, affectionate to all... She was a good cat (even if she did come home with a baby duckling that got her into terrible trouble). She is going to be missed. The house, down to two cats and one dog, feels oddly incomplete. Thanks for sharing this too short a time with us, for letting us know you, Indigo. Travel safely, go to the stars.

young bucks

That lovely face! One of our young bucks at the resort on Nov. 5th.

Black and White

There is a fb challenge to post black and white photos. One of our guests posted these Taken here at Bondi We were delighted to be part of his posts. Thank you Nick McConnell

Snow Guns and Going Downhill Fast

Snow guns are blazing. If you can use the word blazing when talking about snow. Hidden Valley has had the guns going since Nov. 22nd, every time the thermometer dips...   They'll be open for Christmas. 😎   Hidden

Nov. 21st brought the first 'real snow'

Hello winter? Back so soon? Brian took his snowmobile around our ski trails checking for fallen branches. Pemberley tried being his own version of an arctic cat. And the sun is up on another lovely day at Bondi

Kanga Roo finds a new home

He is a staggeringly lovely rooster, our Kanga. Born here June 22.
But, with the number of small children we get in the stable visiting ponies and chickens, we didn't think a rooster was the best fit.  

So he has gone to live with the lovely new owners of the Norsemen Restaurant (not to be on the menu, we hasten to add, but at their hobby farm on South Portage.)

We miss him crowing proudly, morning, noon and night as he practiced his song.

He has a small harem of about a dozen 'gals' to look after.  We wish him all the best.  We miss him.

Pemberley steps up his game

Pemberley dreams big.    In the spring, he tried to herd the deer.  It didn't go quite as he planned, as the young ones snorted in his face and stamped their feet at him, but didn't display the degree of reverence he had expected.

So this fall, having spent the summer plotting and skirmishing with mice and the occasional chipmunk, he decided to step it up.

Canada geese...   They are big.  Waaay bigger than he is, this little chap who weighs in at about 8 pounds soaking wet.  And they can be nasty.  Nothing daunted, he set out to herd them, first in  his secret identity as a border collie.  Then, having gathered the flock, he switched into big cat mode, cutting out the weakest link, and making his move.

Luckily for all concerned, he just missed.  As David commenting, while we watched through the window, "If you'd caught the bird, cat, you'd be halfway out into the bay before you fell off.  We'd have to put a boat in and go cat-fishing."  True...   

He has moved down a peg. He is currently exploring the merits of stalking the hens.  Most of whom, it should be noted, do not stalk... They turn around and peck.   

Film at eleven...

and now, a word from from our sponsor--

The weather is changing. We're looking ahead to the Next Season on the horizon. That means Christmas and New Years, and then the winter season. There is so much to do, from just kicking back with friends in a cozy cottage to all the outdoor 'things' you can possibly want. This Christmas season is a big one for us -- WE'RE HAVING A BABY! Megan and David are expecting their first child -- so we are pretty darn excited. And this also means, that since we are more interested in spending time with our family, and welcoming the newest one to the family as well, we are only accepting bookings of FIVE NIGHTS OR MORE over Christmas and New Years. We're into baby mode, not cottage cleaning mode... So do bear with us.

Mea Culpa

I have been pretty much absent from this Blog for the month of November.  Not that things weren't happening, rather that too many things WERE happening, so apologies, those of you who follow along.

It was a good month in the weather department and we were able to get a LOT of work done outside that would have been more challenging if the snow had stayed.

So, I'm going now to catch up, with a whole slew of posts.  Feel free to get a coffee, or go watch tv...

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Sparring Partners

It's very late into October, and we've been enjoying some incredible weather.  Not many guests at this time of year, true, but those that were here were having a great time.

Thank you Kevin for the photos of you and Eric canoeing (all the way to Bigwin Island and back!) and hiking.

And -- how much fun to be able to watch the young bucks sparring right outside the cottage door.  Wow.  That's something you don't get to see every day.

In the October Swim

October 22. Seriously? Our guests arrived today and headed straight to the lake ! And who could fault them? What a glorious day.  Amy and Carrie stuck to the shallows, Michelle basked in a Muskoka chair, but Rob, well, he went for the gusto!

Checking it Out

October 22, mid-day, just checking out the neighbourhood... He's wearing a radio collar, so he's (or she's) one of the Algonquin Park study wolves.  This fine fellow was trotting down the road by Chateau and David and Megan's place, just past Bondi.  Thanks Mike Bechtel for capturing the moment

Oct. 22, Evening Sky

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We don't have a lot of guests here just now, but those that are here were all outside with cameras this evening.

Two Roads. Yellow Woods. Oct. 22

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Oct. 18, Young Bucks

The young bucks this morning near the office.  They spar for a while, then decide to be friends again and eat some apples together... Then they spar again. Watching them is so interesting.

Oct. 17, Surfs Up!

Surfs up on Bondi beach!