Tag Archives: Borgarfjördur Eystri

Of Elves and Men in the East Fjords

Njardvik

Nowhere but in Borgarfjördur Eystri have I found mountains that so clearly express beings from another dimension of understanding. It’s no wonder that the great Icelandic painter Kjarval got started here.

The show changes daily, too:

All around. At distance…

… or up close:

Every step is through two worlds at once, and it’s your moving that makes the images move. Here, for instance, is the elf from the first image, three hours later, from a different angle. She’s like a very slow wind taking our measure.

Oil Slick? Not in Iceland!

In Canada, this would be an oil slick, caused by a passing freighter illegally flushing out its tanks at sea.

Njardvik

Not so nice!

But in Iceland, it’s more like an Earth slick.

Njardvikura

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.

Arctic Terns Both Up and Down

Arctic terns.

They dive at your hair and scream. The screaming comes first. They’re just not much ones for settling down on land.

Even if it’s the Njardvik beach and the Njardvik troll.

Up in the air it is!

It’s ironic. One can get so intent on looking up to avoid them, that, um …

… one is in danger of stepping on them. True to form for a crew that doesn’t like land too much…

… they’re not much in the way of nests. Not really.

Really not.

So be careful where you walk, and if the terns start diving?

Don’t be there.

The Two Ways of Puffins

In Borgarfjörður Eystrim , the puffin nesting grounds are covered with netting, so that the puffins don’t ruin their home by being too, well, puffinish.

At Raudanes, they are free to do as they wish. As you can see below, the result is quite different.

There are fewer puffins, but they are wilder. Ain’t that the thing, eh.

Big Things Come from an Elvish Cat

In elf country, off in Borgarfjörður Eystri, you can never be sure. Is it a cat? A mouse? A cat and a mouse? Elves playing at both? Or a whole elvish family, complete with cat and mouse, all sharing a long tail?

It was in these dells that the boy Johannes Kjarval herded sheep and slowly became a painter.

Kjarval at Work and Play

No wonder.

The Birth of a Painter in East Iceland

The boy Johannes Kjarval built himself a shelter out of these rocks while minding sheep.

And he kept an eye on more than sheep, out there in Borgarfjörður Eystri. Trolls, for instance.

 

Elf horses.

Elves, even.

So was Iceland’s great painter created. Here’s a painting of Esja, across from Reykjavik, showing what he learned out there as a boy in the East.

There are many roots to modernism.  This is one of the most integrative.

What Is Puffin Philosophy Anyway?

Yesterday I showed an image of a couple of puffin philosophers in Borgarfjörður Eystri. Now a glimpse of some of their concerns. Because puffins erode their hillsides (and have to move on), the  community has laid down netting to prevent them from digging just a wee bit too much. The result is a near perfect mathematical placement, likely related to the reach of a human’s arms.

A puffin could complain, but the alternative is to be gobbled up by invasive minks, also brought by humans. The project is financed by people donating to this benevolent intervention. Not that that will stop the puffins from deliberating over it for years, of course.