There are tall, soaring birch forests, like these in Ásbyrgi, some five metres tall, that shelter sheep…
…and their are small, intimate forests you have to lie down in a pasture to see, which shelter flies. The forest below in Neskaupstaðir might be short, and might fade and rise annually with the sun, but its trees are surely exotic and wondrous. Some of the trees are even copses of flowers.
They offer different kinds of intimacy and bring you differently into the land. In both cases, when you look up again, or step out, you are a different person. That’s because forests are persons. You become them.
Forests are a new thing in Iceland, and must all be planted by hand, just as this group of Siberian larch at Gunnar’s birthplace above the Jokulsá.
And no-one’s quite sure what to do with them. At the moment, they are chopped up into that staple of all harbour cities, shipping palettes, and then reassembled in familiar forms from there. It’s a little wobbly, but all shipping palette construction is.
But there’s definitely a keen-ness in the air. All the tools of the trade are readily available for working out the kinks at home or in the woods.
You did spot Thor’s battle axe there on the wall, right?
Sheep are foresters here.
1. Through a parking lot.
2. Through a farmer’s imagination.
3. With wit.
In Iceland, be witty!
All trees in Iceland are mysterious. Some, it seems, stay indoors and take tinctures.
They hide in remote canyons, like herds of shy reindeer. If you’re not looking for them, you might not spot them at all.
þingvellir National Park, Ísland
Forest Crown Height: 18 centimetres. November, 2016