Spring Fun With Old Friends and New Ones on the Jökullsá

Since the raven and her mate circled around all the time, keeping an eye on things, one day at Skriðuklaustur, when the geese arrived to wait for spring, I sat down on a hill and waited to catch the raven, framed by the geese! What fun! Gunnar’s house is a happening place, out there in East Iceland, I tell ya!

Alas, I failed. While I was waiting, the geese kind of waddled around honking a bit and closed my frame, and the raven was, well, quick! So, not centred. Well, ravens and humans are like that, eh. I’m thinking that the geese are not amused by either of us

What Colour is Iceland?

It’s good to remember that photography is “writing with light.” It is also the capture of light. For example, what colour is Iceland? This?

Or

Or

Only the first is “real.” The other two are manipulated, but I promise, you can find those machine-made colours as well. You just have to wait. There is no real colour. There are only moments.

Just for fun. Winter is best for this game.

Non-Human Maps and Great Story-Telling in South Iceland

I hope these two images from show how before there were roads, making a human map of the landscape…

Near Hellisnes by Fjaðrárgljúfur

…there were lavas and rivers …

Skaftá

… making a map at once spiritual and far beyond the human. Traversing them, each journey is its own map, or, to put it another way, every journey is a story, passed on as story. An ideal writing conference in Iceland would go to the heart of this kind of storytelling. All else follows, or leads away.

Dump Your Unwanted Europe Here

The Icelanders are very clever. They put up a picnic site on top of the hill above Seyðisfjörður, to allow travellers to get their bearings after the steep climb out of the fjord and before the steep drop down into Egilsstaðir. That’s the kind part. The clever part is the picnic sign, as you can see.

See that? Travellers coming off the ferry from Europe get a chance to use up all their stickers at once, in one spot, and then that’s that. Done.

This is the height of summer. You might not want to linger long up here.

The Alfaborg and Einstein: an East Icelandic Tale

For the capital city of the queen of the elves in downtown Bakkagerði, it’s a bit of a lump. Still, humans look up to it.

Meanwhile, elves look down.

This change in perspective seems to be species specific. Here’s a view of another one of the elf hills in the fjord.

Same rule applies. Humans look up. Elves look down. And yet, if you climb the Alfaborg, you’ll meet many images of elves cast by your mind and stone at the same time, so you can’t really tell the difference. Here’s one.

Not really looking down or up at the one-to-one level. I think this is called the theory of relativity, invented by Icelanders long before Einstein got to it.