To fully tap into the peace and beauty of Sibbald Meadows Pond, I recommend watching this video in full-screen mode.
Life at Sibbald Meadows Pond
This video is a short vignette highlighting some of the life, tranquility and beauty at Sibbald Meadows Pond, one of our favourite places to find inner replenishment. Nestled in the beautiful foothills of Kananaskis Country (see my previous post) and surrounded by aspen groves and stands of spruce and pine, Sibbald Meadows Pond is only a 45 minute drive from Calgary.
My partner gets the credit for shooting all the video footage (taken over several visits to Sibbald Meadows Pond a couple of summers back). I did all the grunt work of uploading and sorting through hours of footage and selecting the best bits to work with. We did the video editing together and my partner did all the fine-tuning and rendering.
More importantly, however, I made all the desserts for the picnic baskets we took on our various visits to Sibbald Meadows Pond (including my homemade Rhubarb Buttermilk Cake with Streusel Topping, Angel Food Cake made from scratch, and my Honey Almond Squares).
Peace and Serenity
Sibbald Meadows Pond remains one of my favourite places to while away a summer’s day. It’s an easy and often spontaneous getaway from the city. We love to make ourselves comfortable and set up there for a whole morning or afternoon: we arrange our picnic chairs, unpack our books, cameras, lenses, video camera and, of course, a picnic basket filled with a delicious homemade picnic lunch.
We like to go to the pond mid-week if we can, when we are often fortunate enough to find ourselves alone there, or perhaps with one or two trout fishermen set up on the other side of the pond. Trout fishermen are generally a quiet lot, so the atmosphere is peaceful and serene. It’s pure balm for the soul.
Teeming with Life
It doesn’t take long to appreciate the pond and all it has to offer. Let me paint you a picture: the first thing you notice is the fresh mountain air, scented with lodgepole pine, white spruce and wildflowers. The crystal clear pond water breathes life: silver flashes of trout jump right out of the water to snag low-flying insects, plopping back in to form beautiful concentric circles which spread out over the pond. Freshwater snails slide along the water’s shallow edge, while water boatmen quickly skim across the surface of the pond using their powerful hind legs as oars. Dragonflies constantly patrol the reeds along the water’s edge. Wood frogs hop about the fringe grasses; butterflies flutter and glide all about the adjoining meadows; bees and hoverflies buzz in the wildflower blossoms; a resident muskrat swims to and fro across the pond; and squirrels chirp and scamper about, busily collecting pine cones. Waterfowl call hauntingly in the distance. Sound sublime? It is.
A Surprise Visitor
One afternoon, I had a surprise visitor. It was a perfectly warm and peaceful afternoon and my partner was off shooting video at the far end of the pond, patiently waiting for the muskrat to make an appearance (stay tuned for a future video of our little muskrat friend). I was quietly reading beside the pond when I heard some rustling beside my chair. I didn’t pay much attention at first, unconsciously assuming it was the resident squirrel that had been scampering to and fro past my chair all afternoon. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a dark furry shape right beside my chair. My first thought was, “My, that’s a large squirrel”. And then I took a second look and immediately noticed the white stripes down it’s back.
I was delighted, though very careful not to frighten the juvenile skunk. For a split second I thought about trying to reach for my camera, but I thought it prudent not to make any sudden moves. Skunks have terrible vision and use their excellent sense of smell more than their eyes, so this one most likely did not see me at first. But once she got close enough for a whiff, she scurried up the path and out of sight. Skunks are crepuscular, which means they usually come out around dusk and dawn, so it was a treat to see this one during the day.
I couldn’t wait to tell my partner I’d seen a skunk. As it turns out, he also saw her—after visiting me, the young skunk apparently ambled up the path to where my partner was filming and he managed to get the short clips shown in the video. One never knows what surprises the pond will bring.
No matter how long or short a time we spend at Sibbald Meadows Pond, it seems to fill us up. Our time there is always spent simply and unhurriedly. Time disappears. We breathe deeply; we read; we lie on our backs and watch clouds; we chase butterflies; we hike through the woods; we listen to the wind howl from way up the valley until it reaches the pond, and watch as its ghostly fingers spread ripples across the water; we take photographs and shoot video, sometimes completely losing ourselves in a single blade of grass.
Evening Light Falls on Sibbald Meadows Pond
Sometimes we stay at the pond until the last ray of light disappears over the mountain tops and we drive home through silhouetted foothills, with a bright moon rising in an indigo sky. We always arrive home happy, refreshed and in love with life.
Sibbald Meadows Pond video by madlyinlovewithlife and BJC;
© 2012 madlyinlovewithlife
All photographs by madlyinlovewithlife, unless otherwise noted;
© 2012 madlyinlovewithlife