This week, get inspired by the many connotations of the word “spare.”

The view from Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park, California.


  1. (adjective) Additional to what is required for ordinary use.
  2. (adjective) Elegantly simple.
  3. (verb) To refrain from harming.

During a trip to California, I went hiking with friends in Joshua Tree National Park. At our own varied paces, we scaled Ryan Mountain.

Having lived in the Canadian prairie all my life, I’m accustomed to that harsh climate. Spare landscapes are often quite beautiful in their minimalism (if you choose to look). I love to be astonished by earthly artistry, such as a field of ripe wheat against a deep blue sky or the smooth undulations of wind-carved snow.

On arriving at Ryan Mountain’s peak, I was treated to this incredible vista of perfectly complementary desert yellows, greens, and blues. Gazing into this distance, pleasantly spent from the exertion of the climb, I couldn’t help but feel at home in this spare landscape — despite the great differences in climate and altitude to where I live.

The view from Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park, California.

The view from Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park, California.

Spare has many connotations: it can mean one too many, or sparse, or even to release something from harm. I’m looking forward to seeing your interpretations! Bonus points to those who tell the story behind their “spare” inspiration.

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  1. Love the pictures, I reblogged a similar type thing on my blog about one mans pilgram to the Canadian Rockies every year where he I believed lived in solitude and would take pictures. He did this for like five years. Has some incredible shots!

    The main picture you have up on your post reminds me of my screensaver lol I guess we like the same kind of work 🙂

    Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So none of you has encountered the meaning of “having a bit of spare” in British slang? David Lodge used it in one of his campus novels. His Japanese translator was utterly confused and asked him about it.


  3. Hi Krista: That is a very lovely photo of Ryan’s National Park.  Would make a beautiful book cover for a writer who writes about nature.  Thanks for sharing. 

    Author Raine



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