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 Stevens.¬†I 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 CVM√≥vel, 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 CVM√≥vel 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 here, here, here, and here.

Thanks for reading and looking ūüôā

Seuss On Books


“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.‚ÄĚ ~Dr. Seuss



I, for one, take Dr. Seuss seriously! This is a small sampling of the wide variety of books, new to well-worn, that fill our home;¬†stacked up in random piles here and there, next to beds, on tables, cabinets, and of course, shelves. ūüôā

For more Dr. Seuss fun visit my February 22, 2015 post which includes a wonderful video rendition for grown-ups of Oh, The Places You’ll Go filmed at the ¬†Burning Man Festival¬†in the Black Rock Dessert of Northern Nevada.

The quote above¬†is the second of three which I’ll be posting in response to the Three Quotes Challenge¬†that¬†Gabriele, who authors¬†¬†Flights of Fancy,¬†invited me to participate in.¬†You can find the first quote¬†here.

This post is also my¬†response to Jennifer Nichole Wells’s One Word Photo Challenge: Book.

From Under Armor

leathery dots of color            
                     .          e  from muddy water 
                     .         g
                     .        r
                     .       e
                     .     m
                     .  e

s t r e t c h i n g   h e a d   and   l i m b
                                         out from under armor, 


                    .             g  for the sun
                    .            n
                    .           i
                    .          h     
                    .        c     
                    .      a 
                    .    e
                    .  r 

copyright ©2015 Terry Boswell

This is my response to Jennifer Nichole Wells’s One Word Photo Challenge: Armadillo. I have no photos of armadillos so I’m featuring another armored creature native to my part of the world. The Wallkill River is frequently dotted with these colorful painted turtles stretching their heads and limbs out of¬†their shells to sun themselves.

I took these photographs earlier this year on a day when the river was reflecting the surrounding landscape beautifully. To see more photos from that afternoon, click here.

To see another turtle shot, click here. And to see another photo from another day on the Wallkill River, click here.