A Summer Oasis: Sibbald Meadows Pond

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).

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Our comfy picnic chairs set up at Sibbald Meadows Pond.

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.

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Sibbald Meadows Pond, Kananaskis Country.

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.

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Sibbald Meadows Pond: the dark shape in the distance, the one that looks like a black bear, is my partner shooting video at the far end of the pond.

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.

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A red squirrel at our regular picnic site.

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Fritillary Butterfly

Pure Bliss

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.

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An adult wood frog (about the size of a bar of soap).

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A baby wood frog on my hand (photograph by my partner).

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Dragonfly at Sibbald Meadows Pond (photograph by my partner).

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.

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Image Credits:

Sibbald Meadows Pond video by madlyinlovewithlife and BJC;
© 2012 madlyinlovewithlife

All photographs by madlyinlovewithlife, unless otherwise noted;
© 2012 madlyinlovewithlife

11 thoughts on “A Summer Oasis: Sibbald Meadows Pond

  1. Reading your blog is pure delight. I really enjoyed the video ( so well done) . I know this place is special for you . So kind of you to share it with us. Nature is what we have to appreciate more and more in this fast-paced life. I will also take time for it next week! Oh! yes, it was so much fun to see the skunk. I do not see it very often around here, fortunately! What a great post, Jeannie. You are an amazing writer and photographer!

    • Thank you for your very kind words, France. I’m so glad you enjoyed seeing the skunk too! I used to see them a lot a dusk in my hometown when I was a child. But it has been many, many years since I’d last seen one. It was a real treat for both of us. :))

  2. I was totally transported to your beautiful pond. You and your partner certainly know how to slow down and appreciate the beautiful world we live in, and capture it so well in images (be it moving or still) and words.

  3. Wow, wow, wow!!!! It’s 8am here and I’m already excited ;)
    The video is absolutely stunning (your partner is an amazing photographer *and* cinematographer) and it’s such a pleasure to be able to get a glimpse of this special place. They often say we must enjoy life with our 5 senses, and this video shows that clearly :)))

    I love how you give tribute to all the wildlife – both big and small – and the photo of the baby frog in your hand is priceless! I am sure Koji will say “when will we see a new photo of a bird in your hand?” :))))) The dragonfly in-flight is amazing…I can’t choose a “favourite” photo ;)

    Thank you for sharing with us. Thanks to you, I will have a big smile on my face the whole day :)
    PS, your homemade desserts must be sooooo delicious.

    • Hello Takami. I love your enthusiasm! Thanks to YOU, I will have a big smile on MY face for the whole day! Thank you for your generous and kind comment. According to my partner, the homemade desserts are a critical part of the nature experience! We can’t leave home without them! LOL! :)))

  4. What a wonderful place…….Loved the photos and video Jeannie..A great place to get away from it all and back to nature…even with the skunk! :)) Have a great weekend my friend.

  5. The little skunk amongst the wildflowers reminded me of my youth… “Flower” in Bambi.

    The two of you are so gifted as well as fortunate…and patient. I can’t even get my ex’s dog to like me but you literally have nature in your hands. And your writing… So beautiful and flowing…

  6. Pingback: A Happy Little Muskrat « madlyinlovewithlife

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