Iceland has …
… really quite …
… beautiful mud.
For the answer, go to the Northeast.
Bustarfell, near Vopnafjörður.
Note the multiplicity of small houses, all that turf and driftwood and the strength of a horse can manage …
… with many dark passages leading to faint light…
… sometimes brighter…
…and all joined together by spontaneous organic design…
It’s improv theatre!
This is the kind of history the Icelandic National Museum doesn’t cover. Best to get lost on your way there, I think.
I know, it’s a thing to chase after waterfalls, but consider the lowly Icelandic driftwood fence. It’s a charming tradition, speaking of past pain set aside.
It doesn’t really do anything except to remember, but it’s a fine artwork nonetheless. It catches the mind and holds it, and that is… well, that’s memory. Cool.
The nasty piece of work called the skua comes to the Eiðars skirting the rip rap on the Jökulsá.
At first, they get out of the way.
The Skua keeps at it. When I witnessed this scene two weeks ago, I’d already been harassed by a skua myself, on the selfljót. It wanted my grey hat. Or me. I don’t know which. Yikes.
It’s the ducklings it really wants, though.
The eiðar defense entails a lot of splashing.
And then the eiðars attack the skua.
And jump on the murderous intruder’s wings.
And try to drown that sucker.
It kicks across the water…
… with a duckling (flapping its little wings) for a catch.
And that’s why eiðars have so many ducklings.
Out in the nature reserve in Neskaupstaðir (just go right to the end of town), the beach below the trail is gorgeous.
Surfing. Scrabbling in the backwash for good things to eat.
In a good wave, the ducklings get tossed a metre into the air, tumbled head to heels, then dragged a metre under water again, only to pop back out.
This is beautiful to watch. For the ducklings, it’s survival. When a skua comes to take one, the whole flock of ducks imitates this scramble. It’s life or death.
I’ll show you that scramble tomorrow.