Oystercatchers on the prowl.
We were 500 metres from a pair of geese and their chick on the shore at Njardvik, when the parents flew out over the sea in a great flapping, honking noise, while the little one slipped into the rocks and did not move. It really did not move.
Shh! Not a word!
After five minutes, the parents were floating offshore, watching us. After fifteen minutes, we left. It was the only thing for it.
Sure, the Celts and Germans might have the Green Man, and the Sufis Khidr, the holy one (and also the Green Man), but Njardvik has a troll with green lips!
Not “photography of snow” but the snow making images of the land.
If you’re going to follow the trail …
… the sheep won’t help you.
It’s best to follow the stakes set out by the Icelandic government, to keep things safe. You’ll have to stomp around quite a bit to find them.
It’s always a happy moment to spot one.
Even if you’re at the bottom of the trail at that point! It’s just a little game Iceland plays with you. You might as well play along.
While getting boots and gloves and hat ready to go over the lip of the hill last December 24 and visit Sheep’s Falls, one of my favourite waterfalls, many tourists stopped as well: the first stop, it seems, two or three hard hours of driving from Reykjavik. Time and again, they took a few pictures over the Berserkerjahraun to the rising sun, and then posed for each others’ cameras and drove on. It was intimate and sweet.
Still, they had Kirkjufoss to get to before the rising sun was no longer behind the mountain, and they didn’t need me telling them it would be worth it to walk for ten minutes down through the drifts, because they might not have come to Iceland to see the pale, pale winter sun and to learn its nature. They had places to be getting along to, with better cameras and the hope for brighter light, and promises had been made to them, and promises, we know, should be kept.
Just imagine how many times a day any and every traveller in Iceland, myself included, encounters people who know where they are and what is worth seeing and say nothing, because that’s the way of the land itself. As Paul Theroux pointed out half a century ago while travelling by train through South America, it’s North Americans (myself included) who point to stuff.
I miss the mountain. What can I say.
We had visited the falls two days before, but when we stepped outside at sunrise on the day after Christmas (11:30 a.m.) and saw the light, we quickly changed our plans. Luckily, the falls were only ten minutes away and the hunch was right. The mountain claims you, that’s what I can say.
Some books only have one page. Here’s a midsummer one above Njardvik. Day by day it reveals itself, like a film.
Look at how the dragon from the south (left) is giving way to grass and cliffs, while the one from the right is holding strong, with three stories opening within its long ribcage. And check out the sad faces appearing in the slo-mo approach of the dragon from the south. Will it disappear before they do? Whew! Such suspense!
When Gunnar said that, it wasn’t a metaphor.
This scene at Njardvik is wealth. The question might be… what are you going to do with it? Because it’s the only wealth there is.
In Canada, this would be an oil slick, caused by a passing freighter illegally flushing out its tanks at sea.
Not so nice!
But in Iceland, it’s more like an Earth slick.
It’s the confluence of a river that is taking an 1100-year-old farm away and the desire for a new road to prevent rural depopulation in Borgarfjördur Eystri.
The concept of “nature” is a balancing act here.