Sibbald Meadows Pond is an oasis of solitude near Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Sibbald Meadows Pond is an idyllic oasis of peace and quiet, at roadside towards the west end of Sibbald Creek Trail (Hwy 68) and a few kilometers east of the junction with Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40).
The pond is created by a human-constructed dam and during the summer it can become a noisy, bustling picnic area, particularly on the weekends.
Inexplicably, on this early spring day there is no traffic on the road and there are no other people present. This tiny park shares an abundance of birds and shy or nocturnal wildlife, reluctant to make their presence known.
The empty and widely spaced picnic tables afford some degree of privacy when summer weekend crowds will take advantage of this tiny but impressive refuge.
Fragile remnants of mushroom ice have drifted to the east end of the pond and float as final testament to winter's thickly frozen surface.
A trail around the north periphery of Sibbald Meadows Pond reveals the best picnic spot sheltered in trees beside the pond, before open ground provides stunning views across the pond to an isolated beaver dam and countless fens alive with nesting birds.
The pristine environment begs for concentration on the magnificence of its presence and movement.
Canada Geese are present. A tiny and glossy red-winged blackbird flits about and the red patches on its wings catch the eye as it gathers insects.
A pair of loons glide serenely on still, reflective water, and create a wake of intersecting V's on the surface. They sense my quiet presence is no threat and venture close to visit.
There is a large and diverse variety of avian activity.
The kilometer-long (⅝ mile) trail gradually fades into forest on the slow motion walk morphs from a driving tour with intent to hike, into a strolling, relaxing day to savor peace and quiet in total isolation with nature as a single companion.
The pond extends to the south side of Sibbald Creek Trail. There is no reasonable alternative but to stop at this final reprieve and enjoy the log jam, at the beneath-the-road culvert, which forms this extension in combination with the natural beaver dam stretching 50 yards across the pond at the far end.
Canada Geese share the space with me.
The overwhelming silence and imagery soothe the soul. To be any more relaxed would be in a coma. The weight of the world is gone. The delicate magnificence of nature, given the time and opportunity, always prevails to embrace comfort.
Sibbald Meadow Pond's natural treasures have a unique personality altered infinitely by seasons and weather. A nearby alternative is Sibbald Flat Pond near Ti-jurabi-chubi with trails to Sibbald Flat and Eagle Hill.
Total isolation is this day's companion. This location can be very busy on summer weekends. Today the early season weekday allows me solitary enjoyment.
Reluctantly, the time arrives for return to Calgary via Kananaskis Trail and the TransCanada Highway.