Spare: Weekly Photo Challenge

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© irene waters 2016

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.

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© irene waters 2016

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© irene waters 2016

We didn’t kill anything and relocated any snake or rodent that wanted to make our house its home.

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© irene waters 2016

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.

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© irene waters 2016

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.

looking back  to Silverton

© irene waters 2016

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.

Mundi Mundi plains

© irene waters 2016

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© irene waters 2016

Switzerland, a land of scenic beauty, also has examples of spare on the high mountains such as Rocher de Nayes.

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© irene waters 2016

And in France the vast expanses in the Ardeche made me feel small and insignificant.

fGeysir

© irene waters 2016

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.

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© irene waters 2016

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.

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© irene waters 2016

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.

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© irene waters 2016

“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.

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© irene waters 2016

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© irene waters 2016

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.

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© irene waters 2016

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© irene waters 2016

In response to Weekly Photo Challenge.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
This entry was posted in Daily Post prompt and challenges, photography, travel, Weekly photo challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Spare: Weekly Photo Challenge

  1. macmsue says:

    Your spare glasses made me chuckle and I loved your attitude to sparing all the wildlife.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. macmsue says:

    I thought the first photo was a gold chain before I noticed the head, a little beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved your eclectic take on this theme. Australia does have a lot of spare landscape. Great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Debbie H says:

    I enjoyed your post Irene a great mix of examples of ‘spare’. I agree that we wouldn’t use the word spare to describe our landscape here in Australia but would most likely use ‘sparse’, you summed it up brilliantly with your words and pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lifelessons says:

    At first I thought this was a gold bracelet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What austere beauty in Greenland and Iceland, though they seem to be places where life challenges the inhabitants.
    As for the snakes – ugh! I would have run the other way, screaming, and unlikely to try to save them. From what I’ve heard, Australia has plenty of snakes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Miriam says:

    So many different versions of spares Irene, however I particularly loved the landscape photos here.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dahlia says:

    Beautiful photos and especially loved your take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Spare (Cow) | What's (in) the picture?

  10. Pingback: Adventure:Weekly Discover Challenge | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

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