Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare

The rugged landscape of  the island of Fogo came to my mind immediately in response to last week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Spare by Krista StevensI related to the word as meaning sparse, however it can also mean 2) additional to what is required for ordinary use, 3) elegantly simple, or 4) to refrain from harming.

Although some areas are populated, farmed, or forested, much of Fogo, which is part of Cape Verde, an island nation off the west coast of Africa,  is dry, rocky and barren.
20150506-DSC00184-2-fogo-cape-verde-movel-barren-rocky-mountains-men-carrying-bags-terry-boswell-wmEven so, people can be found dotting the most seemingly remote places… along… with… occasional… advertising.20150506-DSC00184-2cp-fogo-cape-verde-movel-barren-rocky-mountains-men-carrying-bags-terry-boswell-wmNotice the billboard for CVMóvel, a cell phone service provider, standing alone behind the two workers in the middle of acres of sparsely populated mountains. The placement of the sign, way out there, seemed impossibly optimistic.

Later in the day I got a closer shot of another lonely sign waiting for a viewer.20150506-DSC00574-001-2-cv-movel-wmThis one sits on the edge of an area destroyed by the November 2014 eruption of the volcano, Pico do Fogo. A lunar landscape now stretches for miles. I imagine this sign was less lonely before the eruption when people traveled to and from the two towns that are now buried.

When my friend and I went to hike up Pico do Fogo in May of 2015, we were told that it was the first day that a path for vehicles into the area had been opened to the public. Our hired taxi was the only car making it’s way boldly out along the “road” which oftentimes was only two tire marks in volcanic ash. The provisions store, a box-like building of cement blocks, which marked the beginning of our guided hike, was being rebuilt and had cases of water, soda and snacks, but there was nothing else there. Portela and the neighboring town, Bangaeria, the vineyards and coffee crops, were buried. Everyone in those towns lost their homes. All industry was destroyed. The only things that were spared (here is another usage of that word) were things that could be loaded into vehicles or carried out in hand, in carts, or on livestock. I have read that the towns were evacuated before the eruption and no lives were lost, but I can only imagine that everyone’s life was shattered and changed. No one may have been killed, but it seems to me that lives were lost. These lonely signs make me wonder about the one-thousand to two-thousand people who were displaced. I encountered so many optimistic, welcoming, and friendly people in Cape Verde. I can only hope that there is hope for the people of Portela and Bangaeria.

I’ll end this post with another ad for CVMóvel that I found on Vimeo. I may be going out on a limb here because I don’t speak creole, but…  judging by the music and smiles, I think this video shows the optimistic aspect of Cape Verde life that I also experienced.

CV MOVEL “Somos Cabo Verde” from Victor Castro on Vimeo.

To see more of my photos from Cape Verde, click hereherehere, and here.

Thanks for reading and looking 🙂

Forgotten Byway

I:   falling canopy

     blankets forgotten byway -

     dappled light and leaves

II:  falling canopy

     weaves a leafy gold blanket -

     forgotten byway

     recedes, tucked in dappled light ...

     sun and shadow bow and dance 

copyright ©2016 Terry Boswell


I took the photo above last fall at Goosepond Mountain State Park, Chester, NY. The road that you see, or what’s left of it, is Lazy Hill Road. At one time it connected Route 17m to Laroe Road, but it’s only been open to people on foot, bicycle, or horseback for many years. The shaded main trail is an easy hike spanning 2.6 miles one way, and 5.2 miles round trip;  a lovely place to ramble for a few hours or to spend some energetic time out with the dog!  🙂

This post is my response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Alleys, Driveways, Parking Lots, Dirt Roads, Jennifer Nichole Wells’s One Word Photo Challenge: Blanket, The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Landscape, and my belated response to The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance.


Thank you!


Who do they think they’re fooling? Even in the fading light this cell phone tower, camouflaged with artificial foliage, has a hard time blending with its surroundings. It looks like a giant bottle cleaning brush or prickly Q-tip.

Since attempts to disguise these things as trees always seem to fail, perhaps it would be best to embrace their artificial nature rather than unsuccessfully try to hide it. I would love to see at least some made into  fantastical sculpture like the Montjuïc Telecommunications Tower in Barcelona which doubles as a sundial.

Cell phone towers seem to be a permanent part of our future. What do you think about their aesthetic role?

This is my response to Jennifer Nichole Wells’s One Word Photo Challenge: Artificial.

One Word Photo Challenge: Eigengrau

This week Jennifer Nichole Wells presented the one word photo challenge: Eigengrau, which inspired me to post these first two photos.

The word, eigengrau, which I had never heard before, has come to mean the dark grey colour seen by the eyes in perfect darkness as a result of signals from the optic nerves. Its origin is German meaning ‘intrinsic grey’.

Although narrow slits cut into the tunnel wall allow some natural light to filter in, and low watt bulbs add a little more light to keep the tourists from tumbling, there is still a feeling of eigengrau in this long, but claustrophobic place. A large man would fill the width and height of the tunnel, and if tall, would have to stoop a bit to keep his head from being bruised.

Where is this, you may wonder…

I couldn’t help but include an exterior view, a view showing the ‘container’ of this eigengrau; the stone wall that connects the octagonal lookout tower with the fortress Rocca Maggiore in Assisi, Italy.


Although the first castle here was built in 773, the earliest reference to a fortress on this site dates from 1174. The octagonal tower wasn’t begun until 1458 and the wall containing the tunnel was finished in 1460.

Here is a gallery including a few more photos that I took of the Rocca Maggiore. Inside the tunnel it was dim and forbidding. Outside it was a glorious, light-filled day.

(Click an image to see it larger or to start slide show.)

For more info on the Rocca Maggiore you can click here.


Words and images copyright © Terry Boswell


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