Living in the bush we spared the life of many critters. Not only the wildlife but we also saved a number of our farm pets from the knackery, such as the miniature horse with the gammy leg. Despite its rear hip being twisted Snowflake could still manage an almighty rear kick.
We didn’t kill anything and relocated any snake or rodent that wanted to make our house its home.
We even examined roadkill to check that a female kangaroo was not carrying a joey in her pouch. On at least one occasion we spared a life despite the injuries of the mother. This is not the spare however that I want to concentrate on.
Nor are my spare glasses. Luckily these were spare as Muffin managed to get seven pairs, leaving no spares, before I learnt to put my glasses out of reach.
I want instead to talk of spare landscapes. Spare is not a word we would use in Australia to commonly describe landscape. We would more often use sparse, barren, dessert, treeless or savanna. We have many of these in Australia.These two scenes are in the Broken Hill Region of Australia.
Switzerland, a land of scenic beauty, also has examples of spare on the high mountains such as Rocher de Nayes.
And in France the vast expanses in the Ardeche made me feel small and insignificant.
Iceland is predominantly a land of grasses, heathlands and bogs. Much of this is due to natural causes such as geothermal activity and glacial events. Any trees have long been used by the human settlers as fuel for cooking and warmth. Despite the sparseness of the countryside it is incredibly beautiful.
Greenland is even more devoid of vegetation. This was apparent from the moment we landed. We were informed prior to disembarking that due to a gale our transfer by boat to the township of Kulusuk, on an island in the Ammassalili fiord in South East Greenland was not a possibility. Those who were fit could follow a guide and walk to the township. Others would have to wait at the airport hotel until transport was again possible. I chose to do the forty minute trek which allowed me to see the barrenness of the Greenland landscape.
The walk was rough, over predominantly rocky arctic tundra which was covered with a light layer of moss-like grass. Between the crevices arctic flowers and glacial buttercups poked their heads. We followed a track which allowed uninterrupted views of the blue water of the bay and the pristine white, occasionally blue icebergs. The rocky mountain rose steeply to the side of the track. We passed a cemetery but most of the small white crosses were dotted beside the track and up the hillside.
“Not enough dirt to have them all in one place so we bury them where we can dig a hole” the guide told me. We began our descent into the town of blue and rust red buildings, which we could now see nestled on the bay, protected from the elements by the mountain behind. We were traversing glaciers and fording streams which gently babbled over the worn rocks which lined its base and it was not long before my shoes were wet through. I hadn’t anticipated this cross country walk and had worn ordinary sneakers with thick socks. Bones aching, I trudged on.
Never had I experienced cold like this and this was early summer but it was worth it for the deeper understanding I gained of the harshness of the conditions (although even colder in winter it was easier to get around as dog teams were used for transport) and the spare beauty of the landscape.
In response to Weekly Photo Challenge.