When I first went to Iceland nine years ago, the Icelanders told stories of how they lived on a new land, in the process of being made. You can see how that works, here in Njardvik, where with each storm the fjord grows smaller. It’s quite the problem, really, if you’re on one of the two farms in the fjord.
Now, Icelanders tell stories of how climate change caused Vikings (not Icelanders but Vikings yet [who were Icelanders!]) to cut down all the trees, and continues to victimize Iceland, making it pay for industrial decisions taken elsewhere. I miss the old story of hope, of rolling up the sleeves, doing something, and getting on with it. After all…
… either way, you still have to fix your fence. Might as well give your neighbour, the sea, a piece of your mind while you’re at it.
It is, after all, not a new story.
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!
The basalt rocks of Myvatnsveit are particularly loyal. Even when frost breaks them apart they fall apart together.
They become islands and worlds. On an island of glaciers, they are untouched.
In this context, you are the glacier.
Your walking levels the land.
Geysirs are fun for humans, but look at them, trekking up hill.
Making new humans is funner.
The question is: who has the right to erode Iceland? The Icelanders, by inviting rock stackers?
Or the rock stackers themselves? Iceland invites visitors to view nature.
Human nature is what the modern world can deliver instead.
Be careful what you wish for. Ethical dilemmas don’t go away by wishing so.
All farming is hard.
Abandoned Farm, Borgarfjörður Eystri
Everywhere. Here’s a farm in Wales.
Hayfield, Y Fron, Wales
And a farm in Canada.
New Orchard, Vernon, Canada
And a farm in Iceland. This one is still working!
I think the last is the most beautiful. Team? What do you think?
Hmmm. It’s hard to say if they agree or not. Closer?
Ah. The silent type.
What can I say. Sheep are creatures of habit!
The newest shoot of grass growing on a bit of volcanic wasteland for the first time ever in the history of the world, that’s the one that tastes best to a sheep, and they will risk life and hoof to get it.
Marauders in Stekkalækur
They’re Icelandic, hence very independent. No sherpas needed.