By Lauren MacDermid and Leah Leslie.
How do you do-hoo! My name is Maura. I am a Eurasian Eagle Owl. I am a very fortunate owl because I am a regular guest at a beautiful resort that overlooks Lake Rosseau in Muskoka. As you can probably tell by my species, I come from “across the pond” originally, but like many of my fellow birds, I have always loved to visit the pristine Muskoka region, about 200 km north of Toronto. One time I came for a visit and never went back!
My favourite haunt is JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa, a luxury resort set high on a 100-foot granite bluff on the shore of Lake Rosseau. From this vantage point, I enjoy every time of day, year-round. I can watch the sun rise in the morning, set in the evening, I see magnificent starry and moonlit nights against the incredibly dark sky at night, and I can view all the goings-on while looking for my lunch during the day.
Usually I am a little shy, but I confess that my ego prevails occasionally. I do like to perch proudly on the railing of the rooftop terrace during a Muskoka Birds of Prey show. Other guests at the resort admire my massive wing span and yellow eyed stare. Sometimes I fly so close to the children’s heads that they gasp in delight! It’s a tough job being admired for an hour straight, but someone has to do it. My colleagues are Dragon, the turkey vulture, Tiny Tim, the falcon and Bo, the hawk. They prefer to spend their time gliding over Wallace Bay on Lake Rosseau, intrigued by speedboats, kayaks, Stand Up Paddleboards and canoes.
When I stretch my wings I like to head down to the 5 Bridges trail for a visit with Dolores the deer and her twin fawns, Ava and Aiden. Dolores always raves about the tasty flowers near the resort sign; she says the pink flowers are the best! Dolores and I spend hours watching the twins frolic around the pond in a game of hide-and-seek with the humans during their guided nature walks. Nigel the red fox will sometimes make an appearance to brag about the various meals he has eaten. He can be so sly about where the good hunting spots are!
The 5 Bridges ponds were designed and built to make sure that run-off from the nearby Audubon-certified golf course, The Rock, is well-filtered and cleaned before it reaches the lake. My old pal Roscoe, the snapping turtle, lives in those ponds. I think it is hilarious when she is ready to lay her eggs, because she always crosses the road at the “Turtle Crossing” sign. Who knew turtles could read? Now I know what you’re thinking... why is a female turtle named Roscoe? Well, one of the resort guests gave her that name and it has been Roscoe ever since.
If I feel like soaking up some sunshine at the resort dock, I go and visit my friend Harry the Blue Heron to watch him find his dinner off Fish Rock. Harry loves fishing from sunrise to sunset, especially when the vivid colours of orange, yellow, pink and purple fill the sky. As I sit with Harry on a Muskoka chair, my attention often wanders to the resort’s private beach where human children build sand castles, catch frogs, swim and jump on the water trampoline. It makes me so happy to see humans and wildlife peacefully coexisting, embracing nature and making memories.
And what better time to visit than 2017, during Canada's 150th birthday! Maybe you will be here for regatta games, cupcakes and fireworks on July 1st. Whenever you visit, you just might spot Ollie the otter, Jake the moose or Bertha the bear; you never know whooo will turn up at JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka.
For more information visit www.therosseau.com