Stykkisholmur, 2 pm, December 20
So little need for colour. None is wasted.
Look how it springs up as a decoration across a treeless Icelandic landscape (which is also an artwork.) A fine reminder in the snow that everything other than the ice is art, whether human made or not, and that both kinds of trees are botanical treasures imported from another world.
From a little patch of dried clay the size of an average bedroom, the wind howling off of Þorsjökull did a pretty great job of stripping the land down to its bones last week.
Wind speeds were a mere 45 km/h, which, by Icelandic standards, is a brisk afternoon breeze. Remarkably, a pair of swans and a few shorebirds were hanging on, even though the lake and the river flowing from it have almost vanished. If you’re in þingvellir these days, a trip over behind Thor’s Shield certainly won’t disappoint!
A tough choice, I know. Just a few kilometres apart, way out there on Snæfellsnes (so likely of the same species) there are the Ogres of Djúpalónsandur …
…wading together out into the storm…
…and just a few kilometres west, out at Dritvik… splashing in the waves …
…the Ogres of Dritvik, the now-abandoned Second City of Iceland, staring out into the open Atlantic.
We are not kidding about the magic. Or the storm.