It looks to me like before the fishers walked away, they made a mound, put in a headstone, and then dragged the boat on top. Too small to be a collapsed boat house. A grave, perhaps?
Vík í Myrdal
It’s good to remember that photography is “writing with light.” It is also the capture of light. For example, what colour is Iceland? This?
Only the first is “real.” The other two are manipulated, but I promise, you can find those machine-made colours as well. You just have to wait. There is no real colour. There are only moments.
Just for fun. Winter is best for this game.
I hope these two images from show how before there were roads, making a human map of the landscape…
Near Hellisnes by Fjaðrárgljúfur
…there were lavas and rivers …
… making a map at once spiritual and far beyond the human. Traversing them, each journey is its own map, or, to put it another way, every journey is a story, passed on as story. An ideal writing conference in Iceland would go to the heart of this kind of storytelling. All else follows, or leads away.
The Icelanders are very clever. They put up a picnic site on top of the hill above Seyðisfjörður, to allow travellers to get their bearings after the steep climb out of the fjord and before the steep drop down into Egilsstaðir. That’s the kind part. The clever part is the picnic sign, as you can see.
See that? Travellers coming off the ferry from Europe get a chance to use up all their stickers at once, in one spot, and then that’s that. Done.
This is the height of summer. You might not want to linger long up here.
OK, ya, the people are all gone. It’s just ruins now.
But the houses aren’t empty. Here are some sheep who have moved in. Lords of the manor at last!
Victory comes to the patient.
It used to be possible to walk up to these falls near Kirkjubærjarklaustur, but it has been closed off due to disrespect, especially illegal camping. You can still spot its trolls from a distance, though, if you have a good eye. Do pay your respects with a nod, at least, and for Troll’s sakes, respect those farms and their stock. The place should be a UNESCO site.
Imagine going up to this troll, through all these stone bones and heads, and collecting water for the farmhouse at its foot. It was here that I learned that trolls keep humans because humans keep sheep and trolls really like sheep. A humbling and always slightly uncertain relationship.
This ewe and her lamb appear to have a mixed breed thing going on.
This is deliberate. The best mother is given a lamb or two to care for, even if she has lost hers, and even if she doesn’t have one at all. Good mothering has sure paid off for this lamb. Looking well cared for and plump!
It’s one of the things about the height of summer in Iceland: everything comes alive. Lichens give elvish faces to every rock, water moves more mysteriously, and the faces that peer from nearly every rock are more intense. You should have no difficulty spotting many faces in the rocks round this little waterfall on the Stapavík Trail.
Thing is, some of them are more intense than others and hit somewhere very deep inside one’s spirit.
See that yet? maybe? Maybe not? Let’s look again, then:
The elves are never far.
Ogres are a bit like weather. When the sun shines, you see them. “Ah, the ogre is here,” you say.
When the sun doesn’t shine on them, you don’t see them. Then you say, “there’s no ogre.” Either way, though, just imagine getting up every day and checking the ogre weather!